Category Archives: Stay-At-Home-Moms

10 Things to Do to Stop Yelling at Your Kids

Constantly screaming and yelling at your kids is abusive, useless and stupid (if it was useful, you wouldn’t have to do it more than once). Most parents scream because they are frustrated; their buttons have been pushed and they feel like they don’t have any other options. However, the minute you lose it, you lose all the power.

You would think that screaming would make your kids fear you. It doesn’t.  As a matter of fact, it does just the opposite.  Kids lose respect for you when you start screaming and yelling because you’ve lost control. They know that the yelling will pass, or they become so frustrated and angry that after a while, they become immune to it and don’t take you seriously.

Now, just as all kids misbehave, disobey, talk back, ignore chores and fight with siblings, all parents are going to holler every now and then. However, you need to pay close attention to how you’re yelling. Blaming and shaming – “You’re a loser,” “You’re useless,” “You’re the reason I’m upset” – are very destructive, especially if the child is being told that he or she is responsible for the parent’s problem. According to The American Journal of Psychiatry, emotional abuse is the most significant predictor of mental health, even more than sexual or physical abuse.

Here are 10 things you can do to stop yelling at your kids:

  1. Set clear boundaries.
    Kids are not psychic – you have to make the rules clear.  If the rules aren’t clear, kids have trouble following them.  You may assume that your child heard and remembers something you said to them in passing, but they may not. So, you need to be really clear. Instead of saying, “Don’t come in the house with wet shoes,” say, “When you come in the house, I want you to take your shoes off and leave them by the front door – whether they are wet or not. That way, we won’t bring the trash and germs from outside into the house.” Now that’s clear.  Or, if you want your child to pick up their room, physically go in there and show them what you mean (when I was a kid, throwing everything into my closet and closing the door was my idea of cleaning my room).
  2. Set simple consequences.
    Many parents threaten consequences and then don’t follow through on them.  However, empty threats don’t work.
  3. Speak to your child on his or her level.
    Bend down so that you’re eye-to-eye.  Getting face-to-face makes it easier for them to hear you, listen to you and pay attention.
  4. Be sure your child understands what you are asking.
    After you’ve instructed your child to do something, have them repeat it back to you. That way, you’ll know if they’ve actually heard it.
  5. Respond every time a rule is broken.
    Be consistent. Each and every time a rule is broken, calmly impose the consequence.
  6. Remind your child of the rule only ONE time.
    Your child gets one reminder. After that, they get a consequence.
  7. Immediately deliver the consequence.
  8. Ask someone to remind you when you’re yelling.
    Pick someone who knows you well (a spouse, parent, friend, etc.) and ask them to give you a signal when they see you yelling.
  9. Respond kindly when your child yells at you.
    Instead of shouting back when your child is screaming at you, just calmly say, “I know you’re mad at me right now, but please talk to me like I’m someone you love.” That stops everyone in their tracks.
  10. Take a “parent” time-out.
    Sometimes even parents need a time-out. It doesn’t mean you have to go sit in the corner, it just means that you need to take a break. Take a shower. Have a cup of tea or a glass of wine. Revisit the situation later when you’re not feeling so angry. In fact, walking out of the room inspires fear far more than yelling does.

Day Cares Don’t Care

When it comes to the crucial age of being a new little person on the face of the earth, not even the best center-based day care can provide children with what they really need.  Kids require one-on-one, loving care that responds to them individually.  Spending hours away from home prevents little children and parents from establishing the intimate and emotional bonds necessary for both the parent-child relationship and the child’s overall development.
 
I consider day care to be neglect and child abandonment.  There has been sufficient research over the years demonstrating the negative impact of day care on children.  Here are just a few negative facts about day care from a website called “Daycares Don’t Care.” ()   I have promoted it many times because the creators are very scientific in their research:

* “Kids do not learn social skills through interacting with other kids any more than children learn to play the piano through interacting with other musically illiterate children.  Children learn social skills through observing and emulating adult behavior”.
 
