how to stop shouting at your children

Its fluffy time at mine at the moment, well fluffy with a layer of dust. Following on from my promise to my children to play more and clean less, after week one I can report back successfully. In fact I have not raised my voice in anger towards any of my three, yes three children in six days! As twin girl pointed out last night; dragon mummy has gone on her holidays and fun mummy has come to stay.

So when twin boy deliberately ran off with horse riding Barbie on monday causing twin girl to explode into Niagara Falls style tears I managed to contain my frustration and instead we had a conversation about stealing and used Oliver Twist as a useful frame of reference. (Hidden message being – do it again and you will be sharing a bunk with the artful dodger under Mr Bumbles watch.)

On tuesday when they asked to play with play doh, instead of feigning deafness I swiftly suppressed the blood curdling shriek rising in my throat and together we made all manner of models. If I am honest I am growing to love the patchwork effect on my cream carpet and it keeps the dog amused for hours licking play doh out of her claws.

When all refused to eat my beautiful home made spag bol on ‘why, mummy, wednesday’ I merely forced a grin and scooped it into the dogs bowl whilst simultaneously making a round of cheese butties and inventing a new child rearing phenomena ‘school age children-led weaning’. Book to follow shortly but should you wish to attempt before reading stock up heavily on fish fingers, co co pops, and lemonade.

Now as the week has gone on I have become more exceedingly tired, not shouting requires much more energy than a good screech, plus you use your facial muscles a lot more trying to control your voice to a cheery, irritating loving level. I am also training for a marathon and now whilst the children sleep I have to clean up the debris that three short people and one furry four legged thing leave behind. Yet with all this in mind on Thursday I still faced one of my deepest fears and allowed the children to paint. Supervised they behaved impeccably, only painting themselves and their wooden birdhouses. However baby beautiful needed a bath and her bed was calling so I had to, I had to leave them alone.

All seemed fine, bb was just finishing up her milk and I was about to pop the lid on my breast and put it back in the fridge when I heard; “mummy I’ve finished; let me show you.”

Now I was upstairs, dragon mummy would have just yelled “no you fool, stay where you are don’t bring the paint covered bird house up to me”. But no, I don’t shout, instead I ‘called out’. “Honey please don’t….”

Too late

“What mummy I can’t hear you”

Oh the irony, followed by trip, crash, bang,

And then tiny thuds as a freshly painted wooden birdhouse tiptoed down my stairs leaving a rainbow behind.

To my credit I did not yell like a banshee, but as I surveyed my carpet I inwardly muttered every swear word I know, yes even that really naughty one, twice.

And that ladies and gentlemen is how not to shout at your kids and how to extend your vocabulary.

Did I mention I am running a marathon? In aid of a lovely little lad who had a cord cell transplant last year in order to beat off acute myeloid leukaemia? If you want to know more have a scoot over here and read all about him, leave some pennies if you like?


16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. karencwise
    Jan 14, 2011 @ 13:42:54

    I only have two, but I understand.

    I know find myself regularly saying “You don’t want Mummy to shout at you do you?” to which the eldest says “No, we don’t”

    It’s working so well, I’ve even heard my OH saying it to them too.

    Good luck with the rainbow wall. Hope it was only watercolour paints they were working with!


  2. ChocOrangeCityMum
    Jan 14, 2011 @ 13:47:58

    I am nominating you for sainthood, the paint would have tipped me over the edge!


  3. Peter Gold
    Jan 14, 2011 @ 16:17:13


    Well done but is there a don’t shout at my wife version 😉



  4. Honest Mum
    Jan 14, 2011 @ 17:09:36

    You are a super mummy! Perhaps wooden floorboards or something similar might be worth thinking about? Just a thought.


  5. waterbirthplease
    Jan 14, 2011 @ 21:28:48

    ‘school age children-led weaning’ . . . genius! x


  6. Tim (aka Dotterel)
    Jan 15, 2011 @ 08:01:08

    Are you offering your services as a parent-coach as well? I know I could do this, but I’d need shed-loads of support….


  7. whitelily
    Jan 15, 2011 @ 17:13:24

    What a brilliant post! Another blog for my reader 🙂 Shouting is one of my worst traits I will admit. Like ChocOrangeCityMum says the paints would have tipped me over the edge.

    I was doing really well myself today. No raised voices even after discovering butter all over the kitchen floor when I came back from the loo, and felt pen on my cabinet doors when I was preparing lunch. (How do they do these things so quickly by the way?) Anyway, after shutting my pinky in the baby gate, the calm and mellow Mummy, shrieked. Not only in pain, but in a 3 minute rant at nobody in particular just anyone within ear shot (make that a 2 mile radius then!)


  8. Mum Tweeting
    Jan 15, 2011 @ 18:37:24

    Lovely post. I will endeavour to follow in your footsteps. As we speak, 2yr old is throwing all his bath toys onto the bathroom floor…water everywhere!


  9. ghostwritermummy
    Jan 15, 2011 @ 19:05:36

    ha ha another great post!!! I long since adopted the lived-in-played-in look for my house and I always tidy after they’re in bed. And I LOVE the mess of creative play, glitter, paint the works- maybe thats the teacher in me?? My daughter said to me today, ‘A messy house means you’re having fun, doesn’t it?’ and I coudn’t agree more!


  10. Karin @ Cafe Bebe
    Jan 15, 2011 @ 19:07:09

    Oh, you do make me laugh! Thanks for listing your blog on the BMB Blog Hop!

    I try never to shout…today I had a very hard time containing my frustration with Little Miss but I managed to do it. It’s hard work being a mummy, eh?



  11. missielizzieb
    Jan 15, 2011 @ 19:13:15

    I laughed a lot at this post! Thank you.

    It is so hard, and I think ofen I’m more dragon mummy than I’d like – it’s either that or have a constantly bleeding tongue from the biting!


  12. Ali
    Jan 15, 2011 @ 21:23:24

    Brilliant 🙂 Small children live so much in the moment with little thought for the consequences (the inevitable mess) of their actions. If only I could live like that everyday – that would be a goal worth achieving!


  13. A Modern Mother
    Jan 16, 2011 @ 16:41:48

    Any ideas on how to get teachers to stop shouting at their students? 😀


  14. Michelle Twin Mum
    Jan 16, 2011 @ 22:32:33

    Respect to you Jane. The Banshee regularly visits my house! I keep trying to get rid of her!!!!


  15. Angela
    Jan 17, 2011 @ 13:14:40

    well done for not shouting. It takes so much self control. I am really trying as well to be calmer and spend more time with Little Miss A. Good luck with the marathon too.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


Wikio - Top Blogs - Parenting


mumsnet bloggers network

Tots 100 badge

TOTS 100 - UK Parent Blogs


Copyright © Jane Blackmore and Northernmum, 2010-2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jane Blackmore and Northernmum with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Site Meter

%d bloggers like this: