Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Shouty Shout Shout

I was trading e-mails with a friend and referenced yelling at my kids, and he was relieved to hear that my husband and I do, in fact, yell at our kids.  Of course we do.  You can be the most grounded, laid back, hakuna matata person on the planet and absolutely LOSE it when:

You run down a hallway, clad only in a towel, dripping from hastily concluded shower, to find out why your five-year-old is screaming in her bedroom as though a troll has crawled through the window and is about to attack her.  And the answer is, "Because my legs are tired and I need you to carry me downstairs."

Huh? You...  Wha?

Actually, what I shouted was, "That is the MOST ridiculous thing I have ever heard!  You ONLY scream like that if you are hurt or you are in danger!"  And then I clenched my jaw so tight that all of my molars shattered.

So, yeah, I yell.  More often than I'd like, less often than my parents did.

The point is, my kids are young and haven't totally grasped the ins-and-outs of socially acceptable behavior.  I'm still learning that, though my learning curve is admittedly less Everest-y than theirs.  They're getting there, I see progress, but I also understand that they do not possess a thousand other experiences that allow them to deduct, "I am probably going to get into some trouble if I give my mother a heart attack by breaking the sound barrier with my banshee-like screaming over some fatigued limbs."

Instead, they just go for it, and learn the hard way.

At 8 and 5*, my kids can exhibit jagged, socially immature edges.  Especially when they are tired, or under the weather.  I know this, and grant them some quarter, trying my best to supply them with some calm instruction on a better way to get what they're after, or explain to them why they can't have what they want.

BUT, I can stand being poked by those jagged edges only so many times before I lose my mind and forcibly stuff my child into long pants in forty-degree weather.

*I'm not including my two-year-old in these observations.  I don't expect him to say to himself, "Bah, this tantrum is useless, USELESS!  Diplomacy is the tool of the day to get the rest of the goldfish crackers!"

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