Parenting Skills


I’ve been thinking a lot lately about parenting skills.

The ones I have…  The ones I don’t have… or think I don’t have…

The ones others do or don’t have.

Boy, do I have a headache from all of that!

What prompted this?  You mean besides the never-ending conversation that goes through my head (and surely most parent’s heads)…  Am I doing the right things with my son?  Does he know that I love him?  Is he happy?  Does he have everything he needs?  Does he eat healthy enough?  Am I sending him into therapy later because of my actions…  and a million more actually…

Confession time (those that know me already know this though) – I have a temper.  I yell.  One good thing though, when I am over it, I’m over it.  I don’t bring it up again, I get it all out and I’m done.

I have a few friends that probably still to this day ‘can handle it’, but they don’t get it.  They are quiet and keep a lot inside.  I just don’t ever do that.  My husband (and yes, I’m aware I’m supposed to minimize what I write about him in the blog, but…) he doesn’t yell.  Well he does, but I have to really push him to it and even then it is not a lot.  Me on the other hand, the neighbors 3 houses down can hear me. #justsaying #notproudofit

What’s the point of sharing that completely unflattering personality trait of mine?  To kind of explain what happened this week.  Let me preface though by stating that over the last year, I have worked extra hard to curb my yelling.  doing the walking away thing, the breathing, etc… and it has been working… I am A LOT better… but still…

The other morning, I woke up my son as usual, asked him what he wanted for breakfast, came down stairs and made it. (Toasted Peanut Butter and Jelly) Put it on the table.

He comes into the kitchen and starts whining and crying because he wanted what he asked for.  I tell him to go sit down at the dining room table.  I figured when he gets in there, he’ll see I made him what he asked for and he will be happy and eat.

Silence.

I gather up my very healthy English muffin (which is what made him start crying when he saw it) and go into the dining room.

He had taken his plate and slid it across the table.  He starts whining and crying again.

I pick up the plate, go into the kitchen and tell him that he can just have a breakfast bar.  He says he will throw it away.

I lost it.

I start yelling.  He starts crying.  I tell him that I made him what he asked for and he threw it across the table, so he can go without breakfast.

Now he wants it.  He starts crying more…  I yell more…

He says in between gulping breaths “You hurt my feelings, You hurt my heart”

I pause, steel myself to keep from crying and throwing up and die a little in my own heart.

I calm down.

Then we have a 5 minute discussion about the fact that I made him what he asked for and he disrespected me by not even looking and then acting so badly.

I tell him that he hurt my feelings and my heart too.  He apologizes.  I apologize.

Now let’s move on to some good parenting… I think…. 🙂

WOW..  So I take him to school and then go to karate class, where the instructor works ALL of the energy out of me. WHEW.

Then yesterday, his school (he is in pre-kindergarten) had a field trip.  I took forever to sign the permission slip.  Am I just weird?  Freaks me out to think of him going off of the school grounds.  I am not sure when I am going to ever stop feeling like that… if I ever do…  So I reached a compromise… I let him go, he could ride on the bus…  but I signed up to chaperon the event and would follow the bus.  Closely. Seriously.  I ask again, am I crazy?  Don’t answer that! 🙂

When we got there, I was in charge of my son (of course) and another child…  We had a spectacular time!  Though note to self… when you have to hold 2 little boy’s hands, leave your purse in the car…  lesson learned.

They didn’t plan the timing very well… when snack time came around, we were way out and in the middle of something…  kids started complaining!  My son said, “Ugh, I’m out of energy, I’m empty” and the other little boy said, “I’m hungry, where is my snack.”

Ummmm…

Luckily, I had put my son’s snack in my purse (maybe not such a bad thing that I was awkward carrying it now).  I pulled out the Cheese-its and they shared… (and a few other kids came running over too).  Then we tracked back to the bus to get the packed snacks and for about 15 minutes the kids were all quiet!  Maybe they did time that right after all?

So now I’ve covered one of my bad parenting skills (yelling) and one of my good ones (being prepared)…  The questions still flow through my head all the time… but I am learning to find the answers…  Seeing what I am doing wrong, and what I am doing right…. and hopefully I will fill up the ‘I rock’ side soon and leave the ‘I suck’ side lonely… 🙂

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9 Responses to “Parenting Skills”

  1. Anj Says:

    You sound like me! #thatisall 🙂

    • randomshelly Says:

      I take that as a compliment! 🙂

  2. themarketingmark Says:

    So this is what I have to look forward to? Oy.