* “The typical day care center provides the stimulation and educational opportunity of a day in prison — and spreads far more infection and communicable disease than the county jail.”
 
* “Saying, ‘My kids went to day care, and they turned out OK,’ is like saying, ‘Some kids went to orphanages, and they turned out OK.’  But who would want to deliberately put their kids through that?!”

* “A religious institution’s day care (Bible Day Care) is no better. Whether it’s in a church, synagogue, mosque, or temple, it’s still a day care!  Even worse, many states exempt religious child-care programs from inspections and regulations that other day-care programs are subject to.  (By the way, are you sure the day care is really part of your church, or is your church just renting space to your day care?)”

It doesn’t even really matter if the day care is licensed or state approved: 

“Child abusers can easily craft neatly-typed resumes with impressive-sounding references…Even for facilities that are licensed and inspected, breaking the rules usually means little more than a slap on the wrist. The unfortunate truth is that even demonstratably bad day-care centers are unlikely to be shut down.  Though criminal-background checks are required of workers at licensed or subsidized child-care facilities, even a jury’s conviction doesn’t necessarily put someone out of the child-care business. Child-care inspectors…bend over backward to give day-care providers a chance to correct a problem – sometimes they bend too far – but it is very hard to take someone’s license away once it is granted.” 
 
I once saw a video of a licensed day care in Detroit where a 9-year-old boy was beating the crap out of toddlers and kicking them like a ninja. And what was the day-care supervisor doing?  She was just standing there, doing nothing.  She was arrested, of course, but that won’t be able to fix the damage done to those traumatized little kids.

Sometimes people argue that kids from very poor families benefit from being put in day care early on.  However, research shows that the “benefit” has nothing to do with any inherent merits of day care.  For these children, day care may have a positive effect on their language and cognitive skills because they are not experiencing that development at home.  If the child comes from a stable home with caring parents, then he or she receives no benefit from day care.  
 
Now, it would be mean to blame parents who want the best for their kids and truly have absolutely no alternative but to send them to day care.  In fact, I have recommended day care if you know that you are a sucky mother.  However, whether you’re doing it out of necessity or not, it doesn’t change the fact that day care is not a good thing for kids.  I have tremendous compassion for mothers who don’t have options, but you can’t say, “It’s a good thing for kids,” simply because you don’t have options.  It may be unpopular or frustrating for parents to hear because they are struggling with finances, feeling worried about their careers, or simply having a difficult time raising their kids, but that doesn’t make it right.  

As it turns out, most women who are stay-at-home moms are from modest-income homes.   This debunks the argument made by a lot of women who say they “have” to work out of economic necessity.  Statistically, more women whose husbands earn less than the median income are stay-at-home moms.  Therefore, what it really comes down to is a question of values, and taking care of children simply doesn’t seem to be a value of upper class or upper-middle class families.

 
Essentially, parents think they can do whatever they want and their kids will be fine.  However, we know that’s not true.  Having your infant or toddler at home being cared for by either a loving parent or grandparent is the ideal.  Whether that’s possible for you or not, it’s still the ideal.  We shouldn’t disparage it simply because people feel like they don’t have options or feel guilty about it, especially when, more often than not, it is possible. It just takes proper planning and sacrifice.

For more information about how day cares don’t care, click here.

 

The Cost of NOT Staying At Home

We all know the costs of moms not staying at home with their kids.  But did you know it literally costs more for moms to work?

After factoring in the rising costs of child care, gas, wear and tear on the car, parking, and other work-related expenses (clothes, food, etc.), a growing number of mothers are figuring out it doesn’t pay to have a job. 

In a CNN article, a third-grade teacher making about $48,000 a year in the Fairfax, Virginia  public school system was shadowed.  Out of the $48,000 she earned, she brought home about $30,000 after taxes, health insurance, and retirement contributions.  Even though she lives in Virginia, where child care costs are among the lowest in the country, care for the child would have cost $12,000 a year – nearly half of her before-tax income.

She says, “It wasn’t worth $18,000 for us to let somebody else raise our son.”  So I thought, “Well what amount of money would make it worth it to have somebody else raise your kid?” 

