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Can you raise boys without raising your voice?

Can you raise boys without raising your voice? Absolutely. Not only is it better for your blood pressure… speaking with calm authority and with purpose works better. Raising your voice only makes you look powerless. Truth is, boys don’t make great eye contact, and in general, also don’t pick up on our spoken words as easily. If you yell, you’ll only look frustrated, and accidentally model anger. When your son ignores you… try this instead:

1. Get eye contact first. Without him looking at you, you don’t have his full attention. Eye contact is very powerful and doesn’t let him off the hook. He can’t pretend he didn’t hear you the first, second time, or the twentieth time you asked him to pick up his socks or shut off his computer.

2. Once you have eye contact, tell him to repeat back what you’ve asked of him. This makes your words his words. It’s now in his head and he can’t as easily ignore what you’ve said. It forms a contract between you.

3. Attach a simple consequence. Pick up your things first, and then we can leave for the park… I’m coming back in a few minutes and if you’re not dressed, then automatic loss of screens tonight when you get home from school. it’s your choice… Repeat what I’ve just said… good… hope you make a good choice and earn the reward…

Remember to use a firm voice, but without much emotion. No second chances. Follow through with the consequence or else you look weak and willing to bend. Boys like a challenge and will try to engage you in a fight. Stay calm and walk off. By doing these simple three steps over and over at home, he’ll develop good social habits for when he’s asked to follow through at school on things he doesn’t like or finds challenging.


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