As mothers, we help set the tone in our homes. One way we set the tone is by our tone!
Yelling, even when done for the simple and practical purpose of projecting, can contribute to chaos. How then can we project over the noisy washers, dryers, and the happy productive sounds in a busy household?
Sometimes I can go find the person instead of yelling from afar, but this isn’t always practical. Most of the time, I’m “saved by the bell”! I ring, and my children come running! To train them in this, we did it as a game for a day or two. The children had a blast, and still (years later) come laughing when I ring!
The system does have limitations. Unlike Captain Von Trapp’s whistle, I don’t have different rings for each child. I simply let them all come (they have eager, young feet) and then allow anyone who isn’t being summoned at the moment to scamper off again. Occasional false alarms happen as well –accidently clanging glasses together when loading the dishwasher can bring children running from all corners of the house. False alarms result in a chuckle and an extra excuse to tousle their hair. Overall, it is more pleasant (and less frustrating) than hollering.
(This article was also published in my Taming The Chaos column on the HSB Company Blog)