Sometimes the solution to (and source of) a behavioral issue can surprise you. And you may just have to be quiet to find the answer you’ve been searching for. Guest blogger and Military Vet wife, Vicki DeLuzio, shares her most recent tale of woe and wonder.
By Vicki DeLuzio
The past few weeks I have been struggling to keep my children listening. I am sure that “kids listening well” is a plight of every mom. My kids just seem to go in their own space and not know what is going around them. Walking through parking lots, in stores, in our house — they sometimes just don’t pay attention. And the quick fix for me was always to yell. Yell, scream, sing loudly even — just to get their attention.
Late last week my allergies hit me hard. I was coughing, sneezing and feeling miserable (but luckily no fever or aches and pains). And, the most dreadful feeling of a homeschool mom — I lost my voice. I pretty much completely lost my voice. I was straining just to say a few words, and it has been frustrating and painful.
However, by day two (when I realized that rest, tea and hope would be my best remedies), I realized that I was listening more. Instead of just blurting out instructions to everyone all the time, I had to choose my words more carefully because I had a limited amount of voice I could give. I had to listen to what my kids wanted, and try to instruct them carefully. I wasn’t overusing words and boring them to death.
I was also using more eye contact. And hand signals. The eye contact was really important. I was also using touch to get their attention, which seemed to calm them down and get them to listen and pay attention more. Go figure! Although this wasn’t particularly helpful if they were far from me, it worked while we were in the house.
This week has been frustrating, please don’t get me wrong. I have avoided going to many public places because I want to talk with others and I want to be able to holler across a park if need be (I have a rather loud voice when needed). I have used whistling to get attention, but we are still working on that!
While completely inconvenient, my lack of voice has really allowed me to gain some perspective about all the yelling. My house has been a whole lot calmer because I have not been yelling. That seems unbelievable to me that part of the loudness issue was caused by me. Not only was it caused by me, but it was exacerbated by me. I continued to create an environment of loud.
So, next time you want to do something about the yelling in your house — just get a cold or allergies for a few days and see what happens. Or put a piece of duct tape on your own mouth. The problem of perpetual yelling in the household may lie in your own mouth.
Vicki is a mom of three kids seven and under. After graduating college in Connecticut with a major in Psychology and minors in Early Childhood Education and Communication, she tried her hand at retail management at Target. Then, while working at the Juvenile Court, she met her web designing (and Army Vet) husband through mutual friends. Wanting a change of pace, cheaper taxes and warmer temperatures, they sold their home and relocated across the country in Surprise, Arizona. Vicki now blogs about all the places they go with reviews about the amenities in Surprise. She is also a licensed Real Estate Agent and loves helping people find homes in the area. You can find her at www.surpriseazmom.com.