I often get inspired to write about my experiences with motherhood when I’m feeling frustrated or at a low-point in mommy-ing. I realize that’s somewhat of a depressing way to start off this post, but you can continue for some warm and fuzzies if you’d like. If you know my children or have read any of my day in the life updates, then you can probably take a lucky guess as to who this post is about. My mini-me in all things but gender, Anthony. Anthony and I are two peas in a pod. I love our alone time together, the extra snuggles he gives me, and yes, even his demands for 50 hugs and kisses before bed. Anthony is passionate, loving, determined, and guess what, LOUD. So loud that when I’m at a playdate or doing an activity without him, the first thing people ask is, “where’s Anthony?”
With Joey, my struggles were around his food throwing and limited speech during toddlerhood [now he won’t stop talking- see where that got me??]. With Anthony, it’s around his tone. Volume. Demands. ANYTHING THAT INVOLVES GETTING MOM’S ATTENTION IN THE MOST DEMANDING WAY POSSIBLE. I’m naturally a loud person, as Ted often asks me to stop yelling and I sit back and think, “buddy if you want to hear me yell…. Just wait for it!” So really, as my mini-me, I can’t be too hard on the guy. But after a long day of being talked at, and yelled at, I’m quick to lose my fuse and yell back at my buddy.
So, here’s what I’m thinking all this toddler yelling could stem from:
A. Anthony is our middle child. He just wants to be heard and not left out of the group. Which, mind you, Ted and I try our very best NOT to do. We purposely make praises towards Anthony and often let him, “go first,” as the kids like to call it.
B. Toddlerhood. Like Joey’s food throwing [and hopefully Lily’s iPad obsession], this too is a phase that will pass.
C. Hearing. Anthony had tubes put in right before his second birthday, so he spent almost two years of his life with fuzzy hearing. Could he be used to speaking at a loud volume because of it?!
I know these aren’t scientific reasons, they are just thoughts I have when a certain three-year-old sits and screams for me to put on his socks, demands for more milk, or sits at the side of my bed when I’m sleeping and yells, “Mom wake up, so I can see your eyes!!” Seriously, guys.
Here’s what I’m doing to try and tame this yelling-phase for Mr. Anthony:
A. Leading by example. Oh boy, I’m working my HARDEST not to lose my cool and raise my voice at the trio, because they are then learning this is how we talk to one another. But as you can probably guess a little yelling happened this weekend, and that’s why I’m writing this post.
B. Saying things like, “I hear you Anthony,” or “speak in a soft voice Anthony.” Now I don’t know if that’s working but it certainly calms me down and I sometimes think it does the same for him.
C. Talk to him at his level. I bend down or kneel down, look him in the eyes, and acknowledge what he’s asking [aka yelling] about.
D. Anthony time. I’m making a conscious effort to have more 1:1 time with Anthony, especially on the weekend when Ted can easily run errands with or occupy Joey and Lily.
NOW it’s YOUR turn. Because clearly, I don’t have all the answers and am asking for a friend here. What tips and tricks do you have to combat toddler yelling? Or to make your toddler feel heard?