Yell At Them!
Linda Wechter-Ashkin PhD NCSP BC-TMHC ADHD CCSP
As much as I loved the years when my kids were both under my roof, there were days that were challenging. Dave worked really long hours so most of the parenting was my responsibility. For the most part that was fine with me but sometimes I really just needed a little back-up. Dave’s style of parenting was to ignore everything possible and hope it went away. Mine was a little more hands-on. Occasionally I would go find Dave somewhere in the house where he was hiding and scream, “Go yell at them!” He wouldn’t ask why he would just find the victim and yell. He had no idea why he was yelling but it’s what he had to do. When they got a little older, they would stop and ask him why he was yelling, resulting in comments like you know what you did. Luckily, we had two pretty much automatic pilot kids, but that’s not the case for many parents. They are challenged every day and it can seem too much. Many of these parents are parenting alone so there isn’t even a second yeller to rely on. If that’s you reach out to friends, call out to family, seek out professionals to guide you. So many people talk about the terrible twos but the terrible 12’s is a much bigger deal. Whatever you do don’t give up, get the support you need. You need a bath while a babysitter takes the kids to the park, you need tools to make parenting easier no matter what behaviors your child has, and you need to know you are not alone and you are doing the best you can.
As a parent it is so easy to get overwhelmed by the weight of your role. When Alex was a baby every night, he would start screaming at 5 and wouldn’t stop until 7. I would feel like a horrible mom and like I was losing my mind because nothing I did consoled him. One day I couldn’t take it anymore and I just walked outside, found a neighbor, and handed him to her, while I cried my eyes out, feeling like such a failure. First, she calmed Alex down. He had colic but he also was feeling my distress. Then she laid him on a blanket on the floor of her home and he fell asleep. And then she held me and whispered in my ear, you are a really good mom, and you are never alone. I will never forget how it felt to be loved and accepted when I was at my lowest. You are a good mom. You are doing your best. God has entrusted you with his child so he must know you are up for the task. Lean on the people he puts in your life, but most importantly lean on him. I pray that you will make time to be still and listen to the words of God. I love you; I trust you, you are enough.