Little Talks

jake and our little talks

A Brief Update

Just a bit of an update about my Yelling Less Project. I’m doing a better job at controlling my yelling since I posted the Starting Over update.

With the exception of the occasional “Why don’t I hear the water running?” things I scream when he’s upstairs messing around (does that count since I have to yell for him to hear me upstairs?), I’ve learned to take more deep breaths and to calm down before I speak. I’ve even noticed that I’m not leaving the room to cool myself down as much these days. Something in this process is finally starting to work and I’m actually quite pleased with myself these days.

I didn’t expect this

What I didn’t expect from this program was to see changes in my son Jake. We planned a big movie night this past weekend and I let Jake pick out out the line-up from some of the DVDs he hasn’t watched in awhile. Jake decided it would be a Justice League night since he has so many of the movies and episodes.

While looking for a specific movie, he took all of the Justice League discs out of their boxes. The movies were all over the floor in no order and Jake sat there reading the back of all the boxes trying to figure out which movie went with what description. Twice, he put the wrong movie in, only to pop it back out once he saw the opening credits. I watched him calmly go through this process until he found the movie he wanted to watch.

After he turned the movie on, he came over to me and said, “Did you see that?” Usually I get all upset and start throwing things and crying. But I didn’t do that this time. Did you see that mom?”

I was very proud of him. Not only did he control his anger, he was AWARE of the fact that he controlled his behavior. This is the kind of conversation I want to remember that I had with my son.

I started to think about some of the other memorable conversations I’ve had with Jake. Like this one here during his first week of 3rd grade:

Me: What do you think about your new teacher?

Jake: I like her. I think she’s going to be a good teacher like my reading teacher from last year.

Me: What makes someone a good teacher?

Jake: She doesn’t send any notes home about what I’ve been doing in school.

Me: That’s it? What about the idea of you being good in school so the teachers don’t have to send a note home?

Jake: No, that’s not going to work. She’ll be a good teacher if she just doesn’t send any notes home no matter how I act.

And there was this classic one that happened before bedtime:

 Jake was making monsters with his legos and was telling me what each monster was and their destructive powers. Then the questions began ….

1. Which monster do you think is my least favorite?

2. Which monster do you think would explode?

3. Which one would win in a battle?

4. Which one is your favorite?

5. Where do you think these monsters like to live?

“Alright, we’re done. That’s enough! No more questions.”

Jake says, “One more question … so why did you have a kid if you didn’t want to answer questions?”


25 thoughts on “Little Talks

  1. I loved this! I’m glad that the yelling less is working for you – and no, yelling across the house so they can hear you doesn’t count! 🙂 Your last conversation with Jake is similar to a note I have in my “blog ideas” folder… I just love when it’s bed time, and that’s when all of the sudden they have so much to say. Mr. T will keep me standing in the living room as we make our way to our bedrooms for 5 minutes sometimes just to tell me about random observations and conversations he’s had and to ask my opinion on things. It’s so sweet! Until I can’t stand it anymore… LOL

    • Jake does that all the time. I think its an excuse to stay up later. Funny, its in your blog ideas … maybe I just triggered something so you’ll write the post 🙂

      And yes, the yelling less stuff seems to be working even though I’m overloaded with work and feel the stress coming on. I’m going to keep working it because, as you can see, the payoff is worth the work.

  2. Yeah, Penny, why did you have a kid if you didn’t want to answer questions? My children are approaching 50 and I’m still answering questions. One of the most important jobs of a mother is to be a teacher. It’ll all come together. Keep up the good work.

    • Oh Judi, don’t tell me that! This question stuff has to end sometime …. but from the sounds of it, I have a long way to go. And yes, I’m doing my best to teach him what I can 🙂

  3. I think you are saying that Jake is learning from your example. Your screaming less and handling things better is inspiring him to do the same. That’s awesome and something to be proud of!
    Btw, I don’t count the water running example.

    • I know, its it great to think that I might have actually taught him something important that he can carry with him as he gets older? I didn’t even think about how this part when I started doing this challenge and its like an extra bonus.

  4. Kids are brilliant sometimes. Be carful how you phrase your requests. Telling him that you don’t want to hear the water running only invites a smart ass retort:

    1. “Don’t listen.”
    2. “I’ll be more quiet.”
    3. “You better plug your ears then.”

    • My son is already there. My only plan is to speak clearly and repeat myself often. And yes, I realize that once he’s teenager, this is only going to get worse but thanks for the advice!

  5. With my first son I yelled a lot. Now it’s very seldom when I do and ironically, my youngest gives me more reason to yell than his brother did. But I notice a difference and I feel so horrible about the fact that I yelled so much with my oldest. Kudos to you for doing the project.

  6. According to that photo Jake is growing leaps & bounds physically and according to this post mentally as well. It must feel incredible to see your efforts paying off before your eyes….kudos to you momma. Oh, I’m with Jake on tattle tail teachers. Save the notes home for something that has merit, not every little outburst that can be linked to just being a kid. Keep up the good work.

    • I took this photo just last month. It does amazs me how fast he’s growing. Think I’ll look through some of my old posts of him and see the changes.
      Funny how you seem to side with jake 🙂 just to let you know, we’ve only had four weeks of school and I’ve had 3 notes seng home and one call to my cell one night. Its already begun ….

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