Is this a fantasy? Or is it possibly true that you can change the volume of noise at home?
Can you really transform your home into an environment where everyone speaks at a normal tone, and no one is yelling or screaming at each other? How about a world free of kids constantly interrupting adult conversations?
You can! And it’s relatively simple! (I didn’t say easy, I said simple!)
There are several steps that you can take to transform the volume and the amount of yelling and screaming that goes on in your home. Follow this formula for 30 days. Do so with impeccable follow-through, and you will be amazed at the results. Holidays could sound very different than they did last year!
Remember the word: impeccable.
Impeccable follow-through. That’s the key.
The Quiet Home Plan
Have a talk with your kids: “A change is coming.”
You begin this by sitting down with your kids and letting them know that a change is going to occur in the home. You explain to them that you do not find the family environment to be a peaceful and enjoyable one because things are so loud and everyone screams at one another.
You can also point out how there may be a tendency to have several people talking at once, and that this is disrespectful and creates a chaotic environment. Remind them that their teachers do no run the classroom in this way.
Let them know that the following plan is put into place.
1. Don’t Use Your Voice To Get Attention.
Explain to your kids that you have fallen into a bad habit. You have often used your voice to scream across the house to get your kids’ attention. As a result, they have learned to use their voice to scream across the house to get your attention or the attention of their siblings. Let them know that you are going to change this by making the following commitments.
2. “When I Want Your Attention, I Will Come And Get You. No More Screaming.”
In other words, if someone is in the next room, and you can get their attention by simply calling their name at a normal volume you would do so. However, if you have to yell to communicate with them, it’s time to walk. Key Concept: Use your legs…not your voice.
Ok, I know this sounds exhausting. And initially, it is a bit demanding. But if we are honest, this is what we would prefer our kids to do. Rather than screaming from the other end of the house, when they are looking for their lost shoes, we would prefer them to walk to us and ask quietly. Makes sense…right?
Great. Now, the third point is really the source of magic. But first…
3. “I Will Not Respond To Yelling And Screaming, Unless It Has To Do With Blood, Water, Or Fire.”
In other words, don’t yell at us to get our attention. If you need our attention, come and get us and speak in a normal tone of voice. If you decide to yell at us, we will not respond to this. The more you yell, the more we will not respond. We will ignore yelling. We will ignore the whining. We will ignore screaming. We will ignore demanding voices. If you come to get us and speak in a normal volume, then we will respond.
4. “If You Interrupt Us While We’re Talking, We Will Not Respond. Learn To Pay Attention.”
Often parents make the mistake of asking children to wait so that parents can continue to carry on a conversation with another adult. If you engage in this strategy, you find that kids just keep interrupting you more and more. They may do so by saying, “EXCUSE ME, MOM!” But try listening to this a dozen times during your Thanksgiving conversation. It can become unbearable!
As time goes on, and more siblings are added, the volume simply gets louder. More problems emerge when parents respond to children who raise their voices and attempt to interrupt repeatedly.
Let your kids know that you will no longer respond to such interruptions unless there is blood, water, or fire.
5. “I Will Be A Model For A Quieter, Calmer, And More Respectful Member Of Our Family.”
Explain to the kids that you have committed yourself to more respectful and more thoughtful discussions. This means that you will not raise your voice and yell at them. You will find other solutions and strategies for dealing with situations. (Note: This may require that you enhance your parenting skills, in order to feel that you have other tools to deal with difficult situations.) You must be able to model what you want from your kids. You simply cannot model reactive emotions and expect your kids to keep their calm in the face of frustration! You can get help through the skills acquired in the Essential Parenting CD program. This is my comprehensive home study program, where I walk you through the fundamental tools that give you power as a parent. The bottom-line here: Be a model for what you want your kids to be.
- Speak calmly, softly, and with respect.
- When you are listening, really listen.
- Give them all of your attention.
Your kids will get more from what you model than from any threat or consequence you can offer.
If engaged in a conversation with an adult, continue in that conversation so that they learn to be patient and wait. Do not stop, to remind your children that you need them to wait. They will quickly learn to be more patient,
Of course, you remind them that there are always exceptions. You know the rule…blood, fire, or water.
6. Be Vigilant For Quiet, Calm Voices.
The goal here is to create a home where you invest your energy in normal conversations that are initiated with respect and consideration. From this point forward, be vigilant to give your energy and attention to the kids when conversations and questions are offered in a calm, normal volume. Keep your energy devoted to these healthy conversations, and remember to walk away and do not respond to loud, demanding, interrupting behavior.
Follow these six simple guidelines, and you will have a quieter home in 30 days. I have seen this strategy make a difference in just days. It works!
When I sent this article out to my email subscribers, I received numerous responses, all of which sounded similar to this father from nearby Syracuse:
“This is such a simple…but brilliant set of principles…and in only four days my home is calmer and much quieter…thanks.”
Ron, father of three, Syracuse, NY
Try it. It does work! And yet, as you know, the success of this is clearly dependent on the degree to which you follow-through with consistency and accuracy.
Best of luck with this. If you decide to take this on, I encourage you to email me 30 days from the date that you start this program and describe your success to me. I look forward to your responses.
If you are interested in learning more about these life-changing principles, I would encourage you to consider purchasing my Home Study Program, entitled the Essential Parenting program, which is updated and includes additional articles. This comprehensive parenting program is available NOW.