For the past several days and a few more to come my husband has been away on business. I am normally not a yeller. I mean I occasionally yell "kids time for supper", or "what did you say", or "stop fighting" the later if I am not in the room. But yesterday I was trying to cook supper for my three children. My youngest was on the floor, emptying my cupboard (and crying), the middle one was screaming "I'm hungry I want a snack" over and over and over and over, and my eldest was yelling "I want a drink" over and over and over. Needless to say after a few days of single parenting I think I had reached my brink, they were driving me NUTS. I was trying to cook a nutritious and delicious dinner for my children, who by the way had been fighting with each other and doing things they know they are not supposed to be doing for the past 2 hours since they had gotten home from school. The yelling and screaming from the three of them in our small kitchen was the last straw... I yelled - "STOP IT"!!! Literally at the top of my lungs. As I mentioned above this is not my normal parenting style. I would normally talk them through it, explain why they couldn't have a snack, give my son a glass of water and pick up the crying one... but no, these tools did not seem to be working! The sad part about my outburst was that it worked. They were angels for the rest of the evening. For anyone with three children it is rare to have all three be angels for more than an hour especially when they are all 6 and under!!! They went to another room and played nicely together, they sat at the table and not only were quiet during dinner but they ate it all, brushing teeth and getting ready for bed and actually falling asleep was a dream!
Here I ask the question, the style of parenting that I don't normally use - the yelling part - worked! Is this because it is only reserved for the rare occasion when it is absolutely needed? Or was it a coincidence. Did my three babies sense that with the outburst that mommy had, had enough and we better not push it? I don't dare ask... I do know that I don't plan to use that method again for quite sometime. However effective it was it is still not how I want to parent my children. It didn't feel as if I was practicing ahimsa that is for sure - maybe they weren't harmed but I sure felt it!!!