As a calm and pretty laid back type of person I often recount that the only people I shout at are my children.
They are not particularly naughty but for some reason they really know how to push me to the edge!
Recently I was chatting with someone and telling him this fact and his reply stopped me in my tracks and really made me think.
He asked me whether the shouting actually worked.
Wow! Such a simple and obvious question but I hadn’t ever considered it.
I had become so used to shouting louder and angrier to make my children listen and do as they had been told that I hadn’t really considered how effective it had been.
The fact that I needed to increase the volume and ferocity seemed to suggest it wasn’t working particularly well.
“Get out of bed! We’re going to be late for school!”
“Stop doing that!”
“Why can’t you just listen and behave?”
It probably sounds very familiar to most parents. Often they are being slow, or fighting with a sibling, or being too wild and loud. Other times it could be when I am just trying to concentrate (or go to the toilet in peace!) or if I am hungry, tired, stressed and can’t cope with a little person not listening to me.
Either way it struck me that I shouldn’t ever need to shout, that it was affecting me more than them (ever felt you’d done a full day before you’ve even dropped your children off at school?) and I felt I would be a better dad if I could avoid shouting at all.
So I decided to go a full year without shouting at my children (except for any instance where it is necessary to save them or another person from serious harm!)
I’ll keep you updated on my progress and any comments or shared experiences will be most welcome.
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