Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tips on How to Manage Yelling at Your Child

Anti Yelling Tips

Try a little humor. Think of the funniest thing you can imagine and begin to laugh hysterically. You will be amazed how your urge to yell is dissipated.

Sing. Even though you really want to begin screaming, start singing, and choose a song that really annoys your child. Sing it as loud as you can emphasizing the words you know your kid hates.

Try the Claire Huxtable Method: Start counting while taking deep breaths and tapping your fingers on the counter or your feet on the floor. As the numbers get higher, you place more emphasis on them and get louder.

Get a little fresh air. If you have little ones, make sure they are visible from your porch or screen door and are safe before leaving a room. Step outside and take several deep breaths. This will give you an opportunity to clear your mind, take a well needed break and rethink the current situation and how you will respond.

If you can't beat them, join in. When my daugher was 4 yrs old she threw a tantrum in the local Target because I wouldn't buy her a toy. I proceeded to fling my arms around in the air, fall to the floor and join her in screaming and crying like a baby. She quickly got to her feet and BEGGED me to stop. Other moms around me began to applaud, but my husband was no where to be found.

Talk in a soft, quiet voice. As you feel yourself getting angrier, begin to talk through your teeth and slowly lower your voice. This will cause your child to come closer and really pay attention to what you are saying.

Invoke a 3 strike rule: The first strike is informing the child of what they have done wrong and what needs to be done for correction. The second strike is to confirm that they understand what you are requesting and the need for action. The third strike carries a consequence that you clearly state and MUST implement if what you have asked is not done. Example: If you don't clean your room, you will not go to the birthday party.

Get up close and personal. If you are ready to yell and your child is not listening, get really close to them, place your forehead on theirs with your hands on their shoulders, look them dead in the eye and without screaming, tell them what you have to say.

Take a little "me" time. When you have had just about all you can take and there is another adult in the house or the child is old enough to be left alone for a few minutes, grab the car keys, a snack and go sit in the car with the doors locked and the radio tuned to your favorite station. Enjoy the break and clear your head, works every time!

Create and Anti-Yelling Jar. Sit down with your child(ren) and come up with an amount that is reasonable for the parents and children to contribute every time someone yells. For example, if a parent yells, you may contribute a quarter and if a child yells he/she may contribute a dime. At the end of the month, count your contributions, keep a tally and deposit in a savings account. As the months go by and the money gets less, celebrate with a movie night or dinner at your favorite family restaurant.

Have a daily reminder-- Put a note on the bathroom mirror or refrigerator reminding you not to yell. It won't always be easy, but it will be a nice reminder to think before you speak or yell!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Falling in Love Everyday

I know it sounds crazy, but I've finally realized what that feeling is at the end of each day when I've fed my family, learned about their day, tucked them into bed, read a bedtime story and said our prayers; its Love! Not everyone can say they experience this and I understand that, but love is the only way I can describe the way my heart melts when my son holds onto me so tight after we pray and won't let go until I say I love you and give him a big kiss. Or when I say prayers with my daughter and she tells me what a great mom I am because I cook and help her with her homework or she shares with me that her body is changing and wants to know about puberty. I know, it sounds crazy, but to me this is love; having children that aren't afraid to say how they feel and are comfortable talking about anything with their dad and I. How blessed we are to be able to experience true love everyday!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Christmas In July: Is That iPad A Necessity Or A Luxury? [Infographic]

Here is an interesting graphic on evaluating luxury vs. necessity. Don't think about this just in terms of a new pair of shoes or that $6 sandwich, include all aspects of your life: children's activities, family time, vacations, etc. Really makes you think!

Christmas In July: Is That iPad A Necessity Or A Luxury? [Infographic]

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Feeling Like a Kid Again

Just got back from the fireworks at Dwight Morrow High School in Englewood. What a great night it was, I felt like I was a little kid again as I sat and waited for the show to begin. There were hundreds of people, a DJ and all the food and junk you could pay for; my husband even discovered a new BBQ restaurant called Smokey Joe's in Teaneck.

My daughter was crying like a baby at the anticipation of the loud explosions in the sky, but she calmed down once my mother's iPod was cranked on high and blasting in her ears. After a few minutes she even turned around and watched the lights make magic in the sky. My son could care less as he played his new Lego Harry Potter game on his Nintendo DS.

