So I Just Yelled at a Kid

September 8, 2011

I feel bad about it, but still ticked. Lovely.

I was helping C shower. She, for the most part, showers on her own. However, she has long, thick hair and requires help getting it wet, washing it, and rinsing it. Usually not a problem. She stands in the water or wherever I put her and leans her head back as directed.

Until tonight, when she suddenly acquired an amazingly annoying habit of leaning her head back REALLY far, which made her stick her butt way out, which wound up having the opposite effect of tilting her torso forward. So I’m trying to pull her head back into the water, she’s leaning it farther back and whining that I’m hurting her neck, but leaning farther and farther forward with the rest of her upper body.

I told her to stand up straight and she wouldn’t need to lean her neck so far back. This was making it virtually impossible to wash her hair properly and I was getting soaking wet, especially since my leaning abilities are not what they once were. I told her this five or possibly ten times before I got upset and she WOULD NOT DO IT. So I started leaning in and pushing her straight (pushing her butt in and her upper body back). I had to do this more and more emphatically and she continued to lean the wrong way.

I don’t know if she was ignoring me, defying me, forgot how to shower, or forgot how to STAND LIKE A HUMAN BEING. But my volume (against my better judgment) went up and up until I was YELLING to STAND UP STRAIGHT NOW! I also threatened to chop all her hair off, which was an empty threat, and really, really upset her. And I really didn’t care, at that moment. I finally basically held her up and washed her hair, yelled a few more times, and dragged her out.

I’m not at all proud of myself here. I don’t yell, almost ever. She was sobbing by the time I got her out.

And yet I’m still angry. This is a kid who knows perfectly well how to stand in a shower. And I haven’t heard an apology yet. Though I probably owe one as well. I don’t know. Following directions is big and she wasn’t doing it. Then again, not yelling and losing your temper is big as well.

Okay, I sucked it up. I put this post on pause and went and talked to her about why I got angry, said I shouldn’t have yelled, and asked her to follow directions next time. She says she will follow directions.

We REALLY need to work on this following directions thing.

Oh, and I forgot to mention when I was sitting here typing the early part of this, still in a huff, R spontaneously came over, grabbed me around the neck, pulled my head down and kissed me.  She is so sweet.

Also, C and I made up.

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4 Responses to “So I Just Yelled at a Kid”

  1. Arrogant Ass said

    Moms yell. My mother told me I should never have children — more than once. THAT’S something that can scar a child for life. What you said to C? Not so much.

    You are about to be a mom of 4 (not that you aren’t already, even though he isn’t born). C is the oldest. She will be a huge help (with the rest of the kiddos) to you for the rest of her life in that regard. There’s a large responsibility placed on her because she’s the oldest. It’s just a fact.

    You are such an engaged, thoughtful mother. You cook for, educate, listen to, love, discipline, care for, enlighten and lead by example for your children. She won’t remember this day. You might — C won’t. You’ve done nothing wrong. You’re simply hoping that she rises to an occasion. And with your and your hubby’s guidance, she will get there. You’re raising a smart, thoughtful young lady who will always watch out for her sisters and baby brother.

    She will understand one day that you expect a lot from her because she’s the oldest, but also because you raised her and her sisters a certain way. You will be this amazing mom she loves, reveres, talks about and brags on for all of her days. You two might even laugh about this one day.

    xoxo. You’re my Mom Hero. 🙂

    • I’m not really insecure about my parenting, and I’m not worried about hurting her feelings all that much (the kid needs to grow a thicker skin anyway), I just don’t like MYSELF when I yell, and I don’t like that as an example to set. I cannot abide short tempers and that is especially true in myself… I want my kids to see me as an example of being able to hold it together because it’s a quality I want THEM to have. That’s my big issue here.

      I also don’t like it that the only people I really lose my temper with are the people I love most. That’s… icky. They deserve better.

      Eh, life goes on. I guess we all have room to remind ourselves to improve. I just want her to freaking STAND UP STRAIGHT SO I CAN WASH HER HAIR!

  2. Deb Warren said

    Reading your response to the above, I don’t see you having a short temper. You gave her a direction many many times, and she didn’t follow it. You then attempted to give the direction with some manual assistance and she resisted. Only then did you raise your voice. That is not a short temper. A short temper would be if you gave the direction once or twice and then yelled. What I read about was a mom who was frustrated and not being listened to, finally reaching the end of a very long rope and voicing that frustration (albeit in a louder fashion that she preferred). You showed her that Mommy isn’t perfect (which is good…because that isn’t a good image for her to have or try to live up to), and that you have flaws, BUT that while your patience isn’t endless, it takes a while to make it snap. Also, while the empty threat of cutting her hair off may have upset you both, reminding her that caring for her hair means helping you wet, wash and rinse it, otherwise she may need to cut it is a whole different ballgame. I use that reminder all the time on my daughter when she doesn’t want to brush her hair. I tell her, if she can’t take care of it, it’s time to cut it.

    Remember to not be too hard on yourself.

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