Taking a few minutes after bedtime prayers to lay with my 5 and 4-year old has become a sweet time of uninterrupted and intentional conversation. It’s in these moments that I get to hear their hearts.
One evening after I had tucked in my 5-year old son into his bed, I laid next to him as we chit-chatted about his day. I took the opportunity to ask him some intentional questions.
“What is your favorite thing about mommy?” I asked him, it’s always good to start positively.
“I like that you snuggle with me,” he replied with a smile, nuzzling closer to me. I squeezed him tighter and gave him a kiss on his sweet head.
Knowing that whatever his answer, it would be an invitation for conviction from the Lord, I inhaled deeply and asked, “What do you not like about mommy?” We all desperately need change and our children get front row seats to our sin.
“I don’t like it when you yell at me,” he reluctantly replied.
My heart sank. I don’t even consider myself much of a yeller. But clearly, the times that I have raised my voice had made an impact on my son. I told him I was sorry and that I desperately need Jesus because I am a sinner too, but it was that interaction with him that drove me to look at my heart and seek the Lord for better solutions when I get frustrated and feel myself wanting to yell.
It’s easy to get frustrated isn’t it? When you ask your children to do or not do the same things several times a day, when you are tired, rushed, stressed or simply feel you have nothing left to give. Here are a few things things to consider when struggling with yelling.
Yelling is a short-term solution that creates long-term wounds.
Do you like to be yelled at? I sure don’t like that kind of treatment. And if I were to ever be yelled at, I would just shut down and shut out whoever was yelling at me. Our children are the same way. Though they may obey in the moment, they will walk away with a heavy heart and wounds that have the potential to last a lifetime.
When I want to yell, I intentionally whisper.
I learned this one from a homeschool mom that was blessed with a big family. When she felt herself wanting to yell she would draw her child close to her and whisper in their ear. This has proven effective in our home.
Yelling does not display the fruits of the spirit.
Yelling does not display love, patience, or self-control–all attributes I wish to impart on my boys. Yelling can be a generational sin cycle that you CAN change. What kind of behavior do you want going into forth coming generations? Yelling that lacks the fruit of the spirit or whispers that display peace, self-control, patience and love.
Scripture tells us that when tempted, He always gives us a way out. You have a choice when you feel yourself about to yell, choose life giving words that display patience and not heavy soul injuring words that display a lack of self-control.