Another confession. I am a screamer. I scream like a toddler and/or a baby. Only I’m not a toddler, and I’m not a baby. I’m in my thirties. Therefore, my screaming is ultra-un-normal. Ahem, abnormal.
Why do I scream? For starters, my children scream, and sometimes–okay, a lot of times–I rationalize that screaming louder than my children will beef up my parental authority. It’s a reflex, knee-jerk, bad on all levels parenting technique.
Photo Credit: ralaenin
It doesn’t work. My children giggle at me and continue on their merry misbehaving ways. Screaming has become ingrained in me, and I don’t like it. I recall one morning, during my quiet time, telling God that I WON’T SCREAM TODAY. (I wrote that in all CAPS in my journal because sometimes you just gotta get your point across to Him.) Soon as I hit the floor, I started screaming.
Can you believe that my prayer didn’t get answered? I couldn’t believe it either. What was I to do?
And use those “I-message” communication techniques I read about in my Early Childhood Education class. Oh yeah, I have two college degrees, but I took some Early Childhood Ed. classes last year to help with my parenting skills. I pulled out the college textbooks for this one.
Praying, hugging and loving on my children are as natural to me as screaming. (Don’t ask me how that makes sense, just accept it.) I-messages are odd. I-messages are assertive. To me, it’s easier to scream than to be assertive.
This is assertive:
“Son, I feel angry when you blatantly ignore me after I asked you to sit at your chair for lunch. Do you know that I was in labor with you for TWENTY FOUR HOURS…UNMEDICATED?”
“Daughter, I feel upset when you howl for your sippy cup instead of asking politely. MY EARDRUMS CAN ONLY TAKE SO MUCH.”
But assertive must be done. Don’t want to be that frazzled mom anymore. Perhaps I can do baby steps. One I-message a day? Oh, and the textbooks say I have to look them in the eye when I say my special I-message. That’s lot of steps to navigate, but I’ll try.
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