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To ask how do you command respect and NOT be shouty

35 replies

Llamasally · 18/05/2021 14:33

No one, but no one responds to my requests to do, or not do, things in my household. Not toddler, dog, even (especially!) DH. Then I get to a point where I can only ask nicely so many times and get ignored and have to shout, I feel like I am losing my temper more and more often and of course still not achieving the desired effect with my family. I hate it and I hate who I seem to be turning into.

So, for those of you out there who command quiet, calm respect - how do you do it??

I see some people’s manner really makes others respect them. Some parents seem to be able to give a ‘look’ and quiet warning and hey presto. I don’t know what I practically need to to do change things.

OP posts:

KatieKat88 · 18/05/2021 14:38

I've been reading How to Talk so that Little Kids will listen - it6s fab and has really made me think about how to approach situations. Disclaimer - DD is only 18 months so I can't apply much yet but I'm trying to use the language suggested now so that I get into the habit of it! It's empathetic but not permissive, helps set boundaries and work through problems. Might be worth a look.


KatieKat88 · 18/05/2021 14:40

Also I had the 'look' when I was teaching - basically took years of the kids knowing me, how I worked and having respect for me. It doesn't magically come from nowhere unfortunately!


Llamasally · 18/05/2021 14:57

I actually have that book! But not really getting it...

OP posts:

Tambora · 18/05/2021 15:05

Don't ask your DH nicely, just tell him - man to man, as it were Grin

It's a case of being just a little more assertive. Think of a boss and an employee - the boss will ask the employee to do something in a completely different way to when the employee asks the boss for a day off! The boss will be polite, but it is clear that it is an instruction to be carried out.


pointythings · 18/05/2021 15:29

If it's mostly your DH - calm, eye contact, don't ask, tell. He won't like it.

I used to let mine get away with 'oh, but you do this [insert mention of random thing that annoyed him] so you're not perfect', but then I learned about DARVO.

Needless to say I am now single though.


Hoppinggreen · 18/05/2021 15:30

I find quietly menacing works pretty well


RonObvious · 18/05/2021 15:32

It sounds as if you're not the problem - your DH is. It doesn't sound as if he has a great deal of respect for you.


Temp023 · 18/05/2021 15:35

By being 6ft 1 and knowing what you are talking about!


yogamatted · 18/05/2021 15:51

If you have to give DH instructions (which I would think is quite unattractive) maybe wait until there are 2 jobs to be done, then say ' can you do Xxx while Im getting on with YYY?' Or if he needs more control offer the choice.. 'do you want to do Xxx or Yyy just now?'

Do not express it as helping you, or a favour, just a number of jobs that need to be done by the adults in the house.


Serenschintte · 18/05/2021 16:13

Toddlers - eye contact, getting down to their level and immediate consequences. Plus lots of praise for good behavior. And rewards when appropriate. And at least they are portable so you can physically move them if they won’t do as they are told!
Plus believe in your authority - you are the Mum, you do know best !!
Dogs and husbands I have no advice im afraid.


riotlady · 18/05/2021 16:17

Super nanny had it right- on their level, eye contact, nice deep firm voice.


bellropes · 18/05/2021 16:23

Imagine they're large, unruly dogs and go from there 😄


GreeboIsMySpiritAnimal · 18/05/2021 16:25

Drop your register. Go kind of low and slightly growly. Practice saying things like this, combined with a hard stare:

  • "What did you just say to me?"
  • "I beg your pardon?"

And, my personal favourite, though only brought out for the most serious infractions: "Try that again. I dare you."

My kids just laugh at me when I shout, because they've realised it's just frustration and not anger ("FOR GOD'S SAKE WHY AM I THE ONLY PERSON TO CHANGE THE LOO ROLL IN THIS HOUSE??!") but when I go low and growly they know they're in serious trouble.

Goldenbear · 18/05/2021 16:48

Do you only have the one toddler? If they are a toddler, can't you show them the right way? So if the toddler is shouting, then just be really calm and demonstrate how you talk to people or empathise if it is something they can't have and then distract with something they can. Even stingy songy voice to distract. I think a toddler is a baby really, they are naturally curious so I would try not to personally be too Nanny 911 about it as it just feels a bit oppressive.


