Quote of the Week

“There should be no yelling in the home unless there is a fire.”

David O. MacKay

This quote reminds me of a post I did several years back. I feel like I need to revisit this post. Not because my yelling levels have dramatically risen in my house recently, they are stable:) But even stable can be more than I would like….

When Zach and Josh were little, they went to a home daycare, with a wonderful caregiver, Ti-Tia. She was more of a Grandmother to them, and she loved all the kids she took care of, and treated all of us crazy stressed Moms with such love.

Being a family type of daycare, the Moms all got to know each other.
I remember one particular day dropping the boys off at the same time as another Mom dropped her daughter off. We said our good byes to our kids, with lots of hugs and kisses and left.

As we left, the Mom turned to me, with tears in her eyes, and said she had had a really bad mother morning.

Feeling her pain, having had many bad mother mornings myself, I asked, “What happened?”

She replied, “I yelled at my daughter for the first time.”

“The first time today?” (Really, that’s the only thing she could mean in my mind….)

Nope, she meant for the first time ever.


Her daughter was 3 years old.

Ordinarily I would say this woman was a big fat liar. But, knowing the little I knew about her and her sweet disposition, I was pretty sure she was telling the truth.

I have thought of this story so very often.

You see, I felt so guilty. I had yelled at my boys. Often. Probably too often.

I’m not sure if I’m a “Yeller Mom” or not. I mean, I do sometimes get angry, talk sternly, be sarcastic, and occasionally yell. But not as bad as some Moms I hear. I think??

But, regardless of whether I’d be classified as a “Yeller Mom”, I’d prefer to have my kids think back fondly and say, “My Mom/Smom” was such a patient, kind, soft spoken person. It was more like listening to an angel speak”.

Ok. Truthfully, it’s way too late for that.

But I would like them to not have tons of memories of me nagging, or raising my voice. I would prefer those times to be the exceptions.

In my readings of sorts lately, I have come across a few nuggets that really have caused me to pause.

In our faith, we believe that our spirits existed before here on earth, and will continue after we leave this earth. We are all tied together as one big family, having a loving Heavenly Father who sent us here on earth to experience joy and live in families. But, He is the ultimate Creator. We are all His children and He loves each of us individually.

The children we have here on earth are blessings and gifts to us. Our children are not our possessions. We have no ownership per se over them. They are equals to us. Yes, we may have more experience, and we may be their coaches, but they are our equals. We need to remember who they are.

As such, they deserve the same amount of respect as we give to other adults. (Hopefully we do give that respect to other adults – if not, then we need to also remember who THEY are).

In one of my readings (by Jeffrey R Holland), he talks about how we speak to a child:

” We must be so careful in speaking to a child. What we say or don’t say, how we say it and when is so very, very important in shaping a child’s view of himself or herself. But it is even more important in shaping that child’s faith in us and their faith in God”.

He goes on to talk about negative speaking, and how it flows from negative thinking, which before long makes everyone feel miserable.

Maya Angelou asked the question : “How do you react when your child enters the room? Do your eyes light up”?

Children need to feel loved. They need to feel special. We can tell them they are special, or tell them we love them, but if our eyes are not lighting up, or the words coming out of our mouths are harsh, or the tone is demeaning, how will they feel this love?

I need to watch my eyes, my tone, and my words. I want my children to feel they are loved every minute of every day. And then more. Even when I discipline (which I think is part of showing love), I need to be mindful of doing it with respect and dignity.

And that can start with making an effort for my yelling voice to only be used if there is a “fire”.


Quote of the Week — 7 Comments

  1. great post!

    I do remember a similar post you wrote about 18 months ago and it really reminded me to be more mindful in this area (the angel thing is never ever going to happen)

    But I am happy to report I have made a big shift in the last 9 months in this…my eyes do light up I think..and it is not forced (most the time)

    Something clicked for me re the tone. It was when I was in a grocery store one day and heard a mom talking to her own 4 kids all age 8-16 and she was soooo sarcastic( to me there is nothing worse than this and condesening when speaking to anyone unless a joke) I was so turned off by her and she honestly appreared to me as a witch and I felt so sorry for her kids. What she was syaing was really true as they were hyper and annoying, but the way she said it really affected me and I kept thinking “how could they feel love towards her ever???”

    Anyways since your last post about this and this incident I have tried to be better. Far far from perfect or really good-but much much better. there were many things I did to change this and I am glad they finally have worked a bit as was something i had tried unsuccessfully to work on for years. I find as kids get older much easier to scream less and their lives and decisons are so much more belonging to them.

    I use it on Hubby too:) Happy to report that in 6 months have not screamed once (at him) except when I have to pack:))

    And I think true that often the way a mother speaks to her kids can also be the way she talks to many other people (works, friends, spouses) maybe in less direct and loud tones but simailar styles. I also heard lately the the way we treat waitresses indicates who we are. oh boy!

    we should all tape ourselves in a given day and listen back and get our a feedback group to comment. My uncle recently did a test he sent out to a big group of close people called Johari window to see hidden blind spots…and I am sure the feedback he got was very helpful and cool.


  2. I am with Tamara, I think I didn’t yell much at all at Emma, because she was seriously such a shy, quiet kid to begin with, but Lily was having temper tantrums at 15 months, so yes sadly yelled here at her at a younger age. But love this quote and try my best to let my girls know through it all that I do love them, but yes still have to raise my voice when they are misbehaving, but again try to do it only for those times myself.
    Janine Huldie recently posted…Here Comes The SunMy Profile

  3. I can’t even tell you how many nights I went to bed crying when my boys were little because I felt so bad about yelling at them. I used to be such a “yeller” mom. Now it is very rare for me to yell at them – I always just hope that I didn’t do too much damage with all the yelling when they were little.
    Kim recently posted…The Truth about BloggingMy Profile

  4. Uh oh. I am a yeller mom. My mom was a yeller mom too. I try not to, but when they really push buttons, I yell. One time I was on vacation with a friend who is not a yeller mom, and she ended up yelling too when the kids misbehaved. And then when we left, she said she felt so bad, like she was the meanest mom ever, because it was so out of character for her. If we hadn’t been such good friends, I probably would have been mortified and maybe the friendship would have faded. But it’s been like 8 or 10 years and we’re still friends. My kids do know I love them, in spite of my yelling. I tell them all the time.
    Michelle @ A Dish of Daily Life recently posted…Sideline Parents, Take it Easy on our Youth Referees!My Profile

  5. This is great, Leah. This really hit home with me, “I need to watch my eyes, my tone, and my words. I want my children to feel they are loved every minute of every day. And then more. Even when I discipline (which I think is part of showing love), I need to be mindful of doing it with respect and dignity.” This is what I want too and I think I’m pretty good at delivering upon that goal, but there is always room for improvement. And I know that my girls mimic what they see and I want them to mimic this behavior with their own kids some day.
    Shannon @ The Heavy Purse recently posted…The College Conversation: 3 Important ComponentsMy Profile

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