Yelling less- My one- week challenge! Day # 1

In less than a week, my darling daughter will turn 7. This past year has been memorable for many things, but I will save all of that for another post. This one is about how I found myself yelling at her more and more :(

The triggers  are silent, deadly and are rarely seen: a long time to finish eating, the constant need to talk while doing EVERYTHING, never putting toys back in their place...you get the drift. I am a bit annoying (okay, VERY annoying) when it comes to schedules and cleanliness. My house isn't spotless, mind you, but I need things in their places. I hate rushing around looking for stuff at the last minute. Probably the way I am wired.

My daughter is what I would describe as a free spirit. She likes to do things at her pace, in her own way. For most of the time, I believed that I let her do that. But, examining a typical day, I noticed how many times I used the words, 'No' and 'Don't' when she asked something. That must be so frustrating to hear!

Things really came to  a head a couple of days ago, when I completely lost my temper and yelled at her for being irresponsible, careless and useless! :( Yes, I said those things to a 6-year-old. The cooling down period after that outburst left me shaken and subdued. I realised I needed help. Thanks to a couple of friends('A' who blogs here and 'V'), I turned to two great sources: The Orange Rhino challenge and an e-book version of this book.

Day 1:

I started with the simplest of rules:

 Listen carefully and with complete attention

It is very tempting to keep reading that book or complete reading that interesting article on your laptop, when the child is in a mood to jabber.

Today, I decided I would physically turn myself away from whatever I was doing and focus on what she had to say. It wasn't easy, mind you. But I did it! I looked into her eyes each time, as she glowingly told me about the star she had received for neat handwriting that day ( for about the fifteenth time :) It was amazing how calm I stayed during the repeated statement :):)

Acknowledge her statements with a nod/ a look

She was finishing her glass of milk. As she came down to the last quarter of the milk, she started whining, 'I can't have any more. I am too full.'  

Ordinarily, I would have glared at her, asked her to stop whining and finish the milk without fussing. 

Today, I just looked at her with a smile and said, 'Oh?'

She repeated the statement. I responded with , ' I see.'

She said it a third time, but with far less conviction. I merely looked at her, still smiling.
Then I asked her, ' Do you feel well enough to finish it?' She said, 'Okay, I can do that. I feel fine.'

And just like that, the milk disappeared into her system! And all without raising my voice or even an eyebrow!

Wish me luck as I undertake this challenge! Daily updates will follow (I hope) :)

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Read more on my weekly challenge here:
Day # 2/ Day # 3/Day # 4/ Days 5,6 & 7
You can read all about my 'Yelling Less' journey under this tab.

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