It is with a smile on my lips that I write today's post. As of yesterday, I have managed to go 30 days without raising my voice or yelling at Gy! How has this month changed me or my relationship with my daughter? In far more ways than I could have imagined.
While growing up, there was this concept that I identified with a good deal and that was this:
Change can only begin from within
In other words, I cannot expect the world to change to suit my needs, but I can change my perspective to make the world a more agreeable place. Taking the entire experience of my week of yelling less
into account, there were aspects of my personality that simply had to change. Here are five things I have taken away from this month of loving more and keeping it together.
Be the change:
What was surprising to me was that, although I had resolved not to yell many, many times in the past, it wasn't until I took on this challenge, set myself a goal and publicly proclaimed it, that I consciously controlled the impulse to yell. Almost magically, I could sense the change that was taking over. More than ever, I understood that change does come from within.
So, if you find yourself talking to others, asking about yelling less and still not completing a challenge, fear not. Just re-start. Pick yourself up, dust it off and plunge in again. Proclaim it to a group of friends, rope in another person to do it with you, share your daily triumphs and even your tears. The first time, I managed 22 days before I snapped. And, here I am on day 31,hoping this will go on a lot longer than before.
All books, blogs and articles on positive parenting speak invariably about the way to be a better parent. I feel that we need to become a better person and the one way that we can manage that is to love- love completely, unconditionally, without judgement and without inhibition. And who better to start loving than the beings that make our days better?
The other day, Gy needed to learn something to speak about in class. While she managed to get the basic premise, she kept fumbling over her words and losing patience. Ordinarily, I would have sternly ordered her to concentrate and not let her mind wander. That day, the seed of loving more was being planted in my mind and I gently told her that she could do it. She stomped out of the room and I did not follow her. After ten minutes, she returned, looked at me and said she wanted to try again. I exaggerated my pleasure and clapped loudly, saying she was a brave girl for trying again. That was enough to make her smile and attempt many more times!
The 'yelling less' challenge, quite literally, helped me to stop raising my voice, even though every fibre of my being wanted to scream when things got out of hand.
So, instead of shouting, I started checking myself that split second before the yell erupted.
The mind tried to knowingly suppress the need to shout.
Almost like magic, similar to those positive reinforcement ideas you read about, the yell turned into a normal voice.
You do realise that you tend to yell when the channel seems to flow from above to below. Any time you get into a relationship where one person is superior to another, the tendency to control the 'weaker' one, order her around and make yourself feared, starts rearing its head.
A child is far more intelligent than we normally give them credit. These days, I talk things over with her, help her to express what she is feeling and try to treat her like an equal, rather than a parent who sternly orders her to do it just because I said so.
Don't get me wrong: they ARE children and will need to be told when they are doing something wrong; but the way they are told matters infinitely more than the reprimand itself.
Be a friend:
This is probably the best thing that I took away from the triumphant month!
Our secret giggles over the slightest thing have increased manifold.
We join forces more often now against the common 'rival'- her dad! ;)
We always, always hold hands when walking to the bus stop every morning.
We laugh uncontrollably over our crazy antics at home.
We are best friends for now, and in my heart of hearts, I wish we stay that way forever and ever.