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truth in advertising...and other stuff I've messed up

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I got frustrated...and I yelled. And she got more frustrated and she cried harder, which just made me angrier.

Twenty-four hours after my post on Sage Brush Diaries, talking about how God slapped me upside the head with my impatience, I can tell you that I am still a work in progress.
I messed up today.
Royally.
I don't understand why some days are worse than others. I wonder if it may have something alot to do with hormones - if you know what I mean. At least that's what I'm blaming it on.
But its not an excuse.
Sigh.
It all started with Anya.
Anya, my wonderful, easy-going, eager-to-please, saint of a daughter.
For some reason she is the one that sets me off the quickest.
Why is that?
Anyway...
We were sitting down to do homework after school (recurring theme, ya think?!) and she shut down on me. Completely.
When Anya gets frustrated with homework, she shuts down, starts to cry and is absolutely non-productive for a good-long time.
Usually, I'll send her to bed to cry it out. What point is there in telling her not to cry? It only makes it worse. So I make her sit in there until she gets control of herself and can come out with a happy face.
Today I didn't do that. I made it worse.
I got frustrated right along with her.
There is something I learned about Anya a long time ago.
WE. ARE. EXACTLY. ALIKE.
We are both overly emotional...and easily set off. Except when she gets frustrated she cries...when I get frustrated, I yell.
Yea. Great, I know.
So I got frustrated...and I yelled. And she got more frustrated and she cried harder, which just made me angrier.
Pretty, huh?
I told her she was sitting at that kitchen table until she figured it out. If it meant she missed supper, so-be-it. If it meant she missed her nightly episode of Hannah Montana, better still. She was sitting at that table until she could figure it out.
It didn't work.
I refused to give her the answer...I tried explaining the homework a million times, but in both of our frustrations, we couldn't communicate any better than Maddie and I could a year ago.
She wasn't listening to me.
And I certainly wasn't being patience with her.
Finally, after an hour and a half (YES! AN HOUR AND A HALF!) I finally told her to start writing the sentence with Sally. That's all I gave her...the first word.
Thirty-seconds later she was done.
I don't know which was worse. The fact that she sat there for an hour and a half crying, or the fact that once she had one word she finished it so quickly.
OOOOH I was hopping mad! She could have finished it that quickly 75 minutes ago!
I sent her to her room and sat down on the couch to cool off.
It didn't work.
It took another 30 minutes for me to get to the point where I could actually TALK to her instead of yelling.
Finally, we sat down and had a nice, long chat.
I explained what made me so frustrated. I told her I was wrong. I explained that she needed to control herself in a better way as well.
And then I asked for her to forgive me.
My beautiful, sweet, kind-hearted, gentle-spirited daughter generously did.
I'm thankful for several things.
First, that I'm not a mean yeller. I just yell. I am VERY conscious of what I'm saying...I just wish I could take a lot of the emotion out of it. It still doesn't do her (or anyone else) any good.
I'm so thankful for forgiveness.
That my daughter offers hers.
And that my Heavenly Father does too.
And I'm thankful that tomorrow is another day. I plan on getting plenty of rest tonight, taking some St. John's Wart (to see if it helps) and if absolutely necessary...
leaving the tomorrow's homework until Shad gets home! ;>)

14 salty messages:

jessy March 25, 2009 at 11:32 PM  

Had much the same situation Monday night. I lost it and yelled like a banshee. Not pretty. She really did something STUPID, but still, no excuse for my behavior. The next morning, the most beautiful, peaceable, love-and-logic response occured to me. Why does it come to mind 12 hours too late?

Diana March 26, 2009 at 12:35 AM  

Hmmm...there must be something in the air. Maybe there's a full moon or something. My night last night was equally as graceful and unfortunately a lot more public.

I took my St. John's this morning as well and will also be taking some before bed tonight and will be doing it every day thereafter for quite some time. It takes several days (somtimes up to a few weeks) to kick in for the full effect, but it's my happy pill of choice. The Rx stuff makes me sick. Hopefully it will work for you.

