I've been doing pretty well at not shouting. But sometimes I "call out." So I've been trying to figure out when it's ok to raise my voice. It seems kind of like dieting -- you can't stop eating altogether, which makes it trickier than say, quitting smoking. Anyway, I yelled out, "Tom! Stop! Come back here!" when he was going into an unauthorised part of Harry's school grounds. That seems totally fine. Certainly it's fine to prevent running into the road, or other semi-suicidal actions that 3-year-olds attempt on a daily basis. It certainly isn't fine when it's venting my anger for the sake of it. Maybe it's to do with the motivation behind it -- anger versus fear. But that seems too murky. I've been mulling.
I've come up with two (closely related) signs of when it's ok versus not ok. One is whether I would mind if strangers saw me doing it. Certainly in the case of running off at Harry's school, there were plenty of parents around, and I thought nothing of it. Totally fine. I know that my worst parenting happens when there are no other adults around. Sometimes I imagine that there are web-cams in the house when I'm feeling short-tempered. Anyway. The other sign is if I would be happy for Harry (Tom when he's older) to model my behaviour. When it's about safety, I'm happy for Harry to yell to Tom to stop whatever he's up to. So these are the questions I'm asking myself to determine whether I get my daily gold star for not shouting.
Today is Day 1 of Mindfulness. I've just done the first meditation. It made me v sleepy.