The change: Lowering your voice
In our home, there are lots of little children. There is much crying, whining, and loudness just because there are so many tiny ones. It seems there is someone who is always thirsty, grumpy, had a toy taken away, or just feels like exerting their voice. It can be very loud. I have in the past resorted to yelling to make sure that people hear me. The problem with that, is that sometimes I would “lose it” and yell because I was angry. For most of the time it was not pleasant, just loud. I was not liking this mother that “lost it” occasionally, I wanted to change.
While visiting the Amish homes, I never noticed a Mother yell at her child to come to her. In fact, most of the time they talked quite quietly to their children. It seems their children were “on alert” to hear Mom’s voice and respond when she wanted them. I was liking that.
Why make the change:
When you have to yell to get people’s attention, it shows a lack of control. It seems we “yell” to get our children to listen. Like,” Ah oh!! Mom really means it this time because she is yelling.” But what we need to be doing is training our children to listen always, so that you do not have to “resort” to yelling.
Yelling shows a spirit that is out of control. It shows that we have complete chaos in our life. It is a sign of stress and fatigue. If you yell to get someone’s attention in the home more than likely your child will do it too. We want to create a peaceful haven for our homes. A place where it is warm and inviting, not loud and chaotic. The first way to do that is to make it a calmer atmosphere. So how do we do that?
How do we do that:
I know that in our home, the first day that I did this, it didn’t matter. My children were still loud. Meals were loud and it was unbearable to all sit in the same “echo” dining room. I resorted to raising my voice to tell them to be quieter. Sounds funny, you raise the voice and be the example but meanwhile they are not supposed to be loud?!!?!?!? Are you seeing a bad pattern here?
What I do is the complete opposite—-I lower my voice, almost to a whisper. The first day I did this my children thought I was weird. The second day, they stopped and started to “tune” into what i was trying to speak to them in my whisper voice.
By the third day, I was quietly correcting them to talk quieter. Meals suddenly became enjoyable. As we were sitting around the table eating, and as the “louder” child started to speak, I quietly and gently reminded them to lower their voices. I had to do it a few times, but for the most part they are learning to be quieter.
The baby will make loud baby noises and I will immediately turn to him and let him know that we do not scream like that. It is a quick discipline not done way after, immediately I let him know it is not acceptable. Do you know we can sit through a whole meal together without having too much chaos? It is actually nice to sit down and eat dinner together. But ask me that 7 months ago and I would tell you that I didn’t sit down with them, I stood as a waitress would quickly answering all of their beck and calls:) No more, Mom sits and eats with them.
Pay attention to your “triggers.” What “sets you off” to start yelling. Maybe it is a teenage child who doesn’t do their homework first. Maybe it is your little ones as they make a mess over and over in your home. Whatever the “trigger” is be prepared next time. Talk with your teenager before hand and let them know what you expect out of them as far as doing their school work. Baby proof your home to avoid messes all day long. There are many avenues of change you can make to help “destress” your life and make it more peaceful. See the trigger, spot it, and then remove it.
Don’t get me wrong, I do still “yell” across my home to maybe call a child to come out to where I am at. But what I have done away with is the raising of my voice. I don’t want my chidlren to see me stressed out. The perfect way to that is by lowering it. I can be a much happier Momma who doesn’t need to get her “angry eyebrows” out and yell at her children. I want them to remember me as a Mom that didn’t yell but instead was gentle in her speech.