Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Wow, the house is so much quieter ...

Not that I get waves of feedback on this quaint, little blog, but I get some. A few of you e-mail me. A few of you talk to me directly. Without question, my 2012 resolution to stop yelling at my sons has generated more feedback than any other post.

People tell me I'm brave for even trying. Fellow parents say there is no way they could possibly stop yelling. Relatives have told me they agree completely with the pledge. Others say parents today are too weak – that there's nothing wrong with yelling at kids, they won't suffer irreparable psychological harm.

For all of you with different opinions on the topic, here's an update. Seven days after I challenged myself, I have outright yelled only one time (which I divulged to you last week). I've raised my voice maybe once a day. And that's it. I have basically eliminated screaming from my disciplinary repertoire, and the family is functioning quite well.

The first thing I eliminated was screaming between rooms. Now when I want them to hear me, I walk into the room and draw their attention first. I'll admit that a couple of times I grabbed them by the shirt and forced them to stop what they were doing and look at me, but then I calmly told them what they needed to hear. A couple of times I started to yell, then caught myself and changed direction. A couple of times I took deep breaths, pulled them into a quiet place and waited until they talked to me.

Believe it or not, this stuff is actually working. I don't know if the boys even notice the difference, but most importantly, I do. I feel better about myself. Try it. You might too.

Tell me what you think in the Comments below, and please, please, please, sign up for e-mail alerts of this blog if you like it (at right). Thanks for reading!


  1. Would it technically be violating your resolution if you got a megaphone? Because you just have to use your normal speaking voice for those, as opposed to screaming into them.

  2. That is a wonderfully insightful question, and I will follow up with the counselor today to ask if the use of auditory devices to amplify sound is also demeaning to a child and hurts their self-esteem. Thank you, Steve G, and don't be bashful. I welcome your comments and questions at all times :)