Good Dog! Creating Intentional Peace in My Family

I never had a real anger problem. I mean, I didn’t yell at others – hardly ever.

I did take out my rage on myself when I was in my teens and twenties, however.

And I guess, as I matured, though I learned coping mechanisms on how not to self-injure, I never learned, truly, how to deal with anger.

If you don’t learn to deal with your anger, your anger will just deal with you – angrily. 

And it will deal with the loved ones in your life – angrily.

And now, two years of full-time parenting later, I realized recently that I don’t want my stepkids to remember me as  a critical, angry machine. Or a bipolar parent: peaches and cream one minute and hell-hath-no-fury the next. 

I wanted to change. I needed to change. I vowed to change.

And then one of the kids stole something from me. The day after I vowed not to yell.

And I lost it. I used my angry look, my sarcastic words, and my spite to burn a hole right into her heart.

Was her stealing okay? Absolutely not.

But how can anyone learn the lesson if you are yelling at them?

I remember an exercise my high school teacher showed us when teaching about tone of voice.

He said if you yelled


in a very angry voice, the dog would think he had done something horrible.

And if you said quietly and sweetly,

“You’re such an awful dog and I hate you so very much…”

then the dog would feel happy and loved.

That lesson always stuck with me.

I don’t think yelling accomplishes anything.

Now hear me: there is a difference between yelling and talking with a firm and authoritative voice.

Yelling cuts them off at the knees, firm talking teaches and builds them up.

They don’t respect one but they will respect the other (eventually).

And so I start this page on this blog. And no, I do not call my stepkids dogs nor think of them as such. The title comes from my drama teacher story. 

I found two incredible blogs about parenting with decreased yelling. I’ve been browsing them with amazement and a yearning I can’t quite express.

Sometimes, while reading, I think to myself, why can’t I do that? and then I remember that it took these women a long time to get to where they are and even now they are far from perfect.

So with full admission of imperfection, I strive to turn this page into a place where I can document what works for me and what doesn’t. A place for me to share my frustrations and achievements.

Will you consider joining me?

Visit the two blogs I’ve discovered thus far which are truly turning me inside-out and upside-down:

The Orange Rhino  (she is hilarious and spot-on)

Hands Free Mama (she brings knowing tears to my eyes every time)

I would love parents who would like to take this dare with me. And it is a dare. Dare we commit to this? Dare we hold ourselves accountable? Dare we step outside our comfort zone?

Dare we not?

If you are interested in reading the Good Dog posts, please follow the main page of this blog and I will name each post pertaining to this topic as ” Good Dog: Insert Name of Post Here.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s