“Oh my goodness! I am the worse mom on the face of the planet!” I said crying into the phone as I called one of my friends.
“Well first of all calm down. Now tell me what happened? Why do you think you are a bad mom?”
“I yell at my children. I get so frustrated because I am tired from working so they just crowd me as soon as I get home and I can’t even go to the bathroom alone! I tell them to get away from the door then they just continue to argue and scream until I find myself rushing off the toilet often times not even totally relieving myself. Then I scream at them, then they scream at each other, then it’s a royal screaming match. I can’t continue to live like this. I don’t want my children to hate me but sometimes I don’t even wanna come home.”
“What kind of things do you say when you yell?” asked my patient and soft-spoken friend. I really wanted to hate her for being so perfect sometimes.
“I usually tell them how I’m gonna run away from home and not come back one day because they get on my nerves. I also tell them how they make my life such a living hell and I don’t deserve it.” After about a couple minutes of silence I continue, “I’m a pretty screwed up parent huh?”
What my friend said next was a total game changer for me. “While I’ll say you’re not a bad mom, you do need to stop yelling at the children because you are doing more harm than good. You sound like you are burned out. Just because you are a single mom doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself. You need to start asking your support system for help. Tameka, when was the last time you had some ‘me-time?’’
“What the heck is me-time?” I said as we continued the conversation.
If you are anything like I was, frustrated, and needing a break from your little ones, sometimes you are more likely to say something that you truly do not mean to say. Is that considered verbal abuse? Are you considered a bad parent when you are simply frustrated and may need a little me-time to recharge?
Of course not.
Check out this article to see the warning signs of verbal abuse and educate yourself on them so that you won’t fall into the trap of verbal abuse.
So now that you know what verbal abuse is, here are some tips that will help you if you are leaning towards becoming verbally abusive towards your children.
Take me-time daily. This is a huge one. You MUST take some time daily to charge and recharge. Think of it as a cup, you cannot pour out if you do not have anything inside.
Use your support system. This is what the phrase “it takes a village” means. Make a list of everyone in your circle that you trust with your children and make regular appointments with them to keep an eye on the little ones for a while so that you can get some alone time.
Speak in lower tones. When you find yourself upset, lower your voice, always. This will help set the tone for the little ones to follow. Remember they are waiting for you to set the tone for them so set the tone you want them to follow.
When you take time to recharge your battery, you make life better for you and everyone around you. You are less likely to become verbally abusive with your words because you have taken the time needed to be who you need to be for your children and life will become ten times better in the end.
Now that you are aware of how your words have a great impact over your child, becoming more aware and working on yourself as a parent is and always should be your goal. Want more tips on parenting confident kids? Sign up for our Parenting Points and grab a FREE cheat sheet on sibling rivalry!