I asked my husband why he was so mad the other day. “I'm not mad,” he said. “Well, you sure sound mad.” Sometimes my husband says things in a certain tone of voice that just sounds mad to me—now I’m learning that he's not really mad—but it still sounds like he is.
What does your tone of voice sound like? Do your children think you're always mad? When you ask them to do chores, or you answer their questions, or you're telling them to get in the car, take time to listen to yourself. What do you sound like? A lot of times parents ARE mad. They are also in a hurry, frustrated, tired, and stressed to the max. It's hard not to pass those emotions on to your children.
I'm a part time music teacher and teach grades K-6. I love my job. But the 3rd graders are-- well, interesting. All the teachers agree. I found a little trick I do when I start getting frustrated and am afraid I'm going to lose it. I speak with a Southern accent. 'You bet, ya'll, when you get a southern drawl goin' you can say things you wouldn't normally say and get away with it.'
Say the following with a Southern accent: “Okay, you little critters, now I told you to get that room cleaned up. Now ya'll get in there before I say hound dog and you pick up 10 things off that floor. Ya hear me, now?”
Or how about a prim English accent: “I say, there, young man. Look smart now, and put your trousers on. That's a good lad.”
An Asian accent is fun to use too. The 3rd graders love my Asian accent--accompanied by much bowing, of course.
So trying using different accents this week. Use them to give directions to your children and watch how quickly they'll obey. In fact, if you use a southern accent, have them gallop on their horses to obey you. With an English accent, have them walk straight and tall and proper. With the Asian accent, they can bow as they go about their jobs. Have fun this week!