Are You A Shouter?

shouting mum

I am a shouty Mum.

I really hate writing that because it’s one of the things I don’t like about myself. I like to think I’m quite self-aware, I’m pretty clear about my character flaws and shouting at my kids is one of them. Parenting does that to you, it has a brutal way of at times bringing out those character flaws and dangling them in front of you so you can’t ignore them.

Like my shoutyness.

I’ve always been a shouty person but before you have kids and when it’s just adults you expose your shoutyness to, in a work environment for example, you become known as ‘assertive’, ‘confident’, ‘strong willed’ or sometimes just ‘a bit of a psycho’. Lots of us are like that so it’s no biggie but when it’s kids you’re shouty in front of it’s a different story.

I don’t shout at my kids all the time, but when I get annoyed I do tend to fly off the handle a bit, sometimes a lot and if I’m honest I shout a lot a lot! I know that doesn’t paint a pretty picture of me but it’s true.

I find it really hard to diffuse a situation with my kids without sooner or later raising my voice. I am not one of those Mums who can quietly pacify their kids without sounding like a drill sergeant although I really wish I was.

My eldest son can be difficult at times. He’s extremely determined and stubborn and is by far my biggest challenge. 90% of my shoutyness is directed at him because quite frankly nothing else works. I’m pretty sure 99% of parenting experts would disagree with me but I welcome them to the stage if they’d like to show me another way because I’m buggered if I can find one.

As an example, today I was already feeling on edge because it was a rainy day so the kids were playing Xbox. Anyone with more than two kids will understand how stressful that can be because there’s always fighting over who has to sit out.

Anyway I asked him what he wanted to drink with his lunch and he said “orange juice”. I explained to him“Well we don’t have any so it will have to be apple”, so he started yelling at me “I don’t like apple juice I want orange and you said I could have orange. Apple makes me feel sick and I want orange juice”. Then he slouched down in his chair and pushed his food away and it was at this point I got the shits and lost it because he does things like this all the time.

He does like apple juice, he drinks it nearly every day and I never told him he could have orange juice because I didn’t buy any this week. He was just deliberately being a pain in the ass.

So I lost my temper and started shouting. He refused to eat his lunch so I told him no iPad until next friday (which is really self-sabotage if you ask me) if he didn’t sit down and eat his pasta. After a spectacular hissy fit he ate his lunch, drank the juice and five minutes later he’d forgotten all about it.

But it leaves me feeling horrible that I can’t navigate situations like this without resorting to shouting. I will go to bed tonight and rehash the day like I do every evening and I’ll feel guilty about the way I shouted and promise myself next time I’ll take deep breaths and deal with it like a mature forty year old woman without the need to sound like a banshee. But it won’t happen because it never does.

I worry about it. I have visions of my kids sitting in a therapists room some day saying “My Mum? Well she can’t actually speak because her vocal cords exploded when I was nine because my brother wouldn’t drink his apple juice”.

Are you a shouty Mum? If you aren’t, how do you do that?

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