Shhhhhh! Don’t shout at the children


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!



Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net



A Full Year of Not Shouting At My Kids


Really this could and perhaps should have started on 01/01/2017 but it isn’t a New Year’s Resolution.

It’s a genuine attempt to be a better dad, to try to ensure my children respect me rather than fear me (they do neither at the moment of course) and lower my stress levels.

The more I shout the worse I feel and as my (loud) voice is mostly ignored by my children it is largely futile.

Originally I thought a 100-day challenge of refraining from shouting was a good idea but with us being on the cusp of a new year I decided to go for the full 365 days (I actually just checked it wasn’t a leap year!)

Since new habits are not always easily formed but once established they are easier to keep, my hope is to teach my boys that I nor they need to raise our voices to express our feelings, to be heard or to

Some ground-rules though (even though I have already started not shouting); whilst watching football and in particular City, starting with the trip to Liverpool, so long as none of them turns the channel over or the TV off at a crucial time I shall not shout (at them).

It happens from time to time when a button gets pressed by mistake and in the heat of the moment I may let out a little shriek but I am going to try to remember TV nowadays let’s you rewind and they show replays and highlights so it’s not such a big deal even if it does happen.

Also as I said previously should the safety or well-being of any of them or indeed any other person be at risk and the only way of averting the danger is screaming at one of my boys, then I shall not hesitate.

Other than that I am already beginning to enjoy this challenge. I feel calmer and have explained to my three boys that there will be no shouting but they will receive a warning and then the appropriate punishment (usually a ban from any electronic device).

Previously they would have a warning (or eight) followed by a scale of verbal scoldings.

Now they know they can’t wait for a scream to know I am serious.

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net



365 Days of Not Shouting (at my kids)


As a calm and pretty laid back type of person I often recount that the only people I shout at are my children.

They are not particularly naughty but for some reason they really know how to push me to the edge!

Recently I was chatting with someone and telling him this fact and his reply stopped me in my tracks and really made me think.

He asked me whether the shouting actually worked.

Wow! Such a simple and obvious question but I hadn’t ever considered it.

I had become so used to shouting louder and angrier to make my children listen and do as they had been told that I hadn’t really considered how effective it had been.

The fact that I needed to increase the volume and ferocity seemed to suggest it wasn’t working particularly well.

“Get out of bed! We’re going to be late for school!”

“Hurry Up!”

“Stop doing that!”

“Why can’t you just listen and behave?”

It probably sounds very familiar to most parents. Often they are being slow, or fighting with a sibling, or being too wild and loud. Other times it could be when I am just trying to concentrate (or go to the toilet in peace!) or if I am hungry, tired, stressed and can’t cope with a little person not listening to me.

Either way it struck me that I shouldn’t ever need to shout, that it was affecting me more than them (ever felt you’d done a full day before you’ve even dropped your children off at school?) and I felt I would be a better dad if I could avoid shouting at all.

So I decided to go a full year without shouting at my children (except for any instance where it is necessary to save them or another person from serious harm!)

I’ll keep you updated on my progress and any comments or shared experiences will be most welcome.

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net



The FA should do their homework

With Sam Allardyce leaving his post as England Manager some people think the Daily Telegraph was wrong to engineer a situation where no crime had been committed until their involvement.

Personally I think they were right to expose someone they suspected of being open to corruption and it is no different from the vigilante groups who expose paedophiles by luring them in with fake social media profiles – the intention to commit the crime is there.

Either way it is a sad situation that the England FA are now looking for another manager, with Allardyce lasting 67 days since being appointed.

Surely the way to try to remedy the situation going forward will be for the FA to undertake more thorough due diligence on all future candidates for the job, especially the one they plan on offering the position to.

It is something all football clubs should do with players and managers and this episode goes to show it is not just useful for when they are signing an obscure young player from abroad.

Possibly because Sam Allardyce is well known in these parts that assumptions are made (wrongly) that we know all there is about someone who has been in the game for so many years as both a player and manager.

There was of course a 2006 BBC Panorama expose linking him and his son Craig Allardyce – in addition to other agents, players and managers – with illegal bungs for signing certain players. Allardyce denied the allegations and nothing was ever proven so he was able to continue his career within football.

So as well as doing a thorough investigation on the employee, the FA should also require the manager to undertake an initial compliance assessment, reminding him (or her) of the importance of the position and how they may now be subject to many more meeting requests by parties with vested interests.

I am not saying it is all down to the FA and Allardyce is blameless but there will be cases where the job is too big for the person and the right sort of pre-emptive action will help.

