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So, if I can open up completely, I’ll tell you that when I yell, it is ALWAYS because something ELSE is stressing me out. I listened to an audiobook on Audible called Peaceful Parents, Happy Kids and it made me realize that WE are often the reason for our children’s behaviors, outbursts or for our own stress & yelling. I’m working with Audible today to share a story that I hope helps you in your own family.

Example: It was time for Allie’s Princess birthday party and it was for only a handful of her friends, but all of her friend’s parents were coming over.

Little girls posing for a photo in princess costumes.

I had been so busy doing fun things for her party (setting up the table, decorating, etc…) that I didn’t really clean up that day. I try to keep our house clean, so when it looks messy, it drives me crazy!

So… two hours before the party, our four kids are running around, playing, but leaving little trails of mess behind them. Finally, I just yelled, “Will you guys please stop and help me?!” I can tell you that the look on their faces said it all. I was hit with guilt and felt ashamed. One thing that I strive for is a good relationship. I truly think that when kids respect you, they do what you ask. I never want to be a parent who barks out orders to our kids. I want to be the parent who asks them once and they say yes because they know it is helpful. I want to say to myself “I’d like having me for a parent, too.”

A woman and children posing for a picture.

I have never had an issue with having to repeat myself too much or having our kids refuse to do things. They don’t talk back or argue (well, once in a while they do, but it’s not a habit of theirs). I attribute it to the fact that I treat them with respect and they do the same. I would never yell at a friend or at a student, so Mickey & I rarely raise our voices and I don’t want to yell at our kids. My parents didn’t yell often, either, so I try to do the same.

So- all of this to say that I can control my temper and stress by controlling the other things around me.

A woman and little girl holding hands in tall grass.

When our house is clean & organized- BAM: I’m calm.

When things are in their place: BAM- I’m calm.

I know that I shouldn’t let other things control how I act with my family, but sometimes I do.

It’s funny- if Mickey raises his voice, I can almost guarantee it is because we are late to be somewhere because that makes him nervous and stressed. While I never mind being late (sorry!), it drives Mickey up-the-wall! So, if you come to our house at 9:20 on a Sunday morning and our van is still home… I can promise you that there is a 5’10 man inside, pacing back and forth, trying not to yell “PUT YOUR SHOES ON!” 🙂 LOL.

To help me keep things organized, I do four things:

1. Take advice from others (and don’t try to be “Perfect”
“There are no perfect children. There are no perfect parents. There are families who live in the embrace of great love.” ~ Dr. Markham

2- I declutter our house.
I keep it clutter-free because clutter=stress. (It’s proven!)
I do this by taking my own declutter challenge. I eventually put it on the blog because I wanted other people to be able to take it, too. It is 7 days of decluttering. You essentially clean, organize & free up your home from clutter. You can see it here.

3- I keep a planner.
It has routines, times, number, debt info, passwords, meal plans, menu items, grocery lists, etc… all in ONE binder. It makes our life so much easier!
I finally hired a designer to make it look a little nicer (lol) and put it on the blog. I use it every single day & so does my family. They know to look in there for information and where to add their own things. You can find my own planner here.

4. I remind myself every single day:
The days are slow, but the years fly by. I want every moment in our home to be something that they can look back on with fond memories. I want to remember things like the songs that I sing to them while I tuck them into bed at night and then tell their children “This is a song that my mom used to sing to me.”

Just the other day (another story coming) our son was going to bed. I was tucking him in and he said “Can you sing me Toora Loora Loora and that other one that Great Grandma sang to Gi (my mom) and Gi sang to you, the one about ‘Playmate, come out and play with me?'” You could have knocked me over. This child has not wanted me to sing him a song in probably four years.

I sang my little heart out for him, as I stroked his hair and held him. One day, very very soon, he will not want me to sing to him. I know these things are coming, so I soak them in now. I work on the relationship now that will bond my children and I forever. I want them to WANT to come home in 20 years – bringing their kids, coming for ice cream or to get a pedicure (Allie & I will do this one day), or to have their dad help them fix something on the car.

Remember… we are all human and we lose our tempers at times, so let’s find the culprit & knock it out. 🙂

I encourage you to find a book that will inspire you. As I said, I liked Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids, but find one for you. Audible has an unmatched selection of audiobooks. A great book or performance is something that can inspire you, even change the way you feel or help you to see things differently. (That’s why I love Audible – it works with great narrators to bring books to life in a new way. Whether these performers are celebrities in their own right or simply powerful voices that bring a new depth to your favorite characters, listening to a book can be a very powerful thing.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Audible. The opinions and text are all mine.

Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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