308 days without yelling, 57 days of loving more to go!
Dear Kevin Bacon,
I love the movie Footloose. Love it, love it, love it! I love when you passionately declare that there is a Time to Dance. Right now, this night, I feel as if I am you. It is my time to dance, to celebrate. In fact, I played “Footloose” tonight and had a dance party with my boys we danced and we yelled. You see, it wasn’t just my time to dance, it was also my Time to Yell.
The Orange Rhino
I have spent the last 307 plus days talking about my commitment to not yell at my boys. I’ve talked about how yelling doesn’t work; how it just makes me feel crappier and the kids cry harder. I’ve talked about how not yelling has benefits, like more peace in the house and in my heart. I’ve talked about how often yelling isn’t warranted, but that my time out to look at my stress is. I have covered a lot of different yelling territory, I think, except for one area: when it IS okay to yell.
Because, I do believe there is a time to yell, and I don’t just mean the emergency situations.
Yes, my yelling meter clearly states that yelling to (not at) is okay in emergency situations, dangerous situations, where a truly raised voice is necessary to keep a child out of harm’s way. Yep, I am cool with yelling in those situations so long as it is to get attention in order to deliver a clear message of safety, not of degradation to the child for misbehaving.
But more so, I am totally cool with yelling for joy, and happiness, and pride, and love.
I am cool with yelling at the top of my lungs “YES! My son’s brain is okay!”
I am cool with yelling at the top of my lungs “YES! Go #1, keep going, you got it, SCORE! You did it!”
I am cool with yelling at the top of my lungs “HAPPY BIRTHDAY #2! I love you!”
I am cool with yelling at the top of my lungs “YEAH #3 you pooped in the potty!”
Yes, there is most definitely a time to yell.
And when the times comes, the time to yell for joy, I need all the energy I can muster. When the time comes, I don’t want to be struck with Parental Laryngitis and unable to yell because I have lost my voice. When the time comes, I don’t want to be so tired from yelling and feeling so crappy from yelling that I can’t find enough joy to yell. In fact, when the time comes for me to yell to my child for a terrific reason, I don’t want my kids to be so used to my yelling that they tune out the important yells — the yells of rejoicing.
You see it is the yells of happiness that really matter. Those are the yells that need to be shared and celebrated and heard loud and clear. The other ones? Over spilled legos and spilled milk? Yeah, not so much. Not so important.
Tonight, tonight I yelled at the top of my lungs for joy and it felt AWESOME. I yelled with happiness that the worst is behind my son. I yelled with gratitude for all the support from you all. I yelled with relief that I can kind of exhale.
I yelled and it felt great and will continue to feel great. And those are the yells I live for! Yells of anger and sadness and frustration and impatience? I don’t need them, they just bring me down. They feel good for a second, but that is it. Yells of joy? They bring me up, they make me feel alive.