Little children runing and playing; grown ups grooving to funky beats and politicians doing what they do....what is that exactly? All in all it was a great evening and just for a moment, sitting next to my mom watching her eyes light up, I felt like a little kid again!

Enjoy the video

Friday, June 25, 2010

Playing in water sprinklers

It never ceases to amaze me how watching children play or engage in the simplest of activities can relieve the greatest amount of stress and make me forget that there is anything else in the world as important as seeing them laugh and have so much fun.

I wanted to water my lawn before it got too hot this morning so I set the timer on the sprinkler in the back yard, turned on the water and the next thing I know I have two half dressed kids with puppy dog faces standing behind me begging to get a little wet.

"Can we pleessassseee play in the water sprinklers....yeah mommy, can we?"

One dressed in jean shorts and the other in underwear, I couldn't resist. After a quick wardrobe change and a little more water pressure, off they went jumping, standing, screaming, laughing and having an all around good time playing in the water sprinklers.

For the next few minutes I completely forgot what it was I was suppose to be doing and just stood at the patio door with a big smile on my face taking pictures and enjoying the water works fun.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

How do you feel about yelling at children?

When I was growing up yelling was a regular occurrence. Whether it was by our mom, grandmother, aunts, uncles, neighbors or other extended members of the family, it was simply a part of who we were and I never really thought much about it….until I had my own children. It became very evident to me just how much I was yelling when my daughter, three years old at the time, was playing in her room. She had neatly lined up her dollies and stuffed animals on her bed and was having a tea party. As I stood off to the side in the doorway of her bedroom, I began to smile at how nicely she was setting up for her party and how adorable she looked, just like the picture of the children you see playing in the Pottery Barn or Restoration Hardware magazines for kids. Just as I began rubbing my pregnant belly and thinking what a great big sister she is going to be, I heard her belt out in a tone all too familiar, “Teddy stop being naughty or you’re going to get time out! DOLLLYYYY don’t touch that cup it’s very hot and you could get burned.” While the discipline of the guests at the tea party lasted only a few seconds, the weight of the tone in my daughter’s voice kept replaying in my mind for days after.

Not too long after that incident I gave birth to my son. Seeing the two of my children together and remembering the scene from my daughter’s room, I made a silent promise that I would minimize and ultimately eliminate the amount of yelling in my home. While I was successful in having a more calm tone in my daily conversations with my husband and children, when it came to them misbehaving (my children, not my husband although he misbehaved at times as well) or my response to their naughty actions, yelling was ultimately my initial response (along with the wagging forefinger and squinted eyes).
By the time my daughter was six and my son was three, they had developed the typical brother and sister love-dislike relationship. When they were getting along it usually meant that some mischievous behavior was going to ensue as was historically the case so it was no surprise one afternoon when my husband and I heard a loud crash in our dining room. As I raced down the stairs and my husband leaped from the couch, our first thoughts were with regard to the safety of the kids. As the fear dissipated and the realization set in that both children were ok, my focus shifted to the cause of the loud crash. The full picture was now laid out in front of me; my three year old son had been pulling feverishly on a jacket placed on a hook that was suspended beneath a curio that held a collection of glass, wooden and brass elephants (Yes, I am a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.). When he realized that he was too short to get his jacket on his own, he enlisted the assistance of his older sister who proceeded to give the coat a good ole fashion YANK…the rest is history.

Well, the look on my face must have implied that I was going to win the World Championship Yelling Award because my six year old daughter had tears in her eyes and my three year old son was using his older sister as a shield, peeking out just enough so that I could see the white of his little eyes. Before I could even open my mouth to belt out the first of what would have inevitably been a series of very loud words strewn together in typical mommy lingo, my daughter looked up at me and apologetically said, “Mommy, Please Don’t Yell at We…”(Yes, this is the inspiration and title of my new book) my son then chimed in with, “…her didn’t mean to do it”. Something about those words stuck with me and even though I haven’t mastered the art of not yelling at all, I no longer yell all the time. I’ve learned what situations trigger the yelling and by recognizing when those situations arise, I am able to do what I try to teach my children every day and that is to have SELF CONTROL!

So, this blog is an opportunity for you to share your thoughts and experiences on yelling and the impact it had on you as a child, your children and/or children you know. Some of your comments and stories will be shared in upcoming workshops and seminars where I will be speaking about my book and the impact of yelling at our children.

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