A vow of yel­libacy

> Make a prom­ise to stop shout­ing as that is not healthy for par­ents or chil­dren in the long run

The Sun (Malaysia) - - URBAN PARENTING -

DO YOU al­ways yell at your chil­dren? As in, not a day goes by with­out you rais­ing your voice? Stud­ies have shown that peo­ple who lose their tem­per of­ten are five times more likely to have a heart at­tack, and three times more likely to suf­fer a stroke within two hours of an out­burst.

These are the find­ings of the Har­vard School of Pub­lic Health, based on 18 years’ worth of data.

Yelling also af­fects your chil­dren neg­a­tively. They may grow up to have low self-es­teem as well as in­se­cu­rity, de­pres­sion and re­la­tion­ship prob­lems.

But, you say, ‘if I don’t yell at my kids, they won’t lis­ten and do as I say’.

Re­ally? If they need you to yell at them all the time, doesn’t it mean that they have be­come im­mune to your yelling?

It may have hard­ened their hearts and cause them to build up walls in their de­fence.

But how do you tame the yelling ten­dency?

Re­alise that you have to man­age your own emo­tions.

Pay at­ten­tion to what trig­gers your yelling and shout­ing bouts. Most prob­a­bly they are usu­ally cen­tred around the same pet peeves.

For in­stance, you may get worked up be­cause your son doesn’t put his dirty clothes in the ham­per.

The minute you spy his laun­dry all over his room, your blood pres­sure shoots up and you shout at him: “How many times must I tell you ... !”

Stop right there! In mid­sen­tence. Take a time­out. Breathe in deeply. Breathe out. Count to 50.

If you can’t man­age it still, walk away from the scene of crime. Go take a shower or what­ever it takes for you to cool down.

Speak to your son only when you are in con­trol, and you can talk calmly.

Tell him that you won’t wash his clothes if they’re not put prop­erly in the ham­per.

He may take you lightly and still go about on his messy way.

Let him run out of clean clothes to wear, and he will get the mes­sage.

Also, don’t take things per­son­ally.

When the chil­dren take their time to do your bid­ding, or for­get about it, they are not do­ing so to spite you.

It’s not about you. It’s be­cause they strug­gle with their own prob­lems – be it pro­cras­ti­na­tion, sloth­ful­ness, time man­age­ment or what­ever the rea­son may be.

Help them work on their prob­lems, but not by yelling.

Put your­self in their shoes and see things from their per­spec­tive.

Do you like to be con­stantly be­rated and yelled at?

Wouldn’t you pre­fer a gen­tler ap­proach though you may be in the wrong?

Some psy­chol­o­gists ad­vo­cate tak­ing a vow of ‘yel­libacy’ – a prom­ise not to yell.

This will help strengthen and build a warm, lov­ing re­la­tion­ship with your chil­dren.

At the same time, you are mod­el­ling a healthy com­mu­ni­ca­tion style to them so that, in turn, they can ap­ply that and en­joy good re­la­tion­ships with their own spouses and off­spring in the fu­ture.

Ly­dia Teh is a mother of four and au­thor of nine books, in­clud­ing Cow Sense for Young Peo­ple. Send com­ments to life­style.ly­dia@ the­sundaily.com.

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