Oliver is boisterous. He is full of energy and certainly suffers from selective hearing.
Tie that with nine months of ear infections, and you find yourself with two parents at their wits end trying to get their toddler to do ANYTHING!
But then I stopped yelling.
When I say I tried everything, I mean it. Talking, asking, crying, laughing, yelling, screaming, smacking. I never wanted to smack my child, but I really didn’t know what else to do.
It resulted in the two of us sitting there, crying.
And that’s when I stopped yelling. It was part choice, and part me giving up and realising I had to start from complete scratch.
The first few days were horrible, absolutely terrible. He was so defiant, I remember him throwing a wooden toy at me to try get a reaction. It hurt like hell, and I sobbed quietly but I didn’t raise my voice.
And then I started giving him simple choices, “Mummy’s going to bed, are you coming or staying up?” “Staying up, okay goodnight!” Then he would come to bed.
Then I started to give him responsibilities, “Mummy’s going to bed, can you turn off the TV?”
No arguments, no complaints, just results.
I remember the first time I took him out in public and he didn’t spend every second trying to run from he. He held my hand when I asked, he slowed down when I asked, I listened to what he wanted to do, and it was perfect.
Even his daycare has told me of his improvement, and they are following my technique.
He thrives with responsibility and boundaries. If he doesn’t listen, I remove him from the situation. For example he is allowed to play on the drive way, but if he steps one foot on the road without holding my hand I simply pick him up and carry him inside. Then he gets one chance to say sorry and try again. The first few times I was smacked, and yelled at. But each time he understood it more and more, and now he doesn’t even try it. If for some reason he wants to go onto the road, he asks me to hold his hand and escort him.
I feel like I have a completely different child than I had six months ago. Of course he has aged, and of course his communication skills have improved. But he still struggles to communicate and I still struggle to understand exactly what he wants.
But now, we don’t yell. We talk, we try, and we figure it out.
My parenting skills have improved 100% since quitting yelling, and I’m not only much happier- Oliver is too.