Tuesday, September 13, 2011

"Why do Parents yell so much today?..."

Posted on Facebook on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at 12:35am
So you hear all over the place talk about how parents yell and scream so much.  How they feel so hamstrung by rules and societal pressure that they feel like their only recourse is to yell.  Perhaps you, too, wonder why.  Permit me to offer a small observation that may illuminate our thinking...

Now first, allow me to say that I think yelling can have it's place IF it is an effective tool in your arsenal as a parent.  Not that I'm suggesting yelling as your first choice of action.  But let's face it - sometimes it's DANGED hard to get things through to those little boogers!  Case in point...

Today C comes home from school dragging her backpack.  She's decided she's much too tired, and just cannot be asked to do any of her chores after school.  I tell her, "Honey, I'm sorry you are tired, but you still have to bring me your papers from your backpack, wash your hands and face, and clean your room."  I know, I know, I'm a DEMANDING task mistress...poor girl, obviously so mistreated.  DFACS, take me away!

Me: "Hey!  Did you get your report card today?"
C: "My whaaa...?"
Me: "Your report card."
C: "Is it in my backpack?"
Me: "Uh...I would assume so, honey.  Check your backpack."
C proceeds to walk back to her backpack, then stops:  "Where should I look?  In my yellow folder?"  (For those who don't know, her yellow folder is the folder that the teacher and I use to send work, messages, etc. for communication between home and school).
Me: "Yes, I would start there."
C: "Ok...what am I looking for again?"
Me: *SIGH* "Your report card."
C: "Oh...is that like a birthday card?  I really liked my birthday, but I wish you would have gotten me vanilla cake instead of cho..."
Me: "Not a BIRTHDAY card, HONEY...your REPORT CARD."  (Notice the slightly grating tone I'm taking on here.  It's caused by intense teeth gritting)
C: "Oh...What does it look like?"
Me:  *VERY BIG SIGH* "It's in a white envelope inside of your yellow folder.  Would you please go RIGHT NOW to your backpack and bring me your yellow folder.  I will check in your folder to see if your report card is there."
Please note that I am no longer asking for the report card, but have simplified this task a step.  It's so worth it just to end this ridiculous conversation that even Laurel & Hardy could not have followed.
C: "My report card...my report card...Did the teacher send it home?  Maybe you should check your email and see if she sent you an email before I get out my folder."
Me:  ...."Oh, for the love of...GO GET YOUR YELLOW FOLDER NOW!!!!!!!"  The windows rattle momentarily, the twins stare in shock.
C:  "Ok mommy."  Promptly returning with the yellow folder, she opens it.  "Look, here's my report card!  My teacher said as soon as we got home we needed to give this to you immediately.  Here you go mommy!"  She hands it to me with pride.  "I'm so glad I remembered to give it to you.  You should read it right now!"
Me: (Strangled voice) "Go...do...your...chores...."  Remember to breath.  One day she won't want to talk to you anymore, and you'll miss these days...you'll sit in silence...exquisite silence...

Now, please note, I didn't start with the yelling...hmmm...maybe I've just diagnosed the problem there...

Disclaimer:  I love my daughters.  Each one is a treasure and a gem.  I have so many wonderful things from them: beautiful works of art, smile and laugh lines, a heart full of love and pride, sticky fingerprints on the TV screen, gray hairs...

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