It was a normal morning. We were running late (as usual) and the littles could care less. The bus was coming in ten minutes and we were all half dressed. ALL. THREE. OF. US. My stress level was not even on the charts, panic set in, and the yelling started. The annoying, everything you do is wrong, move your little butt yelling. But, the morning was saved, we ended up making it to the bus stop. I’m cruising again. And then, I tell the first grader to put his jacket on, the whining starts, and he deliberately ignores my command. AND. I. LOSE. IT. But, I am a Southern lady, I don’t yell in front of the neighbors. I grabbed his little arm and told him the privilege of riding the bus was just lost and I was taking him to school. On that six minute ride to school, you best believe I let him have it every which way but the right way. I let him know that if his behavior continued, he would NEVER ride the bus again. I dropped him off (on time), came back home and continued on with my day.
19 My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20 because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. 26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. ~James 1:19-20; 26
At 4:15 pm, I stepped outside and waited on the bus as the 4 year old napped inside and I received a call. A call from the school which automatically sent my heart rate through the roof. The lady on the other end wanted to know who was coming to pick up the first grader because all the students had been picked up for the day except one. And that one was mine. I then wanted to start yelling at her because she started asking me questions such as, “How does he normally get home? Did you send a transportation notification to the front office? Did you call before 3:30 pm to change his mode of transportation?” I wanted to say, “Lady. STOP. Let’s start over. How did my son end up in the car rider line? Isn’t it your responsibility to make sure he gets home safely using the approved transportation method? I have not changed his transportation method once in the 1.5 years he’s been there. So, once again, STOP.” But, I didn’t say any of that. I woke the preschooler up and went to pick up my son. I thanked the secretary, buckled in the littles, and headed home. After talking it out, I discovered that the poor boy was confused. I yelled so much he didn’t know what to do. He didn’t know if not riding the bus started that day or next school year. Hence, the phone call.
I learned so many lessons. So many lessons. The yelling is not helping anyone. The point I am attempting to make is still not made. The little people get confused. The husband gets angry. And the situation is still not resolved. I need to stop letting my anger overtake me so fast. The littles even asked their dad, “Why does Mommy yell so much.” God gives me grace everyday, all day. As a Christian, it is my responsibility to give the same grace to others, including the children and husband that take me from 0 to 100 in 2.5 seconds. In this situation, my anger and yellingcaused me to be late because my morning routine was thrown a curve ball. I had to wake the preschooler from her nap and drive to pick the other child up from school which was not in my plans. Had I just taken a moment to digest the situation, teach the boy a lesson, and dropped him off with clear instructions, my day would have ended completely different and probably been more productive. Just this week, my son lost his bus privilege again, but my approach was different. I did not yell. I explained the situation and the consequence and dropped him off. I did email the teacher that afternoon to make sure he took the bus home. The teacher responded, He didn’t even blink about riding the bus. He just assumed he was riding. And that’s what I’m talking about! My point was made and yelling was not necessary. I am so much calmer when the littles misbehave. I catch myself when that loud voice starts rising from my belly and I regroup. It is making me more cognizant of my anger and allowing for much needed self reflection. Next up, stop yelling at the husband. Work in progress people. Work in progress.
Are you a yeller? Have you tried to stop? What sends you to that place? Please share in the comments below.
photo credit: Max the Brown Tabby and Burt the Grey Kitten: Cat Argument 3 via photopin(license)