It was the Easter holidays and I imagine the noise from our house had been a few decibels higher over the previous 10 days to the normal quiet that reigns.
‘Hope they haven’t been too noisy these past few days’ I smile at my neighbour asking politely but knowing they’re not bothered by a bit of kiddy noise as they adore children thank goodness.
‘It’s not them I hear!’ came back the reply, with a smile and a laugh, a little friendly jesting shall we say?
‘Oh, you can hear me?’ I say and apologise with a smile bundling the girls into the car as we’re already running late.
No harm done, I know it was in jest and I laughed too but as I was driving along I thought about how I use my voice for parenting my girls and how I did in the past when Thomas and Megan were small too.
I find it works and it avoids threats of smacks which I don’t like to use. Thinking closely I use my voice in lots of different ways to look after my children, when they’re sad or poorly I use a softer quieter tone to comfort them. When I want them to play and have fun, my voice becomes all excited and enthusiastic to err them on to doing whatever I think is a great idea – this one doesn’t work when it comes to tidying their room though.
Then of course when they’re playing up, first I ask them to stop messing about, maybe ask them to calm down, stop hitting, don’t throw that toy, be nice … you get the picture.
If shortly after that hasn’t worked I raise my voice a couple of decibels to let them know I mean business and I drop the ‘asking’ so it’s more of a ‘I said..Stop that! Calm down! Don’t hit your sister! Don’t throw that toy!’
As we all know sometimes children don’t listen and continue as they were, maybe even laughing which is really annoying. So I start seeing red (it’s the Taurean bull in me) Now I am not pussyfooting around anymore I want peace back in my kingdom. I am the boss here and my orders will be obeyed so I raise my voice LOUDLY
STOP I SAID!
The new level and determination in my voice brings the two little people to an immediate standstill and probably from my expression they get it very quickly and start to cry loudly, together and they tell me
‘Stop shouting mummy you’re hurting my ears’
In the meantime it worked and I got them to sit up and take notice, what I wanted them to do has been achieved and now I must deal with the drawbacks of my clever parenting skill, the LOUD tears, they are so false but I need them to stop before we start disturbing the neighbours – or maybe I already have. Oh dear…
‘Shall we have a biscuit?’
Now that one works every time too.