Annie March 26, 2009 at 2:38 AM  

I can remember vividly my dad and I yelling over math homework. He'd yell; I'd cry. It was terrible....but I don't have BAD memories about it, if you can imagine that. I translated it all into his caring about me, and we were both just frustrated with the work. In retrospect, I had a TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE 7th grade math teacher and that was the worst part of it all. He'd assign more than any three students could do - then when mot of the class didn't have their homework, he'd say "Well, I'll give you another day" (After my dad and I had anguished until the wee hours.)

Homework is the primary source of unhappiness in our home, I think.

Drew, Michelle, Luke and Tetyana March 26, 2009 at 8:17 AM  

Why do we yell at our kids? I don't yell at my husband. I have patience of a saint when it comes to teaching but if you sit there and ACT stupid well I come unglued! I don't feel that giving in and giving the answer does anyone any good. Maybe I am just being stubborn!

I think the easy ones set us off the most because we expect them to be easy....not to rock the boat and when they do it is frustrating!

I get exactly what you were saying. I think it could be hormones, the current state of our economy, the way the world is feeling as a whole and maybe a full moon! Hang in there!! If we made every day roses for our little ones they would go out into this big world and get swallowed up.

The Gonzo Mama March 26, 2009 at 7:31 PM  

It's amazing, isn't it, how the children most like us are often the ones who set us off!

My 12yo daughter is just like me, and she's the middle child of our seven. We get into it too often, which makes me feel terrible because I love her so much. *sigh*

Anyway, I found you through the Blog Party, and am enjoying your blog! Stop on by TheGonzoMama.com for humor and hugs!

Stephanie March 26, 2009 at 8:51 PM  

I am sorry that this was such a trial for you both! I hope that things were better on the homework front today :)

Tina in CT March 27, 2009 at 11:47 AM  

Ask my daughter. I'm a yeller.

Karya March 27, 2009 at 12:51 PM  

I have lived that exact, exact, exact situation. My 7-yr-old gets frustrated with math and does precisely what you described. Shuts down. Cries. And no amount of explanation can get her to re-engage her brain and work through it productively. And I have the same issue with yelling. That was how my father related to me and I hate that I follow that path, too.
Prayer. I've really decided that is pretty much the only thing I can do. So I pray and let my husband go over math.

OldWestMom March 27, 2009 at 3:53 PM  

Doesn't it feel good that you can reflect upon what happened, and feel generally positive about the overall outcome?

My mom was a yeller. I'm a yeller. It's a curse. At least you're aware of it. I hate it when I hear myself doing it, and realize I've been doing it for a while. I really try to not do it, but sometimes...when that last little nerve has snapped...it just bubbles up like terrible, loud, word vomit.

Fortunately, I really only yell at my husband, and always because I feel he should know better. I am far more patient with my kiddo, but I need to practice being more patient with the hubby, too.

http://foreverfamily.today.com

Stephanie March 27, 2009 at 4:35 PM  

Hey! I added you to my blogroll for now. I need to figure out how to set up a button (let me know if you know how to do this - LOL) as I would love to do that too :)
I have a blogger blog but I don't really keep it updated as it was to be about my dairy free living switch. I might do another one for my idea about the second today.com blog I was considering about the dogs - LOL but not sure really. The thing with leaving today.com with the From Huskies to Husbands blog is that I lose the pay per post which I kind of need right now with my layoff as some $$ is better than no $$ right now!

Nataliya March 27, 2009 at 6:18 PM  

Don't be so hard on yourself - it happens to everybody, so you are not alone :)

Tanya March 27, 2009 at 10:02 PM  

I know just what you mean, I get so frustrated with Maya, I don't know what to do with myself. I need to find a better approach, 'cause right now I just don't even really have one.

Stacie March 28, 2009 at 11:47 PM  

Homework time can be stressful - especially when there is already so much on one's plate. I hope tomorrow will be a better and brighter day for you both.

Tim March 29, 2009 at 4:42 PM  

I get very frustrated working with Taylor on homework sometimes too. I have learned that if I explain things in a way thats fun (and make it a game of sorts) then it works allot better for her. I do get frustrated, but never yell. This doesnt mean that I havent, because i have. I just learned quickly that nothing good comes of it, and its not the way wither of my kids deserve to be treated. Does that mean its easy to not do? ha NEVER.

Love and Prayers,

Tim

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