That time I said SHUT UP to my child…. No, I’m not sorry.

Shut up.



Yes. I said it. I SWORE I would never tell my kids to shut up. But today I did. My husband’s eyes nearly popped out of his head. He whispered, “You’ve never said that before”.

And he’s right.

I think I should feel bad.  But, I actually don’t.

I *almost* felt guilty. And then I remembered WHY I finally hit the JUST SHUT UP wall. And then I felt just fine with it. While not my favorite parenting tactic… I DID, in fact, feel a little better.

You see….  there is this sentence that keeps running around my brain like a hamster in a wheel.  It started as a whisper, but it is now a full blown yell: “I would NEVER have talked to my parents like that!”  The same sentence has also taken this form, “If I did that as a kid, I might not have made it to my teenage years.” (This includes eye-rolling, foot-stomping, constant back-talking and my current favorite: deep-sighing)

Don’t misunderstand, I wasn’t a perfect kid and I’m sure I talked back.  But this?  This complete lack of respect?

It is driving me insane.

I talk, they talk back.  I instruct, they argue.  I correct, they sass.  I ask them to clean up, they ‘forget’ or even better, they ‘didn’t hear me’.

And while they certainly have their darling moments – for the most part, I’m fed up.

So, circling back to the ‘shut up’ incident.

I broke.  It is as easy as that.  I gave a simple instruction: “Delaney, head upstairs and put a long-sleeve shirt on under your soccer shirt – it is getting a bit chilly outside.”  I don’t expect a stepford-child that answers ‘yes ma’am’ every time and marches happily out of the room.

But I also don’t have to justify ever decision I make. So, when the arguing, the whining, the debating started. I Alpha-dogged her.  I yelled JUST. SHUT. UP. I’m sure I even looked mean.

And you know what she did?  She STOPPED TALKING.  She LISTENED.

I suspect she was startled by my outburst.  I also suspect she was a little scared that I was so angry.

While this next statement may solidify my candidacy for mother of the year, I’m ok admitting – that I don’t mind either.  In fact, I’ve decided it is important for my kids to know that I do have a ‘do not cross’ line.

SHUT UP may not be my phrasing of choice.  And I would like to be one of those moms that never yells, but I’m going to embrace my flaws on this one.

Now, if I start yelling ‘shut up’ 27 times each day….. THAT will be a different story.

I told you I was going to stop saying I was sorry

Please tell me your kids are doing something similar?  I’ll settle for the occasional eye-roll.  Come on….tell me.

  • Heavyweight Martial Artist

    If my mom told me to shut up I would break her neck.

  • Danielle Smith

    That sounds to me like you and your mom might have a few things to work out – that’s a fairly serious threat. And maybe not the wisest thing to say or write online.

  • Steven Bryant

    as a kid i had to fend for myself against my virulent mother and sociopath sister.
    i was taught respect via having bruises and no voice.
    noone taught me how to talk to people, how i should act in society and around people as groups including monorities women men boys and girls.

    its not about what you teach your kids. its the way you do it, its ok to snap here and there. it draws a fine white line your kids will all of a sudden ‘respect’.
    the most important thing i could have ever been taught is that shut up is exherting power and silencing people. as apposed to just do what i ask without argueing or ill punish you,

  • Steven Bryant


  • Steven Bryant

    bitches be bitches, if they are out sooking and shunning on forums they are baiting hatred so will reply with such

  • BL_LAB

    oh yeah, I am suuure you’re quite the adjusted person, real growth, I’m sure your kids are rocket scientists now

  • BL_LAB

    you can’t OWN a human, self identities are important, I think it’s best to be careful, because as a poster above stated, child/physical abuse at the behest of your own mood, damages a child’s self-esteem and they tend to not reach for what they want if it’s ingrained in them that someone ‘bigger than them’ is always right. Just go back to high school, bullying at it’s best

  • BL_LAB

    no offense but iv’e seen kids in foster care or just plain children that are damaged due to physical violence … the quiet ones aren’t exactly immune, and many times they may be quiet due to other biological disorders/mental limitations… I would say be careful about how you treat sensitive children … because clearly they can not defend themselves….they have to be taught how to behave, victimizing them doesn’t teach you anything… instead of paying attention to your own goals, abused children spend time living in fear of adult communication

  • David

    You’re not ‘extraordinary.’ You’re a Walmart mom. The definition of PARENT is being the one who doesn’t act like the CHILD. If you fail to explain why this behavior was wrong, you set the stage for your kids to justify their own bad acts. Reap = sow.

  • Danielle Smith

    Thanks for stopping by, David. I can tell you have a kind heart and must be a stellar parent.

  • Steven Bryant

    you do have a good point and basically highlighted me for a bit ther, aspergers and such surely had a role in how i took in the information displayed by neglect and contrast. i was poorly adjusted to the real world in equal amounts to the qualities of independence.

  • Hollie

    I agree that there are circumstances where telling a child to shut up is ok, but to do it a lot, will likely affect the child in negative ways. My mother used to tell me to shut up when I asked her a question trying to learn as children are curious and my mother would always tell me to shut up, she also disfavored me compared to my siblings. It made me very shy and awkward with people. I’m also schizophrenic and feel a big cause of this was the way I was treated as a child. In your case I don’t think it would do much harm, but I hope people will be more careful in how they treat their children, as they can be so fragile growing up.

    On a side note, it is perfectly healthy to have bare arms, and will weaken the body to get cold easily if you are always covered up. Perhaps you shouldn’t force your children to wear extra layers of clothes when they aren’t cold.