I never yell at my children. And my children are perfect angels who never disobey direct orders, keep impeccably tidy rooms, always eat their vegetables, and never ever stuff almost an entire roll of toilet paper in the toilet.

So yeah, occasionally I yell at my children. Doesn’t every mom have to resort to raising her voice at some point? Sometimes I feel like I have to yell just so I can be heard over their yelling. There are times when the yelling produces the desired effect, but there are times when I’m just wasting my breath and frustrating myself even more. So does yelling really work to discipline misbehaving children?

No yelling today. Maybe I’ll try the opposite and whisper. They have to quiet down just to hear me right?

I have to admit that I did yell once today. But I promise it was for safety reasons. If you saw your 2-year-old daughter yanking a cord out of an electrical outlet, I think you’d yell to get her attention too.

But proudly, there was no other yelling. Between the 2 C’s, there were 3 time-outs, 1 stern discussion, and a very early bedtime.  But no yelling. Unfortunately though, the whispering tactic didn’t quite work. They either didn’t hear me or they did a very good job of ignoring me. I consider this quite an accomplishment considering our recent circumstances:  5 days in a row stuck in the house due to floor refinishing followed immediately by 4 days stuck in the house due to an unusual snow storm, all of which included 1 missing daddy and 3 sick dependents.  I swear if I have to spend another full day in this house, I’ll probably be yelling at myself.

Little C’s latest masterpiece.  It’s shocking to me that this child can find trouble in the most benign situations, but when you most expect her to generate disaster, she morphs into the student all preschool teachers pray to have in their classroom.  I was hesitant to break out the fingerpaints…just my luck the paint-filled egg carton would topple over onto my brand new floors.  But I was desperate.  (When you’re on Day 9 of house arrest, you do what you gotta do.)  Anyway, the little girl who was just hours earlier smashing her brother over the head with a leftover piece of hardwood was sitting in a bubble of serenity at the kitchen table, fingerpainting with such concentration that not a single drop altered its path from egg carton to finger to paper.  It was a house arrest miracle.

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