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The Not Yelling Approach


We're trying a new thing in my house. It's called: not yelling. We had a very yelling weekend and literally said, Holy Shit-we yell a lot. It's been...challenging, but also actually nice. I feel like my kids are listening more, my husband and I are fighting less and I am maybe even a little less stressed. Here's what we've changed so far:

Situation: Kids are literally jumping off the furniture, climbing the walls and throwing their toys everywhere.

Before: YELL.

After: Try my hardest not to yell, catch the flying race car, make some serious eye contact (even if it means I need to hold my kid down by force, and ask if they want some cake-which captures their attention (btw it's the homemade cake I made that is jam packed with zucchini and spinach and some chocolate chips-yeah you heard that right. Martha-freakin-Stewart). When he says, "yes", give the ultimatum and give him a job. A job is like the best thing you can offer a 2 year old to get him to forget all the bad stuff he is currently doing and move onto something else, hopefully something that lessens your still intense urge to yell.

Situation: Husband is sleeping on the couch while kids are literally jumping off the furniture, climbing the walls and throwing their toys everywhere.

Before: YELL.

After: Repeat steps above. During this process, when the urge to lose your shit on your sleeping beauty spouse starts to become unbearable, gently tap him on the shoulder and say in your sweetest voice, "Babe, I can't control the kids. I need your help." Do not, I repeat, do NOT react with a yell if he is not enthused with your sweet request. Take a yoga breath-or five-and ask yourself, "Is this worth a fight that will likely erupt in...yelling?"

Let me stop myself here, because a) you get the point and b) I have another point. I'm a big picture person, or at least I really strive to be, so why is this little task something I am really working on? I want to raise amazing humans, that's why. I want these guys to be those guys, the ones who are so well mannered, well rounded, intuitive, adjusted, smart and objective. I want these guys to be the guys that end up with deserving partners, partners who sense and appreciate these qualities and exude them as well. I want them to be better, much better than me, and I can only do that by trying to be a better me everyday.

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