It might be wise to check for any skeletons in the closet and deal with them before making any jobs offers which would avoid a whole heap of embarrassment down the line and continue to have these compliance meetings to keep any potential issues at bay and reaffirm what’s acceptable by the England manager before greed kicks in again.

Perhaps the lofty position went to his head and he was flattered by the attention he received as England’s Head Coach but we’ll see whether any further action will be taken or if Allardyce just has to wait for the dust to settle before accepting his next job in the game.




Why appearing so busy isn’t attractive

Why appearing so busy isn’t attractive

Busy image


You’ve probably heard this more than once and perhaps even said it yourself.

It flows from the tongue almost as much as talk of the weather or where you came from when making small talk at a networking event.

Yet if there is one thing I find off-putting and would recommend people didn’t say to new or existing contacts is telling all and sundry how incredibly busy they are.

It’s not quite as bad as launching into a full-on sales pitch but it could still be detrimental to your networking prospects.

I know many people may well be busy – in work, in life or whatever – and they intend for it to be a positive statement in that they are so successful that they have so much work on the go.

However when I hear someone tell me that it makes me think they must be too busy to take on any more work so they are obviously not interested in receiving any more referrals or hearing from any of my contacts who I think may be of benefit to them and their business.

Either that or they are disorganised and inefficient.

So whilst it is tempting to say it I would suggest you don’t tell everyone how busy you are and if asked if you are busy respond by saying you are pretty busy but can handle more business.

Conversely if you have absolutely no business volumes to speak of don’t mention that either!

People like to deal with and be associated with successful and productive companies so the best advice is to find the middle ground.

Maybe I am on my on here so let me know if you agree or not either here or on Twitter.

Now I’ll leave it there as I am so…well, let’s just say I have other things to do!

Personal Development

F-E-A-R – What’s its meaning to you?


I was watching John Lee Dumas on Snapchat this weekend (still trying to get to grips with SnapChat but more of that another time).

One of his key messages was to challenge yourself to do something outside your comfort zone every day.

Nothing exciting, original or innovative comes from staying within your comfort zone but by demanding more of yourself to do something that scares you will result in magic happening.

It could be recording a live Periscope video, it could be making a cold-call at work or even handing out a business card to a stranger.

But something that makes you feel awkward, uncomfortable even scared – and do it daily.

When you know you should do something but don’t really want to and you can think of countless excuses NOT to do it, then I promise you it is that very thing you SHOULD do.

It could be going swimming or going for a run; there’s something that each of us dreads that someone else finds easy.

Whatever it is, the idea is you not only gain confidence in that one activity but you will also become better at it and most importantly you explore a new area and do something you know will help you move closer towards a goal.

It’s also by pushing yourself you have those breakthrough moments. Maybe simply the realisation that actually you can do it and perhaps even the inspiration to go on to something else.

Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action! – Benjamin Disraeli

So are you going to stay within your comfort zone, hoping for things to change? Will you bury your head or even run away from those activities that frighten you?

Or are you going to tackle those hurdles by rising above so that you can be the person you want to become, the person you were destined to become?

There are probably several areas of your work or personal life you want to improve so that could mean various activities you fear.

Rather than committing to dealing with all of them in one go, which will invariably be daunting, difficult and ultimately overbearing, pick just one – and it could be a small one – the easiest, most insignificant one to start with.

Depending on the activity it may not be possible to maintain it daily but it is important to do it regularly so it must be at least weekly.

Put it in your diary or to-do list and start today (ok I’ll even let you start tomorrow in case you’re reading this in the evening). But make sure you do start tomorrow.

Let me know what it is you are going to do daily (stating it on-line gives you a virtual accountability partner) and let me know how you get on by commenting on your progress after 7 days (so same time next week), 30 days, 60 days and 90 days.

You can even update me at Twitter.


Personal Development, Uncategorized

Five Quotes For Perfectionists To Get On With It Already

Five Quotes for Perfectionists To Get On With It Already


It’s not quite ready, the timings not right, the economy’s too fragile, the weather too cold, I’ve not got a customer yet.

All of these are reasons why people delay in launching their product, service or business.

If everyone waited for their product to be absolutely perfect as well as the timing, market-place, customers, suppliers, most ventures would never see light of day.

So whether they are perfectionists or just procrastinators here are FIVE quotes to make sure you don’t delay!

  • Good enough is good enough. Perfect will make you a big fat mess every time – Rebecca Wells
  • Done is better than Perfect – Sheryl Sandberg
  • If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late – Reid Hoffman, Founder, LinkedIn
  • Every Master Was Once a Disaster – T Harv Eker
  • You don’t have to be great to start but you do have to start to be great – Zig Ziglar

Which quote resonates with you the most or is your favourite?