In the spirit of guaranteed blog material and the possibility of becoming a better parent, I have decided to give up yelling for the next seven days. That’s right folks. No yelling. No raising my voice. Nothing. Nada.
Before you judge me, I must clarify. I am no Olympian yeller. I’m not breaking any records or involved in any type of domestic dispute worthy of Judge Judy, I just have a tendency to raise my voice when I get frustrated or when I have to ask my kids to do things over and over again. Inspired by the cool and collected zen master of calm, Michelle Duggar, I’ve decided to give not yelling a go. In case you don’t watch 18 Kids and Counting on TLC or you’ve been living under a rock somewhere, Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar are the parents of 19 children. They live in Arkansas in a ginormous house, custom made for their family and they have the most well-behaved children on earth. I’ve been studying them (watching the show) for some time to try and figure out what their secret is. All along I’ve been certain that they must administer some type of behavior altering drugs to their kids or beat them into submission but that is simply not the case. Michelle and Jim Bob made an agreement with each other that they wouldn’t yell at their kids at the beginning of their parenting journey. This includes the times when they are running late and trying to get 19 pairs of shoes on, coats zipped, seat belts buckled, and faces wiped before they can leave for their destination. If they are late, so be it. They’ve even coined the phrase, “Duggar time” to represent their reliable tardiness. Sure, they could stress out, lose their cool, do a little yelling and arrive on time but I guess they figure promptness is simply not worth the psychological damage that this kind of behavior does to their kids. They’d rather just be late. As a result of their remarkable ability to stay calm at all times, the Duggars have produced 19 children with the same ability. Go figure.
After watching my son freak out and yell out of frustration and recognizing that this is a learned behavior, I’ve decided to try to change. I’m wearing a Michelle Duggar mask all week and adopting her Zen master of calm parenting style. Who knows, you might even catch me in a floor length denim shirt and a modest shirt, rockin’ some mac-daddy bangs this week just to emphasize how serious I really am. The huz is in on it too. I’m hoping he’ll start talking with his hands and use massive amounts of hairspray to get in the character of Jim Bob.
And thus begins the week of living Duggarly. I’ll let you know how it goes.