There are some days when I become a yelling mom.
No one seems to listen. I repeat myself a lot. I’m not being heard. The not-being-heard part is leading to a lot of mess, extra work for me, fighting and disrespect between siblings, and all-around unpleasantness. It’s immensely frustrating.
So I yell.
I yell to be heard. I yell to force peace upon my children. I yell so they can see that their behavior is affecting me.
But the yelling frightens them. It blinds them to the fact that I truly do love them. And they’re too fearful to care for me and feel how their actions affect me.
Proverbs 29:11, “Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.”
When I look back at parenting moments, the moments where things have turned around most quickly and wholeheartedly are when I show my sadness.
When I tell them and show them that their behavior makes me sad, they seem to respond from their hearts.
However, it’s vitally important that they don’t walk away with, “Don’t make mama sad,” as the lesson at heart.
It makes me sad when they rat on each other all day long, and that sadness shows that something is wrong with the behavior. It makes me angry, and that anger shows that something is wrong with the situation. The emotions are a signal. The goal isn’t to keep mama happy. The goal isn’t to avoid making me angry or sad. The goal is to achieve peace together, because, like a yellow or red light, the sadness and anger are warnings that things are off–people aren’t treating each other the way they should.
And so this is what I’m teaching my children. If mama is yelling, let’s STOP, and ask why. If someone else is yelling, we need to STOP and figure out what’s wrong. If someone is sad, everything has to STOP.
Because if you keep going, you do damage to someone else.
James 1:19-20, “My dear brothers and sisters, take not of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”