Be firm when needed, but not harsh.
This has been a challenge of mine for a while. For the past couple of weeks, I have been doing really well with not yelling when I’m frustrated with the kids. It’s been hard, and I certainly have broken down a couple of times when I had been pushed to the limit. The key with not yelling, though, is to still get your point across. How can you let them know you mean business without yelling? I’ve learned it’s often in “the look.” Oh yes, I have a look. And Mason and Cooper know it pretty well. “The look” paired with a firm tone of voice is the best combination. I’ve been perfecting it lately.
I didn’t need to use “the look” much today, though. We had a really great day – low-key and with lots of holiday spirit. All of us are battling colds and the flu, so it was a slow morning. Jeremy had to work a lot, and I spent tons of time in the kitchen baking for teachers. Mason and Cooper spent time watching TV, playing together, playing separately, helping me, shopping with Jeremy… It was a great day! We went out to a quick dinner and then to see some pretty Christmas lights around town. Now the kids are sleeping, and I have finished wrapping all the presents. (Go me!) My patience has not been tested today. “The look” has stayed at bay. And I wonder how long it will last. Will I get more time to test it tomorrow? Only time will tell.