    • randomshelly Says:

      Unfortunately – all kids go through most of this stuff… Just breathe through it! 🙂

      I tell you that first ‘I hate you’ just takes the wind out of your lungs… I thought it wouldn’t happen until maybe 8-12… but oh no – I got it at 4! Though, now we he doesn’t ever say it anymore! We discussed how much that hurt my feelings and he actually understands (and cares) about that! 🙂

  3. Sally G. Says:

    Where to begin? Shelly – you are exactly the Mom your son needs, no one could ever love him more ~ and in return, he is providing (and will continue to provide) endless opportunities for your own self-healing.

    You are not yelling because you’re a bad parent – you’re yelling because it’s a learned coping mechanism for a wound, a hurt, a pain that knows no other voice yet. Yet.

    My girls are 18 months apart in age – as they got into Toddler and Preschool stages, it was what I imagine having Twins would be like. I did my very best to be the Parent I really wanted them to have … and often fell short.

    I spent more hours than I care to remember feeling ashamed of myself and loathing words and actions that I knew hurt more than lifted. One night, I was journalling about this – and I asked, “Why do I behave this way when it’s against everything I know to be right?” The answer that whispered from inside me stopped me dead.

    “You are trying to be heard. You’ve always only wanted to be heard. When you realize that what you have to say is worthy of hearing, you’ll find better methods than yelling.”

    Here’s what I realized ~ when I’d resort to yelling, the people I’m really yelling at are not even in the near vicinity. I was yelling at my own parents who disrespected my voice. I was yelling at teachers who misinterpreted and invalidated my voice. I was yelling at relationships who’d betrayed, misunderstood and abandoned my voice. But seldom, if ever, was I responding to what had just happened in that moment. All they had done, was trigger an old hurt, an old wound, an old pain.

    Children are our greatest conduits to healing if we allow them to be Shelly. When you can, look past the event before you to what it might instead have triggered ~ it is THAT you are yelling at.

    For instance, when in your life did you go out of your way to please somebody ~ only to have the action completely invalidated?

    Much love xxx

    • randomshelly Says:

      Wow Sally, you made me cry! For completely good reasons. I love what was ‘whispered’ back to you from inside you… I think I have been drowning out that whisper because I keep asking myself the question “WTH are you doing Shelly” and I think you just gave me the answer…

      Thank you – Love, love, love you 🙂 XOXO

      • Sally G. Says:

        YOU gave you the answer ~ I simply asked the question in an atmosphere that bolstered your courage to consider it. Keep striding towards your greatness – one karate high kick at a time!

  4. Anthony Anderson Says:

    i am going through something similar right now. my 6 year old whines and pouts about things. whenever he starts to pout i tell him to stop immediately or he will go to his room (or some other quiet, isolated place if we are out). if he continues he goes to his room and sits on his bed until he’s done. when we first started he would be there for an hour at a time. now he’s in there for 10 or 15 minutes. it does not matter what he’s doing; eating, playing, drawing. he will go to his room until he’s done pouting. i tell him that he can come out when he’s ready to use his big boy behavior. i also encourage him to use his words and communicate his problems. you could have some sort of positive reward. perhaps something like if he can go 3 days without whining he can get a small toy or even a dollar! i would also suggest with 5 other kids (and one on the way!) that he’s feeling marginalized. maybe you could set aside a day for him during the week when he gets to help with meals, pick the games played or even go out with you or your partner alone. you could also set aside some individual time for him at some point in the day (story before bed, helping out in the garden). i would also suggest giving him responsibility around the house. if he is treated like a big boy and expected to act like a big boy he may adjust his behavior. my little man cleans his room, helps set and clear the table as well as dusts.

  5. shelly Says:

    First of all – I have to tell you – I got the email with your post – and when I went to reply, I couldn’t find it – I had almost forgotten that I left this site out there – I think I need to have it re-directed… anyway – I moved all my posts over to randomshelly.com just FYI…

    As for this comment though… 6 kids??? wow. I just have the one and i’m exhaisted! 🙂 What you are doing for your son is good and over the last 3 years – my son is 7 now – we have found ways to curb all fo this behavior – we still miss the mark at times – but I have really curbed my yelling (which if I yell, he reminds me that I’m yelling).

    I have learned that with my son – I have to give him a second to get his thought out and then he will listen to me. Things are so much better and of course as with everyone – other issues pop up!

    We do not have him doing chores – but we’ve all been talking about it (and allowance) so we will be doing that soon!!

    Thanks for your comments and thoughts! Good luck with the new addition 🙂


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