Go the whole day without yelling.
It was only day 2, and yet the challenge was probably the hardest of all. A weekend day where I’m with my kids for extended periods of time while also having to do errands, get things done around the house, cook dinner, and try to stay positive… all without yelling? But I was up for it, no matter how hard it seemed.
I actually started my day out by challenging the rest of my family to also go the whole day without yelling. That request snowballed into this…
The smiley face jar is our “good deed jar.” When one of the kids does something very nice or goes out of their way to help someone, they get a button to put in the jar. When the jar is filled, we all get to enjoy a special treat. This is separate from chores (which will require another post soon as our chore chart is being retired.) And only myself and Jeremy can determine if something was a good deed, and we have to witness it for it to count. We’re tough critics!
The sad face jar started as our “yelling jar” but has morphed into our “bad deed jar” throughout the day. The thought was that when someone yells, they have to pay 5 cents and put it in the jar. This way, Jeremy and I can be held accountable too. Right now yelling is the thing we’re focusing on, but we thought this could be changed or added to in the future – bad words, mean faces, etc. I have no idea how this will turn out, and it does seem kind of odd to be including the kids in having to pay for yelling, but fair’s fair, right?
So you’re probably wondering how we did today, right? Let’s just say the smiley face jar is empty, but the sad face jar has 35 cents in it. BUT… None of the money is mine!! I made it through the day without yelling. It was tough, for sure. We especially seem to have problems at night when everyone is tired, we’re ready for the kids to go to bed, they don’t want to clean up, and everything just escalates quickly. I kept my cool and didn’t yell. I definitely talked sternly, though. (Which is a gray line as to what yelling is, but we had plenty of examples happen today to clear it up for our family.)
I must say that I am proud to have made it through the day without yelling. I can’t say if it had any affect on everyone else, though, so I’m going to keep this challenge going. (I can’t afford not to!) I hope that the extended period of not yelling will transform into creating more calm and effective ways of dealing, which will then hopefully rub off on the rest of my family. Fingers crossed!
After this hard challenge, tomorrow will be easy! I’m being challenged to hug my kids 3 times… I’m an overachiever. Just sayin’.