I’ve never been a yeller. Sure, I talk loud. And laugh loud. In a high-pitched, feminine tone. But, I’ve never been aggressive. I‘ve always been known as the mild-mannered guy with the over-sized head who walks around with a perpetual smile on his face.
Until I had kids.
And then those kids grew up to have opinions and agendas of their own. This was not part of the original Dannemiller plan. So, to right this unspeakable wrong, my subconscious decided to yell the aforementioned opinions and agendas right out of my kids’ bodies.
Five years into this experiment, my conscious brain is starting to wonder if this plan isn’t working as well as I might have hoped.
Remember, I never said I was a quick learner. Just smiley.
In sharp contrast to yours truly, my wife Gabby comes from strong yelling stock. If we trace back her lineage, we believe her great-great-great-great grandfather was the guy who made loud exploding noises before weapons actually made noises. His son went on to fame as the first ever barker for Freak Show Carnivals. And the barker’s son? The world’s first megaphone was patterned after the unique conical shape of his mouth.
It’s an impressive family tree.
My wife’s natural yelling skills were honed growing up in a small house with four other women. Think Real Housewives of New Jersey, only substitute big 80’s hair for plastic surgery. But I don’t blame Gabby. That much Aqua Net would make anybody cranky.
Today, both of us are fed up with the amount of yelling in our house. If part of our family mission statement is to live lives of integrity and serve others, then yelling should not be on the menu. If we say we are all about respecting others, then we should be modeling the behavior.
And we’re not.
Thus begins our Year of No Yelling. It promises to be much more difficult than 2013’s Year Without A Purchase.
Here is our list of rules. Subject to revision. Even by my wife, who has not completely authorized these. We would love your feedback!
- You can yell if your child’s safety is in immediate danger.
(Note: Pain directly inflicted by the yeller or his/her accomplices does not constitute immediate danger.)
- You cannot replace yelling with any form of speech that would scare a full-grown man.
(i.e. creepy, menacing, evil whispers of pending torture)
Good luck, folks! And stay tuned for our next post describing Day One. It’s a doozy!