Communicate with your Heart


Mama Bear


I recently had a conversation with someone I’ll call “Yelly” about how she communicates with her son. I explained that is it clear he cares about him, but because she constantly yells at him about most all things it can be seen as otherwise. If you didn't guess it, I am "Yelly". I began to think of alternatives to express those some concerns without being “yelly”. It made me realize how many of us parents have had similar upbringings where our caregivers communicate in raised voices. Oftentimes when we yell or express extreme emotions, fear can be found at the root. Fear that our child could be injured, unknowing placed in danger or worse. The idea is to recognize this THEN express yourself, the message will be clearer and received better. It definitely take practice until it is second nature (especially if your have developed this behavior over years).
A few techniques that have been useful for me are:

  • take a minute to think about the reason why am feeling so strongly about whatever is happening

  • excuse myself to allow time to self-regulate

  • fully assess the situation for any real dangers

  • ignore or don't engage and give my child the freedom to learn from experience

The key is to identify the problematic behavior and work to change it. Our children don't know or understand the whys of our actions, only how they felt. I read that verb trauma can be more damaging than physical or sexual (not to take either one lightly, only to illustrate the impact that our words truly have on our developing children). Keep this in mind as you traverse the windy road of parenthood and let love guide you.