No More Yelling!

A lesson learnt the hard way.

Being a mother the best lessons I learn from my girls. Children are like freshly kneaded mix of plaster of Paris. They take the shape they’re molded into. You got to be the best example that you want them to see, understand and accept. As they grow, they start getting mature enough to use their brains, make choices, make decisions and have their own views about right and wrong.

There is nothing called bad parenting. But once in a while we all make mistakes. Like every other spheres of life, we make mistakes in parenting too. And then it’s a guilt trip. If you ask me these guilt trips are good. Provided they don’t get prolonged. They give you an opportunity and ample time for self-introspection.

 

Kids

Recently I was face to face with one such mistake of mine.

Ever since I’ve quit my work life I could feel the change in my children. They’re happier. They have started interacting more. They have started taking initiatives by themselves. Teachers have been telling me about their magical transformation from quiet and sensitive kids to lively and engaging kids. All is well except the time schedule.

The kids go to a day boarding school which works from 9 to 5. We wanted to shift them to a non-boarding school since I was home. But then they do not want the change. They’re happy with the current school, their friends, teachers and are performing well. A change might disturb their current setup. Thus we chose to let them continue here for another year or two. The trouble is that they get a lot of homework. And since the firstborn (Anu) is in fifth grade, she gets work in all five subjects which needs about two hours. So basically, after school between 9 to 5, she has to compulsorily spend another two hours (on most days) completing her work. This leaves her stressed, irritated and unhappy as she has no time for playing, reading story books, watching television or anything else. Apart from that I keep bugging her to finish her work faster so that she can be free for a while.

This happened a few months ago. Precisely speaking in July.

One day, I realized that there was a note (about not completing some work in one of the subjects) from one of the teachers which Anu hid by pasting the pages of the diary. When we confronted her, she mentioned that she was scared of me as I scold her very loudly. I yell and that makes her scared. I felt really shameful when she was telling this to her father. If my child is afraid of me so much that she has to hide things, I am the one to be blamed. It’s my failure as a parent. I decided that I’ll work upon this.

But then the attention span on anything these days is just for a few minutes or seconds. Time kis ke paas hai? Duniya mutti mein karni hai. Dhaud lagani hai. I forgot all about it and moved on.

And then the PTM happened where the class teacher who had complained about Anu not taking any initiatives about two years ago was all praises about her. At last when I complained to the teacher about the above incident, she sweetly asked Anu to go out with her little sister for a while. The teacher then told me that she knew all about it and that Anu herself had told her this. She was ready to go and get punished by the principal, but she was scared of getting scolded by her mother. She told me that Anu was shivering out of fear. The teacher mentioned that knowingly or unknowingly I had started expecting my children to compensate for the extra time they were now getting from me. I was shocked and ashamed beyond words. So much that tears started flowing non-stop. Thankfully the husband was there by my side. It was a sudden and strong blow. It hurt at the right place. And may be at the right time too.

I am really grateful to the teacher for having told me all of that. I learnt my lesson. A valuable one.

I realized that Anu is growing up (really fast) and however much I love her I need to give her space, respect her individuality and control my urge to scream and scare. I thought I was being a friend to her. Her confidante. But if she remembers the good times spent with me, she will also remember the yelling and screaming fits of mine. I have to work upon myself, nurture myself as a mother to help her walk through the right path, help her make the right choice.

Today, after four months, I can’t say I have stopped yelling completely. But I have improved. I try and help them as much as I can and then give them their free time. Finally, I have Anu coming and telling me about her day (and her mistakes) all by herself as I have promised to listen to her without yelling and I try to provide solutions for correcting her mistakes. She’s now more confident too.

We all need to nurture ourselves if we wish to set the right examples for our future generations. Self-nurturing is important to be able to nurture the young ones. I took the pledge to work on my temperament, become a no-yelling Mom and help make it easy for the children.

As a first step, I met her principal and requested her to see to it that the children aren’t burdened with homework after they leave the school at 5 in the evening. She was very accommodating and assured me that she’ll look into it with immediate effect. While grades, scores, awards and accolades are necessary for boosting their self-confidence, the most important thing for any child is a stress-free childhood. Work towards providing them a healthy environment that helps them develop into beautiful human beings.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

P.S – Anu, I am sure you’ll read this some day. Just want to let you know that your mom loves you more than anyone else. You made the same mistake I had made as a child. And what hurt me more was the fact that our reasons were the same too. It was my insecurity knowing that you were making similar mistakes like me that made me totally unreasonable. I’m extremely sorry my child. Forgive me if you can.

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23 Replies to “No More Yelling!”

