Tuesday, March 15, 2011


Confession: I've done too much yelling today.

My 2-year old niece and my 4-year old son spent much of the morning arguing with each other--wanting what the other had, telling the other to do/not do something, being in each other's personal space a little too much.

The thing is, when I find myself getting to the point of yelling--or even just upset--it's because of me, not them. I get to that point when I don't respond immediately. And that's not always easy to do when I'm in the midst of preparing lunch or cleaning or working on something else or feeding my 9-month old nephew. But if I take the time and deal with appropriate consequences immediately, I don't get to the point of yelling. When the kids start arguing with each other I should immediately put them in separate chairs until they're ready to play nicely together or play separately from each other.

When I'm getting to the point of being frustrated or angry, it's usually because I haven't stepped in right away and given the kids appropriate consequences for their actions. Sure, it's easier to turn a blind eye or keep working on my project, but often things escalate and I find myself getting upset.

I am the adult. I am in control. Or I should be--I need to be. When I am in control of the activities in my house, my emotions are in control. That doesn't mean being an overlord (like the father in the Von Trapp family who had a lot of order in his house, but little relationship with his kids until Maria came along). The kids have freedom, but they also have boundaries. And so do I. And that makes us all happy. Most of the time, at least.

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