So I’ve told my three boys (aged 11, 9 and 6) that I am not going to shout at them for the next year.
I’ve also pointed out it’s not a challenge for them to try to catch me out or an excuse for them to try and get away with certain behaviour knowing I won’t scream.
Previously I have felt frustrated, stressed-out and angry that I was having to roar each morning just to make sure they were all out of bed or dressing themselves or brushing their teeth.
And I’m really not the roaring type.
We often have the windows open and my wife, Laura, would point out the neighbours must think there’s a raving, howling lunatic in our house or our boys are exceptionally troublesome.
The boys are not even close to being exceptionally troublesome.
I no longer want to inflict my bellowing instructions on my boys, I don’t want my mornings to start with such unnecessary stress and I certainly don’t want Social Services to pay a visit thinking my children are at risk from an angry adult.
So a full year of (relative) calm. That’s the plan.
It’s only been a couple of days and New Year’s Eve already tested me.
Josh (11) and Avi (9) wanted to stay up for the midnight fireworks whilst Laura and Rafi (6) had gone to bed already.
We’d played a few board games, it was now after midnight and were mid-way through playing the Logo Board Game and they were just becoming a bit too giddy.
They weren’t really doing anything wrong but being a bit loud (the others were asleep) and silly, prolonging the game whilst I was ready to go to bed myself.
It didn’t help that they both suffer from mild asthma and too much laughter makes them chesty (and the whole house has had a cough and a cold recently which makes it worse) and asthma attacks scare me.
But the more I try to get them to calm them down and encourage them not to laugh, it simply stokes the fires further.
They may joke that I am being a Victor Meldrew and I realise it’s another example of me being tired and losing patience with them whilst they are just children mutually amused by something.
I don’t think I shouted but I noticed I was becoming more angry. Fortunately the game was soon over and we could wish each other a Happy New Year again before going to bed.
For the record and before anyone thinks it might have been a factor I was the winner of the Logo Board Game!
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