You try hard to be a pleasant mom, but despite your efforts—you feel like the only way your kids respond is when you yell. Here’s 3 ways to lower the decibel and up the effectiveness.
By Daniel Ifrah, LCSW
I think most of us can associate with the “yelling trap” from time to time. I call it a “trap” because the more often we raise our voice—the louder and louder it tends to get. This is kind of like needing to up the dose in order to push the tolerance. Only in this case, it is others that are building up the tolerance not oneself.
Yelling is something we all struggle with throughout parenting. I won’t tell you to stop yelling because it sounds like your throat is doing a good job reminding you of that. What we do need is ideas and tips to help us become more successful in this ongoing battle.
Firstly—What I would suggest is pay more attention to your triggers. Are you more prone to ‘raising that decibel’ at specific times throughout the day? Do you find it happening more with a specific child? Is it always or more likely just during a given routine? Gaining more awareness and insight as to what triggers are, can help lead you to more customized solutions.
Secondly—Pay more attention to your tone! Become accustomed to mentally labeling your tone on a scale from 1-3 of intensity. You may be surprised how much less frequently it happens when you actually become more mindful of how loud you are.
Finally—Be more direct and personal in your requests. One way of becoming more direct is to speak to a specific individual and ask him or her to repeat what you asked. Another way of being heard without raising your voice is to get more personal by calling a specific child over to a closer proximity. This allows eye contact and a closer distance to compensate for the yelling (which most of the time doesn’t really work anyway).
Lets all remember, that although doing away with hollering all together may not always seem practical—limiting the volume and frequency is the name of the game.