"Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn't know you had, and dealing with fears you didn't know existed." -Linda Wooten

Monday, February 24, 2014

No More Yellin' Mama

 I grew up in a “yelling” family. (Don’t get me wrong, my family is great and I love them all dearly but we are a loud bunch.) As I grew up I vowed to NEVER yell at my kids. I had visions of perfectly behaved toddlers and me as a sweet, patient, soft-spoken “mother of the year type”. Flash forward 20 years and I am now THAT mom – the one who sometimes yells.
Please don’t misunderstand, I love my daughters to pieces and most of the time they are very well behaved – rather rambunctious, but behaved. And NO – there is NO verbal abuse going on behind closed doors at the Collins household, but I admit, at times, I yell. And yes, they have pointed it out to me and I have shamefully apologized and said, “Mommy will not yell like that anymore” only to do it the next time things get a bit too chaotic and I feel a bit too overwhelmed.
You see, this yelling thing – has a lot more to do with me and a lot less to do with them. I yell because I get frustrated (yes, maybe they are misbehaving, being disrespectful or fighting with one another) but what exactly am I teaching them by losing my cool and blowing up at them? I’m telling them – “this is how you act when you get mad.” “No, you may not hit your sister or tell me a lie, but feel free to rant and rave like a lunatic when things don’t go your way.” And what’s even worse – when I yell at them for yelling at me or one another!!

“A fool gives full vent to his spirit, but a wise man quietly
holds it back.” Proverbs 29:11

I don’t know about you but this whole yelling thing takes on a totally different face when we are in public. If we are the grocery store and Nevaeh asks for the same candy for the 5th time after 4 previous NOs – my discipline in the store looks a lot different from my discipline when we finally get to the car. Inside the car – and away from the judgemental eye of strangers – I unleash 30 minutes of grocery store angst. (Grocery shopping is bad enough without adding an unruly child into the mix.) But you know what? God is watching and there is an innocent soul within that 7 year old body in my backseat that is being crushed. Is the audience of strangers witnessing this spectacle more important than my children? Am I more worried about the judging eye of my fellow man rather than the judgement of Almighty God? Who am I trying to please here?
I want to live a life so that my children “rise up and called me blessed” – I strive to be more like the Proverbs 31 woman daily (failing all too frequently). At the ages of 7 and 4, they have already created memories they will carry for a life time. I don’t want my red, yelling face to be one of them – so I must work diligently to repair that image before it becomes the THE only image of their childhood.

“Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens
wide his lips comes to ruin.” – Proverbs 13:3.

We will get angry, annoyed and frustrated. This road of motherhood isn’t easy. But we must develop self-control and learn to react differently. If you must take a mommy time-out, do it. Go into another room and say a prayer asking God to help you respond with gentleness. Discipline is needed – and a requirement if we are going to train our children up in the ways of the Lord – but I don’t think anyone will argue with the notion that yelling is not discipline.
It isn’t easy to change behaviors that have been instilled into you since your own childhood. But it is possible. I’m a work in progress – but studying what God’s word has to say about anger and self-control and many, many prayers asking for strength and wisdom has helped me see fruit in my own life. I still have yelling moments, but they are on the decrease for sure!!

"...I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my
 righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

Have you been there? What do you do to blow off steam so you don’t blow up at your kids?


  1. We can all learn from this statement. We raised a smart girl proud of you Michelle. Love you

  2. Thank you for this post, I feel the same way and loved reading the scripture within this. Last night as I tucked my 5 year old in bed we were talking about forgiving sin and what that was like and I used the example of me yelling at his sister as something I needed to ask for forgiveness for. We talked about how that made him feel bad in his heart and he knew it was wrong. I asked him if I yelled too much and he simply said, " not anymore mommy, you love us more now". I have prayed and prayed about it and it's working. I noticed today looking back too that I don't as much anymore! I am so excited, Good Morning Girls has made an impact on me for sure.

  3. Thank you so much for your comment Alice. This has been a struggle in my parenting - but with a lot of prayer, I have seen a lot of improvement :) (Good Morning Girls is awesome!!)


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