I was raised in the South Eastern part of Nigeria. It was very common in our neighborhood to hear shouts every now and then. It was either because neighbours from other compounds who didn’t have water flow through their taps at the time, were fetching from ours, or our caretaker was at it with his revving Volvo. There was always noise. I grew to enjoy the noise.
Shouting nko? That was what we were known for. You know, we stand by the balcony of our houses and scream out the names of our neighbours when our parents have gone to work. To be honest, I miss the days!
So yes, it was only normal to have our parents join the noisy gang. Yelling was normal. We could yell and be yelled at. In fact, if you weren’t a yeller, then something wasn’t right. And that was how I learnt to yell.
I would yell at just anyone to get things done because that was what I knew to do. The icebreaker was seeing my daughters yell at each other. I would hear myself say, “Do you know you are shouting?”. Of course, they learnt it from me. For them, it was normal. What else could work? I had to stop!!! And I had to stop fast!!!
Gradually, I began the walk toward being a calm mum. I read books on the effects of yelling at kids and its subsequent effect on my health. I practiced what I learnt, and things started coming together. Does this mean I still don’t get all worked up and triggered? Of course not! What it simply means is, because I’m more conscious of the consequences, I hardly ever scream at anyone.
Do I suppress the emotions when they well up? No! I instead drift to the thinking zone or take deep breathes in and out.
Benefits of my Choices
The girls are:
- Understand better, the need to carry out a given task or act in a particular way.
- Trusting and can lean on me for anything.
- And for me, less tension on brain activity.
You need to understand that yelling stems from anger and comes from a feeling of powerlessness which is normal. Its okay to be in charge, but its also much better to take charge in a healthier way.
More of this in my soon to be released online course…