Help me find a “school for scolding.”

You know how parenting is like building a cathedral? You keep working at it with love and care but don’t see the fruit of your labor till the children grow up. Of course, they grow up to be caring, honest, loving, simply delightful human beings with no baggage at all. Then you realize you have presented the world with a beautiful piece of art. All those years of frustration….err, parenting are totally worth it, as you see the wonderful individual standing in front of you. Hmmmm, when I get carried away, I truly get carried away, don’t I? But one can hope! True or not, when I have just about had it with my kids, I clamp down my lips (so as not to scream), take deep breaths and tell myself ‘You are building a cathedral, you are building a cathedral! Stay calm! Ignore the sigh and the rolling of the eye, control that desire to smack the smirk off your beloved child’s face!” I guess what I am trying to say is, you don’t get to see what kind of job you are doing till the little ones are all grown up.

But both Sean and I got our performance evaluation as parents, by none other than our six year old son. We are doing an ok job of it, most of the time, but both of us are lousy when it comes to scolding! We are both failing….miserably. Over lunch, he told us, in no uncertain terms, that we both can work on our scolding. We can go to a scolding school, if we need to. He was dead serious!

According to him, daddy talks matter of factly, in a normal voice. Hearing this, Sahana, who generally lives in her own preteen world, oblivious to the going-ons in her family, chimed in “Oh, he raises his voice plenty, what are you talking about?” And with that valuable contribution, promptly went back to her la la land, dreaming of books, friends, middle school, smarticle particles and what ever else she thinks about. See how I didn’t mention boys? I am in denial! Ryan completely ignored Sahana’s input and continued with our progress report. He insisted daddy doesn’t have the proper scolding technique down since he tells Ryan in a “normal” voice not to do the naughty thing he is doing. Poor Ryan generally doesn’t pay much attention to it and continues to make a bad choice. And then, wham, without any warning dad takes a privilege away. If only Sean got the scolding down right, Ryan would pay attention, stop making that bad choice and not get the punishment. It is dad’s fault really, for not communicating his displeasure well.

And mom? Well, mom is on the other end of the spectrum. Mom could use a more business like voice instead of yelling. When mommy yells, it really doesn’t serve any purpose, you see (yes, he said these exact words). In fact, it bothers Sahana, if she is trying to study and it hurts his ears. His advise to me was to use more stern, “business like” tone instead of the loud, shrill, high pitched yelling that I use to convey how upset I am about things. Moreover, it probably disturbs the neighbors too. Uhhh, the more he talked the more I felt like a shrew! Goodness! Do I really sound that bad? Sahana broke her reverie to comment “He is right, mom!” Well, thank you! For the support!

So here I am, looking to enroll in a ‘scolding school’. If you know of one, pass along the info. Both my husband and I would be extremely grateful. Don’t want any cracks in the cathedral that I am building! And now that I know what we can improve on…..

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