There could be hundred nice things about me as a mother but those few seconds of yelling at my son can bring the hundred things down – not necessarily to anyone else, but to myself. I am not quite sure from when exactly I started to yell at my son. Up until he was two years at least, I have never felt impatient or angry at him. I assume it must have started, perhaps, when he began to converse fluently, when around he was close to three.
Here are a few patters of circumstances that push me to the yelling mode:
He likes washing his hands again, again and again. That means, he’s wasting water, he’s finishing off the handwash in no time and he’s spilling water all over on the floor. I tell him once to close the tap. I tell him again to get down quickly. I tell him once again to stop wasting the handwash. He doesn’t listen still and that’s when the tell turns to yell.
I summon him for brushing time (That’s the last thing he likes to do though I am strict at making it the first thing in the morning). It might be getting late to his school. The baby might be crying in the background. The cooking might be lying halfway in-between. And I might not have had anything from the morning to eat. But he makes a fussy face to buy time to face the brushing time. In the busy morning hours, I get no time for negotiations and I know the only thing now that can get him quickly to the spot is yelling.
I tell him not to disturb the baby who is finally sleeping after her hour-long baby menace. He jumps across the baby, makes noises with his toys, lets out his squeals. It wouldn’t have been two minutes since the baby had slept, she wakes up with a loud cry. That means the work which I had left pending for a long time while waiting for the baby to sleep is going again to the pending mode. So, before I lift the baby up, I give a venting-out yell at the troublesome brother.
I know I cannot justify my action, passing the blame on circumstances. I know it can never be a good feeling after the yelling session concludes. I know, first of all, that yelling at him isn’t going to help him in getting better at anything. I know it isn’t a decent way of parenting. I know, in time, my son might begin to hate me for my behaviour. I know he’s learning to yell, as well, watching me. I know, after all at the end of the day that what would remain with me is only guilt.
I know it all, half from self-realization and half from the father’s constant requests, demands and gyans. Indeed, I have largely turned off yelling at my son in the recent days. To present the truth, I have been typing this post with my right hand, holding the baby on my left and my son must have asked at least one question to me for every line I have typed. In spite of the thinking that goes behind answering his questions, I have been continuing to write without yelling at him. He happened to see the picture above and was curious to know who this monster was. I explained him that she is a mom like me who is yelling at her boy. He said, “Amma, you are not this bad. You shout a little and get ok.” 😆 To get rid of yelling, is not only relieving; it is also a great peace booster for the family. At the end of the day, when I watch his serene sleeping face, I rest now with a feeling of triumph.
Ten out of ten mothers I’ve met, have confided that they yell at their kids at home. I might seem as a calm mother to fellow mommies and neighbours. Several people whom I meet everyday have commented that I appear as a soft-spoken woman whom they cannot imagine to yell at a child (thankfully, the father didn’t hear them). The truth is that most of the mothers are so! Regardless of their personality and demeanor, motherhood imposes the curse of yelling on them. In fact, yelling at kids is now a serious problem among parents that there are books, classes and counselling sessions for it. As a yelling mother myself, I can understand the physics, chemistry, biology and psychology of other such mothers and I would request you, as a mother, to please slow down to reform. To everybody else, who always thought yelling moms cannot be good mothers – please, we aren’t as bad as you think we are!