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Keep Calm and Lower the Volume

3 Things by Amy McCready, Positive Parenting Solutions

3 Things by Amy McCready, Positive Parenting Solutions


I’m a recovering yeller. And a positive parenting expert. How did that happen?

In fact, the only good thing about all that yelling is that it got me started on my positive parenting journey.

One evening my throat was so scratchy, I thought I was coming down with a cold. Then I realized I was actually hoarse from raising my voice at my two small boys all day! Ouch. I needed a change.

I began studying positive parenting strategies, and my life changed dramatically. No more yelling — and my kids were behaving better than ever. I firmly believe that if I can find peace and calm in parenting, anyone can — which is why I created my course.

I tell parents to start small: practice using a calm voice even when you want to yell, and place Post-Its around the house to remind you. Lowering the volume can take the fight out of the disagreement and get better cooperation in your home.

And believe me—if this recovering yeller can do it, you can, too.



How do you make your kids do homework? Go to bed? Get out of bed?

For these tricky times of day, I always recommend a “When-Then” Routine, in which parents schedule all the “yucky” stuff to happen before the “good” stuff.”

For instance, structure afternoons so that when homework is finished, the dog is walked and the dishwasher has been emptied, then your child may enjoy 30 minutes of TV time. An evening routine might sound like, “When your teeth are brushed, your hands and face are washed and your clothes for tomorrow are on your chair, then we can read your book together. But lights go out at 8:00.”

The routine is a non-negotiable daily occurrence, so your kids know that they need to finish their responsibilities before they can access their privileges, which can be anything from snack time to playtime to a ride to soccer practice. When you create your routine, let older kids have some input: “Would you like to shower in the mornings or the evenings?” For younger kids, create a checklist so they can follow along.

Practice the routine before you begin, stick to your plan, ignore the whining and voila! No more battles!


It’s hard for little kids to live in an adult-sized world, where everything is too big, too heavy, too dangerous or out of reach.

One product that I love is the child-sized pitcher found here. It enables kids as young as three to fix their own drinks (or breakfast cereal!), and helps them feel capable and independent. Of course, it’s plastic so it won’t break, has an easy-open lid to keep spills to a minimum and is nearly dripless. Brilliant!


Contributor: Amy from Positive Parenting Solutions
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Check out her book: If I Have to Tell You One More Time…: The Revolutionary Program That Gets Your Kids To Listen Without Nagging, Reminding, or Yelling