Writer’s Workshop: Listen

I’m linking up with Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop again today. This time with the prompt:

Write a blog post inspired by the word: listen

I say that word a lot. Listen. I have a five year old son who does not like to listen. Well, more accurately, he doesn’t like to obey. I often have to tell him to do something several times before he’ll do it. Or worse, I yell because he’s not doing what I told him to do. Sometimes I ask. I try to remember to ask vs. tell, but that doesn’t always work either.

At the end of last year I participated in The Orange Rhino 30 Day Challenge to stop yelling. I read the book and followed along with the daily forum posts. And I did stop yelling. I’m not sure if it was the book or the forum or just my revelation that Christopher was only 4 (at the time). And he was still figuring things out. He wasn’t going to get it right all of the time. I needed to cut him some slack. Show him some love. And help him navigate this world.

I didn’t yell for about 6 months. I’m talking crazy lady yelling, not just raising my voice. I sometimes lose it completely and find myself yelling in a way no child should be yelled at by their parent. Out. Of. Control. Yelling. But I didn’t do it for 6 months. And then a couple weeks ago before baseball practice, I lost it. I don’t remember what it was about. But I know it wasn’t Christopher’s fault. Not really. I was stressed out and tired and not looking forward to coaching baseball. And I took it out on my son.

But this week already I’ve yelled twice. Not in that completely crazy way. More of a “why can’t you just listen to me” kind of way. I’m dealing with a strong willed child. And I’m dealing with the stress of starting a new job. And it’s been a tough week.

Christopher does need to work on being a better listening. He needs to practice following through with several directions at once, so he’s ready for Kindergarten in the fall. But yelling isn’t helping. It’s scary. It just makes him cry. And then I have more to deal with. I need to check myself. Make sure my needs are met, so I can be a better mother. I need to show him love and ask him to do things in a caring way. I need to teach him to be responsible for himself. I need to go back to not yelling.

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  1. Parenting is incredibly hard. Know that you are doing a wonderful job and please give yourself credit for all that you're doing. I think it's phenomenal that you joined that challenge. You recognized that you were yelling and that he wasn't listening — that as a "team" you both needed to work on communication. And you guys did!! Slip ups will happen. No parent is perfect. Heck no!!! I yell!! It happens. Stress is an ugly monster and it gets the better of us.
    You're doing the best you can. Don't forget that.

  2. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said you need to take care of yourself. Yelling happens more when we are tired, hungry, stressed out, etc. Allowing time to get those things taken care of would take away the out-of-control feeling that makes one yell. At least, those are the reasons I yell!

  3. I think the whole take care of yourself bit is the best part of this post. You really do need to meet your own needs before you can meet the needs of everyone else. Hang in there, mama.

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