If you would have asked me this question a few weeks ago, my answer most definitely would have been YELL. I am a yeller. I scream at the top of my lungs to get my kids, or my dogs, attention. Did it work. Yes, in a way. Not in a good way. It got attention, but most certainly the WRONG kind of attention. Miss Ally still wouldn't do what I was yelling at her to do, and my blood pressure would get so high I swore there was steam coming from my ears! I would go to bed every night with a knot in my stomach and the horrible feeling that I was the worst parent ever and tomorrow will be different. No yelling, just remaining calm when the storm hit. But it never happened. By 8am (we are usually awake between 5:30 and 6am) my patience would be gone and my voice would start to raise. There goes the day! But recently I have noticed something. In those rare moments when I would remain calm, cool and collected, the results were different. I'm not saying the results were perfect, but the task got done quicker and I didn't give myself an ulcer. Hmm...there must be something to this. Then the other day while waiting to pick Miss Ally up from school, killing time browsing through the gazillions of pins on Pinterest I came upon one that said..."10 Things I learned when I stopped yelling at my kids." Hello! Sign from the All Mighty! Just before school Ally and I had a knock down drag out to get her shoes on, coat zipped and butt into her car seat. I sent her off to school with the sound of my screaming shrieking voice in her ears. Not cool! Instead of repinning it and never reading it, I clicked on it immediately and it brought me to this blog...http://theorangerhino.com. I read through her posts and felt as if we were kindred spirits! I decided to take the Orange Rhino challenge and NOT yell at my kids (or dog) for a year! I am going to TRY to be good and post every night about my progress. Yesterday was day 1...
I started off the day eager to start my new challenge. I was pretty well rested as Jack only woke up a few times, and The Duke got up with him once so I could sleep. Ally only woke once as well and slept in until almost 6:15 (this is a good night for us!) Breakfast went well. Ally decided after 2 bites of egg that she was done. Normally I would demand she get back at the table and finish her food, but today I told her if she didn't eat that meant no cheese stick for snack (the girl lives for cheese). After thinking about it for a while and me not harping on her about it, she decided to eat a few more bites. I thought it was a minor victory and thought man, she is going to make this easy on me. 20 minuets later she picks up the tub full of her train set and dumps it all over the living room floor, laughs and tells me I can clean it up because I like to clean. While true, I do like to clean, I did not like this particular move. Hmm...ok kid. Not going to make this easy. I see your bid and I raise you one. We decided to leave the train set scattered about the floor for the morning and when she decided she didn't have enough room to play her Memory game. She helped me pick it up. Now that wasn't so bad! Meanwhile Jack has figured out how to climb. Not only climb, but how to move and arrange his toys in the right position so he can reach the couch, tables, and our bay window ledge. Kid is smart. Daisy the Dog decided to test Mama out too by licking herself to death in the middle of the kitchen, and taking away every cracker I gave Jack right out of his hands. YET...no yelling. Time for school, I tell Ally to get her shoes on. She tells me she wants her 1 year old brother to put them on her. Not going to happen. He is smart, but not a genius. I tell her he can't do that. She turns into a screaming banshee. I tell her it's time to go and that Jack and I are ready so we are going to the car. I walk out the door. Blood curdling scream follows, but 10 seconds later she rushes out the door, shoes on. Awesome! The rest of the afternoon went pretty smoothly. Even the much dreaded bedtime wasn't such a hassle. I went to bed last night with the feeling of victory! Day one conquered. Bring it on day two!
Take away from day one...I slowed down and calmed down enough to witness the small acts of kindness Ally did towards her brother. Also how incredibly funny and stinking cute she can be if I just let her BE!
FYI...Day two started at 4:45am with me only getting about 4 hours of sleep and Ally not having school. Day 2 most likely will not be as easy as day one.