Does the volume of things at home drive you insane? Kids bicker and play so loudly that you want to pull out your hair? Do you dream of family time where you can actually hear yourself think?
How often do you try to calm things down? When you do, do you end up yelling as loudly as the kids? It can really feel like a hopeless situation as the volume increases minute by minute.
Can you really transform your home to 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…getting louder and louder as they push for attention?
You can make this happen! And it’s relatively simple!
There are several steps that you can take to reduce the volume of voices in your home. With this, respect and calmer communications are just around the corner. Follow this formula for 30 days. Do so with impeccable consistency, and you will be amazed at the results.
1. 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.
2. Explain, “From now on, we will use our legs, not our voice, to get your attention.”
Explain to your kids that you have fallen into a bad habit. You have often used your voice to yell loudly 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 walking to their location, rather than yelling. Likewise, let them know you will not respond to yelling from the other end of the house. This will be ignored.
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 will do so. However, if you have to yell to communicate to them, it’s time to use your legs.
Key Concept: Use your legs…not your voice…to carry your message across your home. Be a model for what you want from your children.
3. Commit: “I will not yell. I will not responding to yelling.”
Explain to the kids that you have committed yourself to more respectful and calmer ways of talking. This means that you will not raise your voice and yell at them. If you really want a calmer, quieter home, you must be willing to model this calmer way of communicating.
In addition, let the children know that you will no longer respond to any form of yelling or screaming, whether across the room or across the home. Explain, “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.”
Please understand how critical it is to be clear about this. You must stop yelling yourself, and use your legs more, if you want attention from across the house. Why? Because this is what you will need, if you want a calmer, quieter home.
Also, you must not yell yourself, and stick to it. This alone, will change the tone of your home very quickly!
In part two of this article, I will explain how to teach the kids to play together without all the yelling and screaming. For now, notice what changes when you lead your children to calmer voices, rather than trying to demand a calmer home.