  1. You have touched and discussed a very important topic our education system has to look back.
    These days more than the students, teachers and the school, parents have been more over concerned and giving wrong signals.
    It is the Parent that harasses more to the children at home.
    Cause the system of education has been over loading the students.
    The teachers on the other hand give more Homework than what they teach at school.
    Is it so much necessary to do such a lot of Home Work. It is really over loading the parents and the children.
    The child when comes home should forget the school and its hanging in the mind.
    It is a matter of serious concern.
    The things that you have explained are very sensitive and are important in upbringing a child.
    The P.S. , what you have written touched me too. It shall definitely move your child when she grows and reads it.
    Love to You and Your Child Anu.
    Shiva

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and reading my confession! The pressure is from all sides. And the victims, the childhood. I wish they make it mandatory for schools to not give any home work. Children need to have free time help them learn life lessons which are way more important than subject lessons.

      I hope Anu understands me and doesn’t consider me as her foe. A child’s heart is like a stone. What’s written is written forever. I speak from experience.

  2. It happens, Rekha…dont’s blame yourself. We have to maintain so many things, so many promises to keep that we often howl on our loved ones. Anu’s teacher is a person rare to be seen these days. Glad she understood the situation and advised you accordingly. We learn from our mistakes…. 🙂

  3. Rekha, I can not control tears rolling down my eyes. I read your post as if I have written it. The same situation happened to me also ….And as you did I too realized the truth…. Beautiful post at right time ….. i loved P.S very much ….. Happy Parenting, Rekha …. 🙂

    1. I am sure lots of people have been through such situations. We all learn day by day. Better late than never. Sometimes external agents (in this case the teacher) are required for the push. Happy parenting to you too! 🙂

  4. Hi Rekha, Seriously I feel as if you have torn a page from my life and put it as a post. Everything here is the same, two daughters, no time, and as you know even the names here are similar.. I go through this every day and how ever much I try controlling .. I fail may be because I also reach around 8 after a 2 hours journey and I leave house 8 in the morning.. well see. I have my defenses ready.. thanks a lot Rekha .. I will also try to change, I promise myself… my eyes also welled up.. keep writing. Take care and God bless you and the little ones

    1. Having been through all of this I can understand where you stand. The fast life and the pressure on working mothers seems to be the main reason for this. I am sure you will be able to change for good. As I always say, there are no bad children and no bad mothers. Just bad situations which can be changed. Big hugs and lots of love to you and the girls.

  5. So awesome of the teacher to tell it like it was, and so brave of you to face it head on and acknowledge your mistake!!
    I just know that Anu has already forgiven and forgotten!! Hugs for telling us your story; I hope more parents think about this when they start yelling at their child!

    1. Roshni, Anu’s Dad made her read this and she came up to me and kissed me. I will never forget the way she told me that she loves me no matter what. I am glad someone took the pain to correct me before things went wrong completely.

  6. Kids teach us the best of lessons. I admire Anu’s teacher for understanding the situation so well and dealing it efficiently. All of us make mistakes, some of us pause to learn where we went wrong and take the time to correct it, only a few of us have the courage to share those stories with others. You are very brave, Rekha. 🙂

    1. Her teacher is definitely a sensible and mature person. I admire her for telling me the truth on my face and helping me act upon my faults at the right time. Most people don’t have the courage to do that. My respect for her increased to a new level that day. About me sharing my story here: I felt it might help more mothers like me and may be I will get some tips to handle my temper too. Thanks for reading, Vinitha!

  7. Hugs Mamma! Well I am guilty of screaming at my 9 mo when he wants to play in middle of night n must have even swatted him off for it :-/

    1. I have done that too, Meena. And I was told by my mother that I am a witch for having done that to an infant. I don’t mind because this witch is attending to all their needs and so I guess I have the right to explode at times too. Of course, within limits. 🙂

  8. Wow..!! That is so touching..and you are so brave to write it all down.. I am so glad for you to your child back with the same enthusiasm, along with sharing her day (good and bad) with you! I am not a mother, but can surely related with how I used to be in my childhood and how my mother handled all of it!
    Your daughter will be very proud of you 🙂

    Cheers

  9. I am glad to read about it, Rekha. Many parents are stressed out where children bear the brunt and being scared can affect a child. How your child grew during the past year and kudos to you for writing about it on public forum. It’s growth as a parent and shows you don’t have this ego trip.
    Cheerz to that.

  10. This is a total blow on my face too.. I have had those breaking points too where I regret yelling at my less than 3 year old.. oh my god..what was I thinking.. We are all humans..We do break at some point.. but I have been trying lately to keep me calm everytime …

  11. We learn so much from our kids and I think our kids make us better human beings. And you need to have courage to look inwards and face up to your mistakes and make amends. Kudos to you !

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