Not shouting

So just before I said all about my day. (Actually Lord B isn’t quite asleep – I tried to extract my foot and he attempted to spirit my hand away from the keys, so I had to give my foot back.) I just wanted to elaborate on how amazing it is that there was no shouting.

Technically I don’t shout at my kids. I talk to them calmly and respectfully all the time, always seeing things from their perspective and affirming their feelings and helping them deal with them, especially when they can’t have their way.

In practice… I can’t deal with my own emotions enough of the time. I get stressed out and don’t know what to do with that, so I shout. Or I feel powerless in the face of a laughing 3yo who won’t cooperate and can’t deal with that and shout. Which he mostly finds amusing. Not all the time, of course, but enough that it’s not cool.

I think today it really helped that we go the boys dressed earlier, so the haggling over who got the trucks jersey and what they would or wouldn’t wear (Sir A is getting really fussy!) was done looong before we had to leave. After my breakfast while Amazing Husband and the boys were still going, I made the bread and showered, the boys got dressed, and then they and I had porridge. Everyone semi ready by 8.30! No panicking at 8.45 that they were undressed and wailing about seemingly inconsequential matters and Amazing Husband was still unclean.

We were a trifle late to Mass cos I forgot the ergo and wasted a minute or two getting it, but the boys were semi quiet – Sir A agreed halfway through that going out the back would a good choice but he wasn’t too insane out there. So we started not stressed and grumpy. Always helpful!

I ate when my blood sugar was getting low – almost always results in shouting if I don’t – and the boys didn’t fight too much.

I tried not to say no. I tried to give very specific instructions and help them follow through. That was partly just good timing, since so often I’m in the middle of something when they need to do something and don’t and I don’t want to stop to help them do it.

I involved them in my jobs. In the case of Lord B, it seems he felt really listened to and loved and that gave him confidence to do things without help, and the patience to do it slowly and accurately. He gets frustrated easily and I’m usually busy or in a hurry and not as patient as I could be.

I played the I love you game. I tell Sir A “I love you.” He says, “Mummy? giggle giggle”. “I love you.” “Mummy? Giggle giggle funny!” Rinse, lather, repeat. He’s sooo cute. Actually we play that quite a bit and it probably didn’t make that much difference but I just wanted to put it out there cos it’s so cute.

All these things together added up to me keeping a matter of fact, calm, patient tone, with constructive wording. Lord B has been asking a lot lately whether we’re cross. Apparently we are cross quite a bit. It’s true. Good opportunity to explain different feelings though. But tone and words chosen make such a difference to the whole atmosphere of family life and affect everyone, parent and child alike.

Sir A calls. I’m not sure if this is finished, but it’ll have to do!

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