Don’t Scream At Me

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Today was rough.  It isn’t even worth writing about because it is the same stress, different day.

Emily had a very short nap, and by the time we got to bed time routines, she was a frenetic mess of tired.  She wanted to nurse, but kept getting up from the bed where we were lying to go out to the living room.  The monkey business had me at my wit’s end.

“Emily, I am not going to give you nursing anymore if you are going to scamper around!  I’m going to count to three and you need to get in your spot,” I said in a louder-than-usual-voice.

She looked up at me, raised a finger, and while wagging said finger, she said very calmly, “Don’t scream at me.”

She looked me right in the eye as she said it, shaking her head.

She was so matter-of-fact, regal almost.

It stopped me dead in my tracks.  Part of me was exasperated, but another part of me was incredibly proud.  Not that I want to teach my kids to talk back to me, but her calmness instantly grounded me.  And I think it is a good thing for children to learn to challenge authority when it is in the wrong.  As I was.

For the record, I was not screaming.  I don’t scream at my kids, because I’m just not a screamer by nature.  But I will admit to raising my voice from time to time.  At the end of the day, I don’t know if there is really much of a difference, but I was glad Em called me on it.

I walked away for a couple moments.  Emily came out and said, “I’m ready now.”  She took my hand and we went back into the bedroom.  She nursed a bit and then got into bed.  She got back out of her bed and the monkey business continued.

I don’t know I will ever be able to not “scream” again, so I am not going to say it.  But I can say I will never forget Emily’s calm, collected demeanor as she spoke to me tonight.

Have you ever “screamed” at your children?  Have your children ever called you on a poor behavior you did?  

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3 responses »

  1. Wonderful reflection, Charlotte.

    We’ve had a similar day – I’ve just logged on to type up a poem about it to post tomorrow. There’s no screaming (and while I have certainly raised my voice), what’s striking me this evening is how my interactions with my children make them feel. That can be conveyed in so many ways, and the important thing I think is to do what you did today. Be present to their response, and meet it with your full self.

    Thanks for sharing, be well~

    • Thanks so much. Your words are so kind and understanding and very much appreciated. Your comments always mean so much. . . and I had just been thinking about you too! Wondering where you have been all summer, and when I would be treated to another of your tender poems. May our parental journeys always find us learning and breathing and opening. xo.

  2. Pingback: When Words Fail Me– Happy Birthday, Daughter | momaste

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