I’m a Yeller and I Don’t Want to Be(alternate post: What I’m Doing Wrong in the Parenting World)

(Cute aren’t they?)

There are days (like today) where I don’t feel like much of a mom.  And definitely not Mom of the Year.  The boys have become little handfuls as they’ve hit 3 (JL) and 4 (JP—5, not that you can convince him that he’s not already 5 yet).  And its days like today when I wonder if I’m failing as their mother.

I’ve become a yeller.  And I hate it.  But I honestly cannot seem to get through to them.  I’ve tried talking softer, giving them warnings and even tried whispering just to see if something different would get their attention and make them listen.  It doesn’t.  The only thing that gets their attention lately is YELLING. 

I’ve passed out “swipes” more often than not lately.  I have.  I’m not 100% opposed to spanking.  There’s a definite difference between a spanking and a beating; I’m not here to debate that.  What I’m saying is that it no longer works.  In fact, JP has taken to laughing when he gets one.  What do I do about that?  I mean, obviously I won’t be dishing it out harder.  I just don’t know what to do because by the time I dispense a swipe, I’m at my end point.

Time outs don’t work.  They’ll sit there, do their “time” and then go right back to it. 

Sending them to their room doesn’t work. 

Taking toys away and taking away fun stuff like going to the park or going hunting with Daddy hasn’t phased JP’s behavior at all. 

It’s like they.don’t.care.  They don’t.  Take away a toy?  Fine, I’ll play with something else.  Can’t go hunting with Daddy. Ok, I will another time.  Send me to bed early?  I’ll just sit up there and yell down to you for hours at a time.  (How does he not lose his voice?)

I’ve tried telling them how much it hurts me when they don’t listen.  I’ve told them it disappoints me.  I’ve told them that it even makes me mad.  How do you get them to see their accountability in the bad behavior and not just think that its how they are?  And today, at nap time, I laid in my bed with them and sobbed over the terrible day we’d just had. 

I know that I have complained to friends lately a lot that its just a horrible, bad phase and that I don’t know what to do.  Does hearing me talk about it make them think its ok?  I’ve told the boys that they embarrass me in the store with their antics.  And, to be honest, it takes a lot to embarrass me in a store because I’m always the one that doesn’t let them win when the pitch fits for a toy or a certain food.  Crying in a store doesn’t bother me.  Never has.  But they sure succeeded in embarrassing me today at shoe stores, the mall and the grocery store. 

Its so hard to look around and see all these other parents with kids that do as they’re asked.  Kids who they can take to a store and accomplish what needs to be done without threats and you leaving with a cart of crushed groceries because you finally had to put them in the cart so you could just get out of the store.  Kids who know that when the blessed phone rings, it means to take it down a couple of notches, not amp it up so that they can hear us in the next county.  I can’t let mine walk down the aisles without them running away  or touching everything they pass and knocking items off of shelves.  Or grabbing and wrestling each other.  I operated on the “their feet never touch the floor of the store” policy for as long as I could.

Please don’t get me wrong.  I love my boys more than I can put into words.  To look at them and see how beautiful and smart they are fills my heart with love.  When they’re sweet, they are the sweetest things on the face of this earth.  They are the most precious gifts that have ever been given to me and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.  That doesn’t mean I might not offer them up to the first taker on facebook at times…but that’s all done in good fun. 

Do you have children (or had them, now grown)?  What did/are your doing to deal with the sass, the defiance and the outright disobedience?  Do you have any words of wisdom for this frazzled, upset southern mama?

Because if not, I may lose my mind.

Slowly going insane in Georgia,


3 thoughts on “I’m a Yeller and I Don’t Want to Be(alternate post: What I’m Doing Wrong in the Parenting World)

  1. Hey there chica,I know this is driving you crazy. I've been there too. I hate being a yeller. I try to avoid it when I can, but every once in a while it's like you (errr… I) just can't stop it. Can Not.The only thing that runs through my head while reading your post (because it is sooo much easier to be objective when you're talking about someone else and their kids) is the phrase that Dr. Phil (and I only quote him on rare occasions, because he isn't always my favorite) is that you have to find their currency. So here's what you know:things that don't work:taking away special privilegesswat on the be-hindtime outsearly bed timethings you don't want to do:swat harderyellso, you know your boys better than anyone… for sure 'we' all would have thought that the hunting thing really would haven't gotten to JP, but it didn't (although maybe it did on some level, but he's a smart kid and he's not letting you in on it bwahahaha)so the goal is to find the currency…do they need to be grounded? come straight home from school and go straight to your room except for dinner time and bath time? maybe with their rooms stripped down (no toys… this would give you some time to sort through any toys and weed things out w/o drama) until they earn things back w/good behavior? maybe JP's smart-alec 'nothing gets to me' attitude will be wiped clean when he realizes you are SERIOUS about his att-i-tude. are there other people in their lives that they would be MORTIFIED to have find out about their behavior… grandparents, teachers, friends… sometimes we will pull that one especially with our oldest… make a threat to call her teacher and she is set straight QUICK…what if you start them on a good long list of chores (more work for you to supervise, I realize, but they have to learn it some time, right?)…IDK… those are just a few ideas that come to mind. I know you're frustrated and I know that when these situations seem to keep happening it gets to be pretty tiring… hang in there. You're starting a new phase.

  2. Oh no, do you really want my opinion? Because it's nothing like what anyone else would say. It's stopping and slowing down, and picking your battles…just a few. Don't have too many rules, just a couple. Don't take them too many places…and if you have to, don't expect them to last for long. And make clear the behavior you want to see with a small reward at the end, and little reminders on the way. Make it fun! Secret code reminders, an undercover mission to find shampoo…whatever the errand is for. Don't hit. Swatting is hitting and they will respect you less for it. It's not working anyways. It brings anger and tension and mistrust to the home. Ignore some of the little stuff because it's probably for attention…and you reward with attention when you give it. Distract when you see something bad coming on. Change environments. Get them out of there…where ever there is, when you see the problem escalating. Don't put them in a situation where you can't expect two little boys to be good. Start from scratch. Deep breaths. CALM control. Get down on their level. In my opinion punishment doesn't work. Maybe for teens but not for this little age. Too much time and not enough connection to behavior.

  3. Thanks ladies! I helps to hear other people's opinions. I know that sounds crazy but it really does. I've never been so frustrated in my entire life. Because I love him so much.We've been trying to make certain that we spend quality time with them…playing outside, coloring, talking, reading. We've talked to him about the lying and explained that each lie, no matter how small, hurts us and it disappoints us. And it makes it hard for us to trust him. Last night, he immediately lied and he lost his bunny. Did it work for the lying? I don't know. But it definitely got his attention.Sarah, we've definitely limited our outings. I race to the stores during preschool on Fridays so I don't have to take them. We rarely eat out in places where we'd have to sit. And we set up a sticker chart. They keep getting in our bed in the middle of night! So, each night they stay IN THEIR ROOM (I don't care if they sleep together or not…just not in our bed), they get a stick. 12 stickers and they get to go and get a set of character sheets (something they want). The little is doing great with this. The bigger, not so much. But he's competitive and doesn't like that his brother has more stickers than he does! When we accomplish this chart, I think we'll do it again for another reward. Use it more for behavior. They do know their night time behavior is tied to getting their sticker now so that's good. It's such a fine line and its hard sometimes to stick to a plan. Hunter and I recognize our faults in this (we use sarcasm WAY too much) and we're trying to call eachother out on it so we can improve OUR behavior too. I know it's not just them; its us too. Sigh….parenting is hard!

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