Are we teaching our kids to be passive aggressive when we deliberately, but calmly, advise them to do certain things, even when they don't respond?! Because when we do that, we then find ourselves repeating with a kind voice... and it's pretty much never as effective as yelling. And then it feels like we're being demure pushover parents when they don't respond and we just sit there indifferent about their lack of action. I mean.. sometimes we provide a logical or natural consequence, but for the most part, it's hard to find something relevant and reasonable when you're ticked off. Luckily, we don't normally stay calm that long. For the most part, shamefully so, we are yellers. And sadly... we've watched our oldest turn into a bit of an explosively anger management study, knowing it's mostly because of the models he's got in the form of parents.
It's really quite depressing. This whole parenting thing is a lot harder than we initially thought when we were just covered with sleepless poop blowouts and spit up. Turns out it does get harder. I hate that the older parents who always warned about how fondly we'd look back to the baby days were a bit right. Dang it!
I even signed up for a paid parenting course in the name of becoming more positive and not ever yelling at my kids again.
It worked for a while.
The problem we are running into now is that everything is out of whack once you add a newborn to the equation. We're all trying to figure out the new rhythm of normalcy. Meanwhile, our two older boys are testing the waters of independence, dependence, reluctance, disobedience, and successfully navigating the art of talking back. On the bright side, Dagny has become the model child. Stuck between the demanding difficulties of a newborn who won't sleep without being held (and who has co-slept since birth) and two older dominating and seemingly deaf brothers, she has become the good grace, innocent, fun talking, and incredibly obedient good sleeper and eater, who easily steals our hearts daily. It's really not a fair comparison though, her temperament and love for food and sleep and a desire to obey is beyond belief.
I know we need to be less angry. I know we need to yell less. I know we need to change. But knowing doesn't seem to help us much with actually doing. You know what convinces you to do something? Losing your voice.
This weekend... I lost it. I think partially because I have a bit of a cough, but mostly because I yelled the crap out of my kids this weekend. I have never yelled so voraciously, but parenthood gives you abilities you did not know you had.
So now.. as I try to recoup my voice, I'm also trying to be a better parent, one who has more patience.