We don’t have to raise our voice to match theirs.
We have the power as the parent.
Not the kind of domineering power.
But rather, the simple matter-of-fact power that says:
“I have the keys to your car.”
“You did not mow the lawn this week. I hired the neighbor boy to do it. You owe me what I paid him to get the job done.”
“There will be no karate until you do your school work with excellence. And you will pay me the cost of your missed session.”
“I asked you to do your morning chores. There will be no morning TV until you can do your chores each morning without being asked.”
You say, “He never listens until I yell.”
That is because you trained him to never listen until you yell.
Yelling is the trigger for him, and even if he gets up to do what you ask of him, it is for sure done with a roll of the eyes that says, “Mom’s on one of her rants again.”
When you shout, you go from parent to peer.
Train them at a young age that you will speak once.
Stop what you are doing.
Look them right in the eye. Smile.
Say their name.
Give them one instruction.
Say it with honour, edification, and full belief that they will do it right away with a good attitude.
They clearly understand what is expected of them the first time that you ask.
If they do not obey right away, you give a warning.
It could sound like, “John, I appreciate your help so much. We are a family, and we work together as a team. I asked you to take out the garbage, and I appreciate you doing that the first time I ask. Should you not obey right away, there will be a discipline.”
If you turn around and it isn’t done, you follow through gently but firmly with the discipline. That may look like taking away a privilege such as IPAD playing time, early bed time, an additional chore, a loving rod of correction, or time out; whatever is right for your family and what will motivate your child.
There is no need to shout. No longer does our default reaction need to be frustration and the feeling of “How could you do that to me? Why don’t you listen to me?”
You have the power as the parent.
By the way, if you find yourself as a shouting parent of a teenager, it is never too late to go to them and say, “__child’s name__, I am learning that I have been doing something wrong all of these years as your mom/dad. I taught you that when I shout, I really mean business. But what I should have taught you is to follow my directions the first time I ask. Your professor, your boss, your co-worker will expect you to follow directions right away, but I as your mom did not expect that of you. I did not set you up to succeed. Will you forgive me? From now on, when I ask you to do something, I will expect you to do it right away. Now would you be willing to go do what I asked of you?”