No More Yelling
I love reading blogs. I love to read. I always thought I would enjoy the job of reading manuscripts and then editing. Unfortunately, having kids tends to cut down on my reading time. That’s why right now, blogs are one of my favorite things to read. I don’t have to look at this big book and wonder if I’m ever going to find out what happens next. I can read stories for a minute and get someone’s whole chapter for the day or maybe even the week. However, sometimes life even keeps me from reading blogs in a timely manner. So this week, I have been trying to catch up. Thank goodness google reader keeps them all neatly saved and sorted for me. Anyway, I was catching up on a blog I love Finding Heaven and I was actually behind the whole month of January. Jen is a fantastic writer. She is really real and very funny. I totally recommend following her if you read blogs. Anyway, at the beginning of January she wrote about a thirty-day challenge her friend had asked people to do to become a better person. The challenge was to give something up. Jen chose to give up yelling at her kids. Wow…when I read this it hit me like a load of bricks. I am always looking for ways to be a better parent. And you will see why in the invitation letter I am including below this is something that I could really relate to.
The Bible constantly challenges us to be aware of our words. Words have power. Just think about when God uses His words to create. As reflections of our Creator our words have power too. You know this. How many times have your words created a situation in your house? Take a look at Proverbs. It is filled with instructions about words. Proverbs 18:21 especially stands out in my mind. –Death and Life are in the power of the tongue and those that love it eat the fruit of it.– Another one that always hits me is Ephesians 4:29 –Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers. – I have been convicted not only about what words come out of my mouth, but also how they come out of my mouth. Saying for example “Be quiet” can really be so different depending on how it comes out of your mouth.
And so I decided to challenge myself to give up yelling at my kids for the month of February with the intention of changing the communication of our lives for good. Wanting some accountability I asked a bunch of my friends to join with me via the letter below. I would love to have you join me too. If you are interested in joining this challenge “like” my FB page and leave a comment saying you want into our FB group. Feel free to tweak it to what you need to change in your life. Or just comment on this post and I will keep you posted from here.
Well, here goes. Happy peaceful home!
Dear Friends –
Before I had kids I had all kinds of grand ideals. I “knew” my kids were always going to be obedient and do everything that was asked of them immediately or even without being asked. I was never going to be one of “those” reactive parents. And that was simply because MY children were going to be perfect. Hahahahaha It’s not that I was even that judge-mental about other’s parenting; I was just living in Lala land thinking I could do everything without any issues. Okay, truth is I knew I wouldn’t be perfect and neither would they be perfect kids, but I did live with a hope that things wouldn’t be that difficult. After all, I’m pretty good at laying down the law so why shouldn’t it go smoothly.
Well, we all know how that turned out. I was blessed with blessed with perfect children, but not being perfect myself I totally messed them up already. Actually, my boys are pretty good, but I see a lot of bad habits in myself. And the more they see these bad habits in me the more they become a reflection of me.
I’m starting to be a parenting junkie. I admit that I read a lot about parenting and watch shows and listen to things at least a little almost everyday. Some things I really agree with and some things I question and think about and some things I really disagree with.
Personally, I know that when I am tired or exhausted I forget what our home needs and just get lazy and let things slide. When that happens suddenly we have a lot of explosions in our house. Somehow I stop letting God have His way and try to assert my way. This is never fun and does not create the kind of atmosphere I want in our home. And when I lose control my boys do too. Disobedience runs rampant and yelling follows close behind. This is NOT what I want. There are a few things though that I would like to make the core of who I am as a parent.
#1 – I want to be a good communicator. I want my children to clearly understand what I expect of them and respond to that.
#2 – I want to be calm and productive. It’s easy to be lazy and let things slide until everyone is frustrated and angry. I want that to stop.
#3 – I want my time with my kids to be peaceful and joyful.
#4 – I want to allow my kids to explore their world and who they are without fear of how Mommy might react.
#5 – I want to see my home filled with love and laughter.
Yesterday I got caught up on one of my favorite blogs -Finding Heaven. Jen is a lot of fun to read and she is really real. If you read blogs at all I totally recommend following her. In one of her particular posts ( http://ow.ly/3NQwg ) she talks about how a friend of hers challenged a group of them to give something up that would make them better people. Jen decided to give up yelling. This hit me hard. I have been struggling with the desire not to yell around our house anyway and I knew this was I challenge I wanted to take for myself…except for February.
Thing is I don’t want to do this alone. I need support. I others that are in the tranches to help life me up…if you would. I put out the request on FB and a few of you responded that you would be interested. I am tagging a bunch of you, but this is open to anyone who is interested. If you have already conquered this area I would love if you would add input to my quest. If you have another area of parenting that you would like to challenge yourself to work on feel free to follow this format and make a difference in your home. If this just isn’t for you, no worries. I need to make a change and this is about my journey and anyone who WANTS to do it with me. I am going to be blogging about it and would love to include your input. I have created a No More Yelling group on FB that I will add you to if you would like to be a part of my challenge. This would be a place to share your struggles, triumphs, tips and anything you want to. It is to be a safe place for learning and growing. If you are interested in joining the group please make a comment on this note and I will add you. If you are willing to let me share what you have to say (don’t have to share your name)on my blog let me know on that too.
Here is the outline of my challenge.
For the month of February I am committing to stop yelling in re-active anger at my kids. This does not include yelling to protect them from danger. I will be dedicating a minimum of 5 minutes a day in prayer for this. During that time I will be giving my communication to God. I will be asking Him to open my ears to hear His voice more clearly. I will be asking Him for ideas on how to be a better parent. I will be listening to see if He has anything to say. I will be keeping a daily chart to keep track of whether I succeed in my goals. I will be talk about my commitment with Yummy. Together he and I will create a goal and chart for him to work on this month too. I am going to spend some time in prayer to determine exactly what I want that goal to be. It will be something that he repeatedly does that usually causes me to yell at him. (Right now, I am tossing up obeying on the first request or not causing problems with his brother.) There will be some sort of reward for him. My reward will be a more peaceful house. This is not about being me feeling guilty when things aren’t perfect. It’s about me recognizing what’s going on. It’s about trying to improve myself. It’s not about pass or fail. It’s about finding a happier place. It’s a journey.
I plan to learn how to communicate better through eye-contact, controlled voice, clear direction, consequences being followed through immediately…no more idle threats, no more angry reactions.
CLEARLY STATED WHAT YOU WOULD BE COMMITTING TO
#1 – STOP YELLING
#2 – TALK TO GOD ABOUT HOW TO HANDLE THINGS IN YOUR HOME DAILY @ LEAST 5 MINS
#3 – CREATE A GOAL FOR ALL CHILDREN OLD ENOUGH TO WORK ON TOO
#4 – CREATE A CHART FOR ALL OF YOU TO KEEP TRACK OF PROGRESS
#5 – (If you want) JOIN MY GROUP AND SHARE WHAT’S HAPPENING
I think that I am in store for some interesting surprises this month. I would love to have you with me. Please feel free to invite anyone you trust and think would be interested in joining too.
Thanks to Jen for inviting me to join Soli Deo Gloria sisterhood today too!