I shouted at my kids & here is why
“Will you … SHUUUUUUUUUT UP!!!!”
Actually written like this it doesn’t sound too bad. Try turning up the dial by 100 decibels or if you don’t work in decibels, I read that 140 decibels is the same as a gunshot. That feels accurate. Then stir in 2 weeks of frustration, exhaustion and a dollop of no longer giving a damn.
Oh yes, and don’t forget to add a work call into the mix.
I shouted at my kids and here is why…
To set the scene.
We were making sushi. At my parents’ house. My parents were taking a well deserved 5 minutes to lead their own lives, rather than look after mine. So I’m in charge. I’m also on a work call. Sorting out something relatively important and time sensitive
The kids’ irritation with each other has been growing since the start of the holiday. Picking at each other until they now are open wounds of frustration. All it took was a cucumber. Full on WW3 in the kitchen.
I tried a couple of times to tell them delicately, but they didn’t listen so here we are.
I hit melting point with my children, in front of a colleague.
Firstly I know. I KNOW. We shouldn’t shout at our kids. Every piece of parenting advice starts with don’t shout at your kids. I don’t need to be reminded.
Secondly, I feel terrible. I shouted at my kids. With a witness. I should be escorted away by the parenting police and made to stand trial. (I’d be found guilty btw).
But I also know I’m not alone. I’m sure if you’ve read this far, you’ve probably shouted at your kids too.
So 48 hours later, here’s what I think.
I’m not a terrible parent. This was one small moment in time. There are plenty of other times when I’m loving, giving and nurturing. The mere fact I’ve been obsessing over this for the last 48 hours means I probably care. A LOT.
I’m sure if I wrote a list of the good things I’ve done for my kids, it would outweigh the bad – that’s probably a good activity to do, if I had time.
Just because I lost my cool, doesn’t make me a bad parent. It doesn’t mean that I’m going to shout at my kids, all the time. It just means that at that particular moment I was running on empty, the holidays are hard and there are only so many balls we can keep in the air without dropping one (or more).
I’m human and that means I’m not perfect. I have my flaws (quite a few actually) and I certainly can be pushed to the limit. But that doesn’t make me a bad human.
In fact, we were all friends again in 5 minutes. And the kids have been better, more empathetic humans since. They may just have learnt that the world doesn’t (always) revolve around them.
So if there’s a lesson to be learnt from my outburst it’s this:
Yes, I shouted at my kids, and it was not my proudest moment. But our children don’t need perfect parents. They need real, honest, human ones – those who make mistakes, apologise, and strive to do better next time.
(and avoid making sushi.)
If you’re looking for ideas to keep the kids entertained this summer, look no further than here.