Parenting Stress – Don’t Eat Your Words

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At times parenting can be strenuous. Stress from the job, whining and disobedient children, money problems and so many other factors cause us to lose control of situations and ourselves.  I guarantee many of us are guilty of yelling, screaming, or some other negative reaction at certain points in our lives.

Next, I remember yelling at my daughter for various reasons and feeling guilty after the encounter.  I’ve had to eat my words on many occasions. If not with her than other family members and sometimes friends.  During the encounter, I didn’t think about the consequences of my actions or the affect that it would have on the other person. It was the only way I knew how to respond at certain times.

Unfortunately, yelling, screaming and cursing were normal in my home when I was growing up.  I carried that mentality and behavior into my marriage and used that technique to interact with my daughter in her teen years. Thank goodness, I learned quickly that it was unproductive and damaging.

Nobody wants to be yelled at, and what is really accomplished with that type of interaction.  No good will come out it. Here are a few negative affects:

  1.  Fear
  2. Low Self Esteem
  3. Intimidation
  4. Anger Is Developed   

I didn’t like eating my words after I yelled at my daughter or after I raised my voice for whatever reason.  There were times that I apologized and there were times that I didn’t. I would just live with the guilt and move forward.  It left me feeling bad about myself and ashamed of the fact that I reacted in such an unhealthy way. I vowed to change that behavior in myself, and eliminate the need for me to eat my words.

Most importantly, I didn’t want my daughter to think yelling and screaming were normal either.  I also didn’t want her to be afraid of me in any way.  Her growing up with low self-esteem was a major concern.  Furthermore, I didn’t want her to grow up being an angry, bitter young lady who looked for love in all the wrong places. Feeling unloved at home will lead you in that direction.  I knew a change had to occur and it had to start with me.

The first step was to get to the bottom of why I was yelling before I could make any major changes.  Until I accomplished that feat, I learned to walk away and than come back and address the situation in a much calmer manner. That change alone left me with my dignity and it left those who were normally on the receiving end of my yelling with their dignity too. I liked the feeling of walking away much better than yelling, it soon became a habit.

So, as parents we are responsible for our children’s emotional well being. I found that I was a more effective parent when I was not yelling too.  It opened the door for better communication between my daughter and me.  It allowed us to establish a healthy relationship where we demonstrated mutual respect for each other.  I reached a point where I refused to argue or raise my voice with anyone. Walking away became a way of life for me and it has saved me from a ton of stress and broken relationships.

Last, if you are constantly yelling and screaming, just stop it.  If you can’t change it on your own, get professional help.  There’s no shame in getting help.  Especially, if you are damaging your child. Furthermore, you could possibly cause them to become violent or act out in some manner.  Children have limited coping mechanisms in their teen years.  So, it’s up to parents to lead and guide them on the appropriate way to communicate. Reach for it, you and your children will be thankful.