My Queer Attention To Feelings Is Still Creating Banshees

Some of My Kids’ Voices Are Driving Me Bananas

We spend so, so much time focusing on how to recognize and spend a little bit of time with our feelings. How is it possible that the vast quantities of time spent on helping my kids facilitate their emotions isn’t enough to guide them gently towards happier ground more of the time??? How can it possibly be that their predominant voices are fussy and whiny at best and angry, loud, screeching, screaming, yelling, and fighting at worst?

Do they not have idyllic lives with an experienced hippie parent who gives them endless fresh air, balanced diets, and the ability to express themselves? How is it that this is not enough to guide them gently away from a life without being more than a standard deviation away from an average level of yelling and howling like beasts? Absolute beasts. More that I have seen with other kids – nannying, on the playground, at the library, in the grocery store, etc.

Some of the voicing makes sense due to my five-year-old being slightly on the autism spectrum and my two-year-old learning from his less socially controlled and motivated vocals. But even accounting for that, and all the work I’ve done helping he and I recognize and cope wit his rigid thinking and meltdown triggers, it seems like too much.

Do I spend too much time letting them have gigantic feelings of frustration and outrage in the face of the everyday challenges of a small person? Have I not focused enough on community and sharing and thinking of others? “How do my ears feel when you yell in my face like that?” “Does Eleanor look sad when you scream in her face?” “How do you feel when I get too grouchy and yell at you?” Or perhaps not enough on taking space and breathing and using words when overwhelmed? “Why don’t you snuggle your blanket here for a while and come back out wen you feel like being around people?” “You may stim roughly on your blankie or pillow, but not on your sister.” “Let’s go find a quiet place to recover.” Perhaps not enough consequences for straight up defiance and choosing a scream over a please? “You had lots of warnings and options. You can have a time out in this chair.” And then I come back after enforced recovery and calming time. Have we not practiced enough of “friendly voice” or “polite voice” or voices that “help others listen?” Have I not indulged in enough “natural consequences” such as letting them receive grouchy responses to off-putting demands and howls?

HAVE WE NOT WATCHED ENOUGH DANIEL TIGER????

Which of these or other strategies can be most focused on for best helping them find socially appropriate ways of expressing themselves through voices that both allow them to have their valid tiny person experiences and still avoid what is, I swear, greater than average yelling and screaming and giant, loud, horrible expression that is super hard to deal with for my own sanity and that of society at large??????

When can they potentially begin to have some control over their throats and the big, big, horrible noises that they produce? Which parenting tactics help them explore their own voice control as quickly as possible?

Because I am losing my mind.

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