I hadn't used it since the days of fighting with my sister over bathroom time and lipstick so I had forgotten it had existed.
But then suddenly around dinner time about seven years ago, there it was: the yell. And it has stuck around ever since. It starts off low in the diaphragm and then works up and wow, just comes out so loud. And so angry.
And now, I can't lose it. The yell comes out when I don't expect it, sometimes I am even surprised by it's force.
I couldn't go a week without yelling, even though I went a good 15 years without getting loud at anyone. I was interested to read how this mom survived her test of one week without yelling. One week without yelling, it would be like a week without coffee -- impossible. She doesn't make it through without raising her voice but she is able to recognize her triggers and how sometimes being silent works to her advantage. Which reminded me of when I lost my voice and the kids all whispered back to me.
Yelling at our kids is usually not about them at all, it is about us. We know that it doesn't always work to our advantage, in fact it hurts much more than it helps, but we do it anyway. It seems to be the tool that parents use most often, and yet the one we hate the most. When parents are speaking candidly to each other, the topic of yelling often shamefully comes up. Many of us are surprised that we do it so often. We admit that we would never treat an adult that way.
About a year ago, the New York Times said the increase of public yelling was a result on the ban on spanking. Yelling is the only tool we parents have left it seems. Of course we have our maturity, our intelligence, wit and empathy but we toss those out the window as soon as we get angry.
Could you go a week without yelling at your kids? Could you go a day?