Ask Maggie: Why Do My Kids Only Listen When I Yell?

Try this new Maggie rule to quiet Ol' Yeller

September 3, 2019

Dear Maggie,

Why do I have to ask/tell nicely several times and then finally yell before anyone listens? Why is scary, yelling, angry mommy the only one who can get any results?

Dear Ol’ Yeller,  

Sound the trumpets! Dun, nunna nunnnnnnnn! Why you ask?

My dear, it is because the sound of your voice is no longer effective. They’ve heard it for probably 10-plus years now, right? 

In this arena, your directive (not your voice tempo or pitch) does not hold water -- for whatever reason. No judgment, my friend. We’re too young and fabulous to have to go back to figure out the WHY of things. No, sir, not me. I will not go back in time to evaluate my parenting (I did what I could) even if Marty McFly is waiting for me.

I don’t think I’d focus on the asking part any longer. You know the kids don’t listen. That the kids won’t listen until you yell. So don’t choose the “yell”ow brick road. Go down the other path. Sit the little boogs down. Let them know the new house rules (whatever you decide they are) and give scenarios to describe the repercussions of not “hopping to it” when asked to do something.

My suggestion is to institute the Twice Nice rule. Momma asks Twice Nice and then it’s O-V-E-R.

Then sit like a Queen on your house throne and HAND. IT. OUT. If you’re not strong enough a Queen to HAND. IT. OUT. Then you will forever remain Ol’ Yeller and I don’t want to hear from you again. Off with your head!

If they didn’t put their shoes on after a Twice Nice request, they don’t get to go where you’re going. Including if it’s a super fun time or a birthday party. The Queen rules: You ask Twice Nice, they don't listen, they don’t go. 

If you asked Twice Nice for their laundry to be brought down on Sunday and they didn’t do it? The Queen rules: laundry service is closed until next Sunday.

You called them Twice Nice for dinner? The kids didn’t come because a YouTube video was more critical? That's fine, but so sorry, this restaurant has no more open tables. That’s a harsh one, but one I institute daily.

Twice Nice. Queen Rules. No more Ol’ Yeller.

The End.