The Pew Research Center also conducted a study on the public attitude about stay-at-home moms.  According to it, when motherhood and children are brought into the debate, there is an ongoing ambivalence about what is best for society. Oh my gosh!  Imagine thinking of the greater good.  Only 21 percent of adults think the trend toward mothers of young children working outside the home has been a good thing for society.  Personally, I’m sad that the response was as large as 21 percent, but it’s still small.  On the other hand, 37 percent of the people surveyed said being a working mom is a bad thing, and 38 percent were not sure it makes a difference. 

The study goes on to say, most working mothers (62%) prefer to only work part time, and only 37% say they prefer full-time work. That’s scary…a third of those children have mothers who would rather be away from them all day. And finally, only one-in-ten moms say having a mother who works full time is the ideal situation for a child.  Do you realize they took ten mothers and asked each of them, “If you work full time, is that ideal for your kid?”  And one of them actually said, “Yeah.”  I wonder what motivated that, because I’ve always said not everybody’s a great mom.  If you’re not a good mom the kid might be better off with somebody else.  It is possible. 

But then I asked my listeners to describe “Aha!” moments they had about being stay-at-home moms.  Here are just three of the responses… 

Heidi wrote:
“My ‘Aha!’ moment happened rather quickly when I became a mom for the first time.  I was open to returning to work and didn’t know how I was going to feel after giving birth.  But when they put my daughter in my arms for the very first time, I looked at her, felt her tiny little body against mine, and said to my husband, ‘I’m never going back to work!’  Within those first few seconds of holding my daughter, a rush of future moments overwhelmed all my senses.  I didn’t want anyone besides this beautiful baby’s mommy and daddy to care for her.  I didn’t want a nanny to call me when she took her first steps.  I didn’t want a text from someone other than her daddy telling me she ate carrots for the first time.  I didn’t want to learn via email my child could swing all by herself at the park.  I didn’t want a video sent to my cell phone watching her speak her first words or hear her first real giggles.  I didn’t want a Picture Mail of my child’s first smile after losing her first tooth.  No, I wanted to be there for every possible moment in her life.  What job or amount of money would be worth missing all of that?  I’m happy to say after 6 years with two children and a grateful husband who not only loves my choice but also respects my choice (as so few do) of staying at home to raise our children, I still stay at home!  Thank God I had my ‘Aha!’ moment so quickly.  Otherwise I would have missed out on the one thing that matters most in life: being a real and present mother who has enough videos and pictures to fill a thousand albums that were all taken by me!  We all have regrets in our lives on what we should have or wished we would have done.  I thank God that not being there for my children each and every day is not one of them.”

Mayi wrote:
“When I started staying home with my children, I was surprised to find out how much I didn’t value my position as a mother.  I found out I only get to be mommy once and time was valuable. I learned I could live on a lot less than I originally believed.  I learned I like teaching (as they were my first students).  I learned I only get one shot at being an awesome mom.  I learned how to love and appreciate myself as a woman with an important job.  I learned how to budget and sacrifice, and I began to connect with and honor other mothers.  I have learned how to be creative, work, and study from home, and I have learned how to organize and plan.  I know the bond we have created will never be broken.  And I learned as long as I put God first, He will lead and direct me down the correct path and continue to make me an awesome mom and wife.”

And Jane:
“I have my stay-at-home parent ‘Aha!’ moment almost daily when I pick my daughters up from school.  I see the other kids who come out from their classes to emerge into the quad or parking lot area only to look for their ‘after school program’ bus/van, and they have this look of sadness when they see children like mine, who have their mom there to greet them with a hug, kiss, and a smile once they come running out of their classroom.  It would break my heart if I was not able to be there like I am for my girls.  Yes, we don’t have the luxuries like the other kids do of going to Disneyland once a year, video game systems, or designer clothes/shoes, but we are happy with what we have and what we can do. I love my two girls, and I wouldn’t change being a stay-at-home mom for anything!”