Thursday, February 10, 2011

Concluding Thoughts on 30 Day Challenge of No Yelling

Just to recap, my 30 day challenge was not to yell.  If you look at simple math, you could say I wasn't successful.  I had moments of frustration when I could just not clap my hand over my mouth fast enough before the yell escaped.  But just because I had moments of failure, the overall challenge turned out to be a success for several reasons:

{1} It made me more cognizant of my parenting.  Knowing that I had a challenge to fulfill made me plan ahead as to what I could do instead of yelling.  In it's place:

  • Walk over to my children, bend down at eye level, and speak to them in a normal tone.  Many times if they were fighting with each other, just my physical proximity helped to neutralize the war zone a little bit.
  • Flat out tell them:  I am feeling really angry/frustrated/sad right now.  I need to take a break for a minute and walk away so that I will make good choices with my words.
  • Be pre-emptive.  There are so many examples that I could use here, but for me this meant that I needed to build in time to let my children go at their own pace.  Rushing around trying to get things done or get out the door by X time just made our house a breeding ground for frustration.  In many cases, this meant I had to manage our activities a bit better and even cut some out so that my kids (and me!) wouldn't be overtired or overstimulated.
{2} I've become more intentional in my parenting.  I've spent the last few weeks analyzing how my kids feel loved.  I've been reading Gary Chapman and Ross Campbells' book, The Five Love Languages of Children.  Basically, the premise is the same as Chapman's other book for couples, The Five Love Languages.  Essentially, everyone gives and receives love in very specific ways.  It is common that you give love in the same manner that you receive love (or feel loved).  For example, if quality time is my love language, I will show love to my husband by spending quality time with him.  However, his love language might be words of affirmation.  Since that doesn't necessarily feed me, I might not even think about regularly using my words to show him love.  (I really hope that makes sense.)

Right now, I've been focusing on my oldest daughter (she's 6 1/2) because she seems to crave my intentionality.  I think I've discerned that her primary love language is physical touch, so I have made a concerted effort to give her lots of hugs and kisses, but also, when I'm walking by, to tussle her hair, or to pat her leg during dinner.  I think her secondary way of receiving love might be words of affirmation, as evidence by her "love letter" to me.  I responded on the bottom, handed it back to her, and if I could have bottled that reaction, I would have saved it for life.
Just FYI, the 5 love languages are physical touch, words of affirmation, receiving gifts, quality time, and acts of service.  These are described in-depth in both of the books mentioned above.

Linking up with Erin at It's Grace for Mama's Heart.  Do you have something on your Mama heart?  Please share!

13 comments :

  1. Jen, this is so good, years ago when I could not connect with my son, ALWAYS tention (he was like five years old at that time) I read the 5 love languages and had learned that his was 'quality time' I was constantly praying the Lord would change him (isn't that sad?) and as I was standing over my sink cleaning the dishes I was looking outside my window watching him play and the Lord spoke to my spirit and said, "You are the one that needs changing, now put down those dishes and go play with him" I did, I cannot tell you the change over him. CANNOT tell you! This no yelling thing? I have been on it with you. Maybe not so successful as you at times but I am with you. Improvement? Yes. Have a great day Momma. (oh, just a side note, I linked up on Tuesday and I think somehow it got on the wrong order on my blog, I changed it, I'm not very computer savy :( )

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  2. I feel stupid weepy over this post...cuz I totally blew it getting the kids out the door to a Dr's appt this morning...feeling upset with myself. This holds so much "good stuff" for me...thank you!

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  3. Jen, your intentionality will pay off in big dividents. Being perfect is not our goal. Good job. I can't remember if I already told you this . . . my all time favorite parenting book for parenting younger kids is . . . How to Really Love Your Children by Ross Campbell. It has very practical tips and getting down on their eye level is one of them.

    Go, mamma Jen.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

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  4. Love it! I've found that when we pour love into the areas the kids really need it and crave it, they feel loved. When we aren't connecting in love, there's a void.

    I also struggle with raising my voice-especially with Grace. I've been trying very hard lately to use a calm voice at all times. I find the kids are listening better.

    This was full of great ideas. I need to get my Five Love Languages for Kids book out. Thanks for sharing your heart and for linking up :)

    Erin

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  5. I'm so glad I came across your blog after stumbling on Its Grace. I wrote on Bobbi's blog, too. I just needed some positiveness today and your 30 day challenge sounds like something I should take on. I don't want to be a yelling Mommy, but I am. I do think I will be back to read more posts! Thank you!

    Tricia
    http://momistheonlygirl.blogspot.com

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  6. I have found this to be helpful...cutting things out. I have been in this ... I don't know... phase of really seeking what we as a family need to be doing and not doing.
    Your right ... it is helpful and it does lessen the frustration.
    "Love" the love languages also...our children are each different and do need different things that speaks to their hearts...good stuff Jen:)
    xo

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  7. The love languages are invaluable! I just commented on Angel's post about them.
    They are so helpful in helping us love others, especially our dear ones!

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  8. I love all of this...so, so solid and it seems like some of the things I need to look at right away as my three year-old seems to be causing my voice to rise through testing limits more than he has in the past...and my 30 day was with frustration with my hubby which is our deepest issue--the way he triggers (passive, laid-back) and how I respond in frustration. We laid out an action plan with our overseas evaluator and you give me a great head start on all of it!

    thanks friend...and you are a precious mama...xo

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  9. Sounds to me like this was 30 days well spent and a whole lot was learned outside the challenge. Sunshine and lollipops to you!

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  10. You are SO on the right track, Jen! I often struggled with yelling when my two were little. And with one, it continued through most of his teens. BUT, I was trying and they knew it. They're both out of the nest now, and I still have close, warm relationships with both of them.

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  11. No yelling, i can totally relate. I am a yeller too. More reformed now then I was, but when the kids were younger, it was just so hard for me...stressful really. Somedays I thought i would lose my mind! BUT...looking back on that time, I promise you that you won't remember the yelling. You'll remember the sweet notes and moments engraved on your soul. God is so gentle with us and His grace allows us to cling to the beautiful things of the past. Also, I can promise you that you are not screwing up your kids when you yell. His amazing GRACE can even fix that. love to you friend!

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  12. I agree with Glenda - your intentionality will pay off! :) Enjoyed reading this.

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  13. This is so awesome! Knowing the different love languages of my 7 children is a huge help in knowing how to parent them well.
    Another parenting book you'll probably love is called, "How To Really Love Your Child" by Ross Campbell. It is older, but chock-full of eye-opening wisdom & ideas.
    Blessings -
    Teri @ www.StumblingAroundInTheLight.com

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