Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tracking Triggers

Thanks to the Orange Rhino, I have been tracking what triggers yelling.  And actually I have yelled less the last few days knowing that I am tracking the triggers.  Not that I am trying to skew the results, because I still know when I want to yell, but being conscious of that makes me cool it before I lose it.  Now having said that ~ the triggers are somewhat surprising.  The example provided in the document show a lot of the yelling had to do with the parent and just a little to do with the child.  Not enough prep time so rushing, not paying attention to the child, etc.  While I won't say this isn't at all the case with me, it is less about not having time and being rushed than behaviors. 

While I know there are times I get anxious when we are running late (which is all the time since I am NEVER on time) I don't yell as much then.  I actually lose it when a particular behavior from my child triggers the insanity in my brain.  Just like a dripping faucet over time causes you to want to cut your ears off, the constant whining and sassing and fighting and back talking and disobeying makes me want to pack my bags or yell.  Whichever is quickest. 

Let's face it, other than school in the morning, where do I go?  Let's not count Sundays ~ which really don't trigger my anxiety anyway because I go in at 7:30 and the fam follows around 9:30.  So lack of planning really isn't the issue, because we pretty much have mornings down.  I just have to get 3 kiddos to school, one at 6 a.m. and the other two by 7:45 and 7:50.  I don't have to be anywhere.  No one cares if my clothes are on instead of jams, my teeth are brushed, or if my hair needs washed.  Nope, my triggers are the constant drip, drip, drip of the whine.  When I looked at when I yelled or wanted to, it was listening to someone tell me she was bored, she doesn't like her toys, she doesn't want to clean, she doesn't want me to clean, B got to pick the last show, she wants whatever is on the commercial right now, etc.  Or when I tell her four times to do something.  Or I tell B to pick up his toys and he tells me to pack them up, he would rather they were packed up than have to clean.  Or when I have hit my limit with clutter and no one sees it.

I don't think it has anything to do with me ignoring them.  Or me not having planned early enough. Although these things do happen from time to time.  Nope.  My spoiled children {whom I love dearly and would give my life for} believe they are entitled to 24/7 entertainment.  They want me to entertain them and don't have the imagination skills necessary to entertain themselves.  Was it television?  Was it being in daycare?  What gives them this mentality that I must be at their beck and call?

I have a house to run ~ cleaning, laundry, bills, fixing meals, raising kids ~ and a part time job contracting for the state, and watching the twins, as well as worship team, Women's ministry leader, and wife.  I have cut some things out of my life to accommodate those people and roles that mean the most to me.  I spent the last two days keeping them occupied and that felt good.  However, as soon as I stopped to work on something else yesterday afternoon the bickering and whining started. 

So yes, Orange Rhino, I have tracked my triggers.  And I am going to work on them.  But I have also figured out that it is not always my response to my children that is the problem.  We need to work on teaching the kids to entertain themselves, to be able to do things on their own.  For my sanity and their own good.

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