shutterstock_175976285Yes, I raise my voice to my child. This isn’t one of those posts defending my actions, it’s just an admission. I’ve read all of the studies that say yelling at your kids is damaging, and realistically I understand that it is. What I don’t understand is, how do I become one of those parents who insists they never raise their voice?

My child is three-and-a-half, so admittedly we’re in a bit of a difficult stage. Sometimes, I just can not get him to listen to me. He totally doesn’t respond when I raise my voice in these situations, but I still end up doing it. It’s strange, because there is literally no one else in my life that I ever raise my voice to. I’m not a yeller. I’m an animated speaker for sure, my Greek and Italian ancestry has pretty much solidified that. But yelling? I never did it until I had a frustrating toddler to deal with. This makes me feel like shit.

I don’t scream at the kid or say horrible things. But I raise my voice to a yell. After minutes of , Can you please not throw that, you might hit your sister with it. Please don’t do that. Don’t do that. Are you listening, you can not throw this stuff! my somewhat calm voice inevitably turns into  - STOP! STOP IT RIGHT NOW!

Does he stop? Sort of, but not really. I find that raising my voice really is not that effective, but inevitably it happens. How do parents avoid this kind of behavior? Do I just give up asking him to do these things? That’s probably not the best idea. Longer time-outs? I really don’t know. All I know is, I’m occasionally stressed out caring for two children and I raise my voice to the toddler at a few times a week. Some people may think it’s disgusting, some may think it’s no big deal. I’m just at the point where I want to make a conscious decision not to do it.

I was never yelled at, but by all recollections I was a really good listener. I never got in trouble as a child. I’m sure my child will move out of this difficult period – so I just really want to have some more patience with him. It’s a drag when you realize you are not the perfect parent you thought you would be. Maybe I’m just typing this out to remind myself how much I hate doing it, so I’ll take a minute before it happens again.

(photo: Luis Molinero/ Shutterstock)