JUST. SHUT. UP.
Yes. I said it. I SWORE I would never tell my kids to shut up. But today I did. My husband’s eyes nearly popped out of his head. He whispered, “You’ve never said that before”.
And he’s right.
I think I should feel bad. But, I actually don’t.
I *almost* felt guilty. And then I remembered WHY I finally hit the JUST SHUT UP wall. And then I felt just fine with it. While not my favorite parenting tactic… I DID, in fact, feel a little better.
You see…. there is this sentence that keeps running around my brain like a hamster in a wheel. It started as a whisper, but it is now a full blown yell: “I would NEVER have talked to my parents like that!” The same sentence has also taken this form, “If I did that as a kid, I might not have made it to my teenage years.” (This includes eye-rolling, foot-stomping, constant back-talking and my current favorite: deep-sighing)
Don’t misunderstand, I wasn’t a perfect kid and I’m sure I talked back. But this? This complete lack of respect?
It is driving me insane.
I talk, they talk back. I instruct, they argue. I correct, they sass. I ask them to clean up, they ‘forget’ or even better, they ‘didn’t hear me’.
And while they certainly have their darling moments – for the most part, I’m fed up.
So, circling back to the ‘shut up’ incident.
I broke. It is as easy as that. I gave a simple instruction: “Delaney, head upstairs and put a long-sleeve shirt on under your soccer shirt – it is getting a bit chilly outside.” I don’t expect a stepford-child that answers ‘yes ma’am’ every time and marches happily out of the room.
But I also don’t have to justify ever decision I make. So, when the arguing, the whining, the debating started. I Alpha-dogged her. I yelled JUST. SHUT. UP. I’m sure I even looked mean.
And you know what she did? She STOPPED TALKING. She LISTENED.
I suspect she was startled by my outburst. I also suspect she was a little scared that I was so angry.
While this next statement may solidify my candidacy for mother of the year, I’m ok admitting – that I don’t mind either. In fact, I’ve decided it is important for my kids to know that I do have a ‘do not cross’ line.
SHUT UP may not be my phrasing of choice. And I would like to be one of those moms that never yells, but I’m going to embrace my flaws on this one.
Now, if I start yelling ‘shut up’ 27 times each day….. THAT will be a different story.
I told you I was going to stop saying I was sorry…
Please tell me your kids are doing something similar? I’ll settle for the occasional eye-roll. Come on….tell me.
Thank u. I feel better now.
I think it depends on the child. I agree when I was a kid if my son did the things he does ..I would have been beaten to death LOL yet my parents tolerate all of his behavior.
But like a said depends on the child. Some kids like me would have been good with the time out. Other kids are good with shut up. But don’t feel so bad for telling them to shut up. My kid doesn’t listen to shut up or time outs . He’s 7 .. I have to give mine a good whack in the behind for him to even half listen lol
C Bennett says
I try to remember this when I’m angry, “Anger divides”. No one is perfect, we all get angry, but it’s how we deal with it that matters. Especially with children. We are, after all, supposed to be teaching them how to be loving and kind humans as well as obedient. They will copy our behavior, what example do we want them copying? Graceful, kind ways of interacting while frustrated, or outbursts of anger? Also, this may not apply with your children, but as a parent of an ADHD kid, I’ve come to realize that health reasons for disobedience is something that can easily fall under the radar. If a child consistently “ignores” instructions (or can’t tolerate them altogether), or repeatedly says they didn’t hear you, sometimes it’s not disobedience, but neurological. Every brain works differently, and there are a lot of kiddos out there who legit “can’t hear you” due to how their brain functions. If that’s the case, it may not prevent your frustration, but it does help to give a new insight as to why they are doing what they are doing and help the parent empathize, rather than shout. It is hard not to shout.
Danielle Smith says
I so appreciate your perspective and insight – thank you for sharing.
They do !
I have told my 19 year old to just shut and now I am fine with it.
Not proud of it but I broke too. 🤷♀️
Same here. My kids do all of those things. They talk about and it never ends sometimes!