Still Screaming and Pretty Much Addicted

Well, I’m still screaming and pretty much addicted. I must be because no matter what I do, I can’t stop. I CAN’T STOP YELLING AT MY KIDS!!

No matter how much I want to.

I started the Orange Rhino Challenge back in April – a challenge that I was able to succeed at very briefly. (You can read about that here.) I lasted a few weeks without shouting at my boys.

Then summer vacation struck.

That’s when I stopped listing how many days I was “yell-free” on the bottom of my blog. I was ashamed to admit I can’t quit. I’m not “yell-free.”

The more time I spent with my boys the harder it was to keep from screaming. The more time I spent with them the more tired I was which led to more screaming. The more time I spent with them the more messy my house was which led to more screaming.


Tuesday night I lost it yet again. Apparently my boys lost their hearing the night before because no matter how many times I asked them to do something on Tuesday they couldn’t hear me.

More like they wouldn’t hear me.

They wouldn’t stay near me by the pond when I took them fishing. They wouldn’t keep in my sight when I took them to the train museum. And they especially wouldn’t keep away from the hose and waterspout when they were out playing in the back yard.

All things they had been asked nicely to do. More than once.

It’s not like I was asking them to clean their room or empty the dishwasher. I was asking them to listen and obey me while we tried to jam a few more fun activities into our last week of summer.

Right before bedtime I asked them to go to the bathroom and get ready to hop in the tub. I walked in a few minutes later to find them pinching vitamin E tablets with a set of heavy-duty pliers, then dumping them into my plugged bathroom sink.

That was the straw that broke this camel’s back.

I snapped. Again. My voice transformed into demon-mommy tone as I shouted for them to head to their room and hop into bed. That’s when my oldest wouldn’t stop shouting that he wanted to bath.

Over, and over, he kept shouting at me.

Tough. Luck. Buddy.

I spanked his bum, put him in bed and left the room without cracking the bedroom door like I usually do.

My 5-year-old was sobbing. He was scared to death, which made me feel really bad.

After a few minutes my oldest came out with red, wet eyes and apologized. I went in their room and told them that we all needed to start treating one another better. I told them that they needed to show me some respect.

But I doubt that will happen. They think they can walk all over me. They think that if I tell them to stop doing something they don’t have to listen, until I scream.

How can I break this scream, feel like crap, apologize, never-ending cycle?

How do other people get their kids to listen?

Maybe I should read some books written by experts. Maybe I should see a shrink. Maybe my kids should start listening.

I know I need to start enforcing more consequences when they don’t listen. I need to make sure that I follow through with my threats. They need to know that I mean business.

I know I need to get more sleep at night so I’m not always a zombie mom walking around on edge.

I know I need to take a chill pill sometimes and realize that kids are kids and that they aren’t going to listen to EVERYTHING I say.

If I can do these things I might not be able to eliminate yelling completely from my life, but I may be able to minimize it. And in doing that I may be able to minimize the guilt I feel after screaming at one of my sons.

I love them. I really don’t want to shout at them.

I might not be able to completely kick my habit, but I can try not to be quite such a yelloholic.

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tiffany J
    Aug 15, 2013 @ 10:39:36

    I hear ya! I yell so much, and hate myself for it. First, I went on meds because I know mine was partly post-partum-totally irrational anger. The meds helped and I got back to the normal “my kids won’t listen until I yell” setting. I still didn’t like it much.
    He started telling me he didn’t like it when I used my “mean voice.” So I told him I would try and do better. Now I tell him “Mommy has told you twice nicely to do (fill in the blank). If you don’t listen, I am going to have to use my mean voice.”
    Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. But I figured I’d share the only thing that has made me feel just a tiny bit better. Sometimes, I think he can tell that I am trying *very* hard to hold it together, and that in itself can be intimidating enough. Lol!


    • Natalie
      Aug 15, 2013 @ 12:03:18

      Thanks Tiffany! Maybe I should try warning my kids when I am about to lose it. I bet it will work sometimes. Sometimes they will probably just look at me and shrug 🙂

      I may not be able to stop screaming completely but I’ve got to keep trying. I don’t want to hate myself anymore either.

      I’m game for trying anything!


  2. Michelle Smith
    Aug 15, 2013 @ 10:59:15

    I love how honest you are Nat. Good luck!


  3. Amanda Stringham
    Aug 15, 2013 @ 11:00:41

    Oh, Natalie! You are so not alone!! Here’s my two cents on the whole thing: as soon as school starts up again, things will change DRAMATICALLY. By the end of the summer, we’ve all had way too much “togetherness” without much of a break for any individuality. School offers that break for the kids to go back to being more autonomous–their own schedule, their own friends, their own life. Mark my words–you will see a difference! I also very much advocate the Love and Logic methods. Not only do I use it with my own kids, but our school uses it as a behavior model as well, and it’s impressive to see kids take responsibility without escalation in most cases. Hang in there. You’re a great mom, and it takes a lot of work to change, so don’t devalue the success you’ve already had.


    • Natalie
      Aug 15, 2013 @ 11:59:45

      Amanda I LOVE what you said. I have been dreading the first day of school, but I think it will be good for us all. I feel like I don’t ever have a moment to breathe these days. I’m exhausted, which adds to my impatience. Once school starts I am going to check out Parenting with Love and Logic. Hopefully I’ll be able to learn a ton from that. Thanks for your love and support 🙂


  4. jac
    Aug 17, 2013 @ 17:09:22

    My husband is a family therapist. I always giggle when he has been home from work for maybe twenty minutes before he yells at the kids. He’s a professional after all! Sometimes I make it to noon, sometimes I make it all day. My kids will tell you that I don’t yell, but I think it’s because they don’t hear anything I say at any volume 🙂


    • Natalie
      Aug 22, 2013 @ 07:30:34

      Maybe I need to come see your husband for help Jackie! I seriously wish I had the same ignoring skills as my children. I’d be able to do a lot more reading, sewing, etc. 🙂


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