Friday, June 23, 2006

Goal No. 12,543 - lower. my. voice.

Trula - 34
Cleveland, OH
3 children - 2 boys (8), (11), 1 girl (17)


I remember reading somewhere about how when women want to improve their communication with men in the workplace, the first thing to do is not ever raise your voice. This is because when women get upset our voices tend to get higher and higher and sound very strident and whiney. Which apparently men find very irritating.

I figured this is probably true of children, because I have noticed my children getting a pained expression on their faces sometimes when I am telling them to do something. And sometimes they’ll ask me why I am shouting and I don’t even realize I have raised my voice. So lately I have been working on speaking to them in a lower tone of voice.

The effect has been marvelous.

When I tell them to do something, they take notice and do it right away. I realize now that they had gotten used to tuning out my ‘strident’ voice, which would cause me to tell them a second time, with my voice even higher and more buzzing. If I had to tell them a third time, oh man, I sounded very high-pitched.

T-bop told me tht other day that he liked my calm voice very much. That made me feel very happy.

11 Comments:

Blogger alucas said...

I love this post. I've learned that my teens responds better when I lower my voice and talked to them and not at them. Although at times they do relapse into old habits and ignore me regardless. At which point I will ask, " okay, what part of clean up your room did you not understand?" They know from experience things will probably get really ugly from that point on and Quality Control will certainly follow. Magically, their ears become unplugged and I get what I ask for.

Keep hope alive and always remember Moms rule! (Smile)

8:04 AM  
Blogger Trula said...

oh alucas, I am trying to keep hope alive! It is so trying sometimes to resist shouting, but it is soooooo worth it.

:)

7:51 AM  
Anonymous jasai madden said...

In this situation I often find myself feeling like the drunk on the morning after - always horrible and recognizing too late that I am out of control. My family therapist shard his method with me and when I use it, it works but too often I forget or my nature/nurturing snatches me and am all lungs and bunched up eyebrows, shouting my children down (especially my son) to the point where I do not feel sane. I am trying to be more conscious of how I feel right before these moments erupt and most often it is both disrespected and inept. I need to learn how to breeeathe……….

10:22 AM  
Blogger soledadsista3 said...

All of my training as an afterschool provider tells me that kids hear their mothers "hollerin" so often that they can't even hear it, so we're trained to talk in different way to them, so they'll hear us...I suppose I should do my work at home, and lower my voice too...its understandable, Mommies have so much...
blessings
Ama

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Kohana said...

I have know an older woman who helps younger mom in their parenting journey. She teaches them to train their children to respond to whispered commands! I try to keep a steady pitch with my son but can you imagine children responding to a mother's whisper? I think it's awesome...but I'm not there.

9:48 AM  
Blogger Soulfull said...

I love this post! Reminds me a lot of myself. Gosh, I too am working on this goal and I find that when I come down to the height of my sons, they respond much better... Kudos to you sista, you can do it!! :)

10:38 AM  
Blogger Trula said...

Oh thank you all! It is good to know ya'll understand me. I am often met with a blank stare from other black women when I bring up non-spanking and not yelling...and in my family I am the only one of my sisters and female cousins who doesn't hit her kids.

Not spanking was hard and it took about a year or so before I no longer had the urge to hit. Not yelling or or in other ways intimidating them is much harder...I truly didn't even realize how much I yelled, got in their face, grabbed their arm, or even emotionally isooated them by not speaking to them when they angered me until I tried to stop reacting to their bad behavior in those ways.

and Jasai, that is totally how I feel when they act up or ignore me telling them to do something...I feel disrespected and totally inept as a mother, as if I have not raised them right.

6:37 AM  
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