Sadly I have been (can still be) a yeller in my parenting. It pains me to recall the times that I have put my desire for compliance and what I think is best ahead of peace using the very ineffective tool of yelling and – frankly – bullying to get my way. I MIGHT get my way in the moment but it costs me something very dear…my connection with my child, myself and, ultimately, my self respect. And it haunts me. That may sound over dramatic, but how ever we may want to spin it and find justification…when we wound our child emotionally we wound ourselves.
However, I believe we can heal that wound. I’ve started by forgiving ME. Cheesy? Cliche? Well, I’ve come to love and embrace both the cheese and the clichest (that’s right – I made up a new word) of all cliches.
I can’t speak for anyone else. We all parent the way we choose and I’m not trying to preach. I say with love: You do you…and I’ll do me. I’m just sharing what I’ve discovered is that when I yell and lose my temper it is NEVER about my child.
It’s about me projecting all of my agenda, crap, hurt, fears, anguish, whatever…onto them. And, blessedly, I’ve done it very innocently. I was simply believing something at the time. (And there-in lies the softness. And the love.)
I choose to let go of those moments. There have been some amends. After looking in and doing my work, I have found some forgiveness for me through the understanding of what I was thinking and believing at the time. I practice sincerely apologizing to my children. This is an ongoing endeavor. How many times have I forced my children to say ‘sorry’ to someone else? Well…now it’s my turn. And I’m loving every moment. Each time brings clarity, connection, learning, and healing. An amends isn’t about sucking up or grovelling. Or letting them walk all over me. It’s simply owning my part. The gift I often get in return is immeasurable.
In fact…I have another such moment to embrace tonight. A very snappy remark I lashed out at my daughter earlier today. Minor…and it deserves to be undone.