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Part One:

My house is wrecked. I have concrete floor instead of carpet, tile, or wood downstairs. And I have a fine, white dust covering my entire downstairs. We had all the tile in the kitchen, pantry and powder room removed yesterday. I *knew* it was going to be ugly, but knowing and then actually experiencing are two different things. I SHOULD have been up til midnight wiping everything down, but with hubby out of town for the night, and a long night at the mall for dinner and new shoe shopping, I was DONE. So, the concrete floor is gritty with dust, my cabinet doors are coated, the stove is covered in dust, the countertops are unuseable, and the carpets are white instead of brown or green. Denise, my house is your nightmare right now!!!! It’s awful. I put in an emergency call to the housecleaner to come out asap and help me clean up this mess! I know the end result will be well worth it, but the mess….oh, the mess!!!!!!! It will be earlyApril before it’s completely done, and then we start on the next project! And did I tell you that the toilet from the powder room is sitting in our courtyard right now? The kids just thought that was the funniest thing ever!

Part Two:

I have a confession to make…..I am a yeller. I try not to be, how I try not to be…..It just never seems to work out. I can’t tell you how many mornings I arrive at work with my throat already dry and scratchy from screeching at the kids to get them out the door and dropped off at their respective childcare spots. Same goes by the time I get them home at night and actually inside the house.

How do I get them to hear me without yelling? They get so lost in their own worlds, especially when they’re doing something they’re not supposed to be doing, that it seems like nothing but yelling works. It’s awful. Everytime it happens, I tell myself I shouldn’t be doing this, shouldn’t be yelling, that they will listen better if I don’t yell…..but then one of them will do something completely ridiculous (see previous blog!) and I’m off again. My husband hates it when I yell. I’m not particularly fond of it.

I made a vow the other day to stop yelling. Note to self….don’t make that vow the day before hubby leaves for two days! It’s like praying for patience…..as soon as you ask for it, you will be tested! As soon as I say I’m not going to yell anymore, off one of them goes again. Ryley and Grace have learned that when I say they’re DONE or I’m DONE, they had better move away, and I put myself on a timeout!!!!!!

So there…..confession done. I’m a yeller. I’m not proud of it. I’m sure I’m not the only one. I worry constantly that the only thing my kids are going to remember when they’re older is that I yelled all the time. YUCK! Any suggestions on grabbing the attention of a 5 year old, 4 year old, and almost-two year old from the across the room or across the yard, without yelling, would be appreciated, or getting them to stop what they’re doing or doing what you’ve asked them 5 times to do or not do, without yelling, would be great too!

10 thoughts on “Two-parter

  1. Donna, I am just catching up on your blog. And read the previous one too. Your kidlets look so … well… innocent and sweet in the pictures. Look! They are even holding hands in the last one. Such big blue eyes … How could they *possibly* be any trouble? Hehehehehe Just teasing! I know kids .. no matter how cute … can be quite a handful!!!! yelling …. I have to correct myself a lot too. Sometimes yelling is ever so much easier … But you are right … Kids typically react better to either infrequent yelling or low and stern voices …. I find that when I yell infrequently, that when I do raise my voice …. the kids *really* listen… They KNOW I’ve been pushed over the edge. It sounds like your house is a construction zone. But I’ll bet it will be beautiful once it is all finished! Hugs! Melissa

  2. First off it would drive me nuts to have my home in shambles too… hopefully it won’t be for too long. Then to the yelling… I come from a long line of yellers and it’s not an easy cycle to break. The thing I’ve notice from watching the kids though… yelling leads to them yelling and then you can’t seem to yell loud enough over everyone else’s volume. What has worked the best for our family is to repeat yourself once in a lower, deeper tone and if that doesn’t do it… it’s time for a face to face. Get down to their level and make them watch you as you talk to them. My nephew this is really effective on. Once we’ve slowed him down it’s a great first step but now we even ask him what a good punishment would be for him (he’s not so smart that he actually tells us something that he doesn’t care to be taken away yet.. lol). He will repeat the rules to us but still break them… which is nuts but we’ve found that loss of privileges is the best punishment for him by far… Also like Melissa says… the infrequent yells mean business and work. You know what is funny. I can tell the kids (I’m like 2nd Mom in my sister’s house because her hubby is gone on the road alot) “You have 10 minutes to get your rooms cleaned up starting NOW” and they rush to it but when my sister asks them the same thing… it takes them all day and they still aren’t done. Maybe get a whistle or a bell and they know that if the bell has rung or whistle blown… Mom means business. LOL. Good luck Donna… hope you find something that works.

  3. Donna…
    I can relate to the potty being outside the bathroom…Jason just had to do some work on the potty and Ryanne was curious as to why this potty was in the front room and not the bathroom…it was funny to see the look on her face.
    I hope the white dust is gone soon and all of your new flooring looks beautiful. I never raised my voice ever….until Jason and I would get into a heated discussion and we are both very firm in our beliefs and that we are right so things would get loud at times…
    We have been together for 10 years now so that rarely happens and we both have tried to be on our best behavior around Ryanne but no one is perfect and she has heard loud voices in the house and the funniest/saddest thing is that she starts talking loud too….
    Your kids are truly lucky to have such a wonderful mom as you!

  4. Donna, First, I’m sorry your house is under construction. The ugliness/messiness of it now is the price we pay for remodeling…and I’m sure in the end it will be worth it. I can imagine the looks on those kids faces with the toilet sitting outside…HILARIOUS!! If walls could talk…..some funny stuff would be heard by them two!! As far as the yelling, I’m guilty. I’ve learned too that Taylor reacts MUCH better when I don’t yell…as now it tends to freak her out cause I’ve learned to *not* do it as much, so when I do…she knows I’m done & she better do it or else!! Although she’s 10, one thing I’ve found works, other than yelling, is taking things away, for that night. The morning is our worst time of day…so while she’s *lollying…see, I have one of those too*…I tell her, *if you don’t get a move on…no TV tonight*…that usually does the trick. Once that’s taken away & she continues lollygaggin’…I continue to the next night!! She’s gotten so much as 3 nights without it for one morning…so she knows I’m serious…and it’s gotten MUCH better!! But like I said…she’s 10..you may need to adjust it for your younguns!! hugs & lotsa patience to you!!
    love ya’

  5. Donna –
    I could have been your emergency housecleaner if I lived close!! We just had our basement walls sanded…..ready for paint….and it was a nightmare. I had Charlie clear the kids out..and I cleaned. Whew. As for the yelling. Prior to the girls…I was a yeller. MAN I was a yeller. In fact – I’d follow Charlie from room to room yelling at him. (I swear..he’d be trying to get away from me.) Don’t get me wrong – he yelled too. But I gave as good as I got.
    Then the girls came – and I really wanted to not be that way. I did, and still do – resort to yelling now and again. (Although mostly at Charlie…go figure.) I wish I could say I had this great moment of clarity…but I didn’t. I literally saw my daughter shrink back…and *change* as Charlie was yelling at her. When it comes to the kids….HE is the yeller – and I tend to be their protector. He is learning (as am I) that they react better when not yelled at. He is working on it….and WE are trying to find different ways to handle things. It isn’t easy. If I find something that really works…I’ll pass it along. Leighton is VERY difficult – and is having a VERY hard time in the listening department. I often feel like I’m raising a child who will be a tyrant that noone wants to come over. I hope I’m wrong…and that *something* we do works.
    Hang in there…and good luck to you. I’m having a hard time with a 3 and 1 year old….I can’t imagine it in your household!! Denise

  6. It’s a vicious cycle isn’t? Once you yell they just learn to tune out the louder version of you. I catch myself in ruts like this with Gav. It takes a few weeks to detox from all the shouting, but it’s worth it. We recently found ourselves in this rut again. With Randy asking the children why he finds himself raising his voice every night when he gets home… we knew we needed something drastic so the kids would listen (mostly gavin) without us having to raise our voices.
    They didn’t listen when I asked them to pick up their scattered toys and dumped toy box. I asked them nicely 3 times. Then, I quietly but with determination, got out garbage bags and packed up every toy in the room – amid their screams and cries – and threw it all away while they watched. They were hysterical. They have obeyed every command we’ve given since then though, and they know I am serious.
    The bags are still in the garage. I haven’t had the heart yet to throw them all away. For lots of reasons, many of which because they are nice toys, many were gifts, and they are worth hundreds and hundreds of dollars. The boys do not realize they are still out there. They think they are gone.
    I cried myself to sleep that night fearing that they will remember me as “the mean mom”, but rationally it’s not my job to be their friend. My job is only to love them and raise them to behave and be responsible.
    They are still very sad about the toys. I have caught both older boys looking for a certain toy then whispering to each other that “…mommy probably threw that one away…”
    Like you, I struggle with making the right choice. We have indulged them, allowed too many toys, too many treats, too many things… to compensate for what they miss in the real world. It was only creating havoc. They still have lots of toys, probably still too many, but none in my living room and when I say “Pick up your toys or suffer the consequences” they are running to “save” their toys.
    Still, I really dislike being the “mean mommy” and I pray I’ll never have to do something like that again.

  7. Donna~ I don’t have a single friend including myself who isnt a yeller. I often wish I worked instead of staying home because I think I would be a better mother when I am with the kids because I would have patience then. I am glad to hear even working moms lose their patience. If you figure out a way to get attention without yelling post it in big bold wording so I don’t miss it.

  8. Donna, Guilty as charged… I’m a yeller….. (I just hung myself out to dry didn’t I—- well, once again… at least I know I won’t be alone—hehehe). I have gotten MUCH better… but I do have slip ups…. and in reality we *all* do. As everyone has said… yelling only causes more yelling. We all know the *perfect* way to parent… you know, what all the books say. But in reality… we all have a lapse in judgment from time to time, we lose our patience, and we are pushed to our limits. You *ARE* a GREAT Mommy.. and your kids do know you love them… they feel loved, and are secure… that’s why they test, and push those limits. Its our responsibility to pull them back in.. and, at times, pull ourselves back in. And as for the house.. I can’t wait to see the finished product! HUGS!!

  9. Funny thing is, I NEVER yell at Michael, unless I’m upstairs and need him desperately to help with something!!!!! We do the getting down on their level and in their face kind of thing…..Ryley rolls his eyes and/or won’t look directly at me, Grace just laughs……..AAAHHHH!!!! Where is that magic wand? I hear ya, Darcy, on the too many things….I have done that for my children, simply because I didn’t have much when I was a kid….. Thanks for the ideas and advice…much appreciated! D

  10. The joys of getting to remodel your house. I don’t miss what your going through for the world. I feel bad for you. I am catching up on blogs and I looked at the pictures below and started to laugh. The kid playing in the mud is sooooo cute!!!! You go ahead and yell all you want to. I think that you are entitled. Angi “Phoenix’s Mom”

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