Goldenbear · 18/05/2021 16:49

Not 'stingy', singy voice.


LubaLuca · 18/05/2021 16:53

My voice is deeper than average, which seems to make people take me seriously (not just children). I've been told I sound like a newsreader Grin


Shodan · 18/05/2021 16:59

You really have to believe in yourself, tbh.

I'm quite easy-going with my boys, and have always erred heavily on the side of positive reinforcement, so the few times I've had to put my foot down it's been with, as a pp said, a firm, low-ish voice. And looking them directly in the eye.

Generally, a question like "Do we think that socks live here?" or some such is enough to get those socks put where they belong.

Husbands, though- I don't know. I had two, neither of whom would ever do what I asked, so I just divorced them. Probably not what you want though... Grin


Furrydogmum · 18/05/2021 17:03

Kids "I am going to count to 3 and then I will take away/do xyz.." then do it..
Dogs I stand and hold my pointy finger at them and say "lie down" very firmly maintaining eye contact and keeping the finger pointed.
DH I say "you know I'm right so just crack on and it will be easier" etc.
I am tall and have a resting bitch face, which prob helps in most circumstances Grin


Llamasally · 18/05/2021 17:13

Interestingly to those advising about DH, on another thread recently I asked if I was BU to expect a level of tidiness I’m happy with, was I micromanaging or him being an arse. The overwhelming majority thought I was indeed micromanaging and shouldn’t expect someone to do things as I like them or maintain a level of tidiness that doesn’t come naturally to them. I generally ask him to do things, he agrees, never happens, I ask again and again and get very frustrated then the issue of this thread comes out. Then I’m the bad guy for being shouty.

OP posts:

HOkieCOkie · 18/05/2021 17:32

Honesty it’s hard to say! As a nanny it’s something I’ve perfected over the years.


HOkieCOkie · 18/05/2021 17:34

I follow through/never ever make empty threats. I remain calm and try to keep my voice stern and calm.


Llamasally · 18/05/2021 17:41

@yogamatted yes I already employ these tactics. It is unattractive to have to issue instructions tbh.

OP posts:

recklessgran · 18/05/2021 18:16

Actions OP. Actions speak louder than words. I had 5DD's all now grown and flown. DH had a very demanding job and so did I so it was imperative that once we were outnumbered we had an effective way to parent them whilst still having lots of fun and happy times. They all laugh about it now and assure me that none of them were traumatised in any way by my slightly eccentric parenting methods.
Here are a few examples of things I've got up to over the years to give you some ideas. No shouting required.
DH sitting on the sofa behind his newspaper - I'm talking to him about trivia really but he's not paying attention and I'm just getting the occasional mmm. So I stripped all my clothes off until I was starkers whilst he was oblivious behind his paper. Finally he glanced in my direction and his face was a picture along with "expletive expletive reckless what the hell are you doing?" I replied ".Trying to get your attention DH". He was a lot more attentive after that.
Stroppy teen DD - everyone at the table and it's cottage pie for dinner. DD takes a mouthful and says "yuck this tastes horrible - I'm not eating It!" I don't say a word but get up from the table, pick up her plate, go in the kitchen and put her dinner in the dogs bowl and the plate in the dishwasher. I go back to the table and resume eating my dinner. "Where's my dinner?" demands DD. "In the dog" says I.
DD aged 6 refused to get dressed for school or eat her breakfast. I had 2 babies to get ready so needed her to do this herself. I put her uniform in a carrier bag and put her in the back of the car in her nightie with her boiled egg and her uniform. The egg and soldiers were eaten and all the uniform was on bar the tie by the time we reached the school.
DD's arguing. Stand up, say very quietly, "Right, I've had enough of this, I'm going to my room. " Go upstairs into your bedroom and lay on the bed with your book, Within a couple of minutes there will be a knock on the door and a deputation saying "sorry Mummy please will you come down now?" It never failed and was far more effective than sending the little treasures to their room or the naughty step.
Fighting in the back of the car. Pull over as soon as it's safe to do so. Turn off engine , say nothing and just stare out of the front windscreen. They soon get the message that they're going nowhere until they are quiet.
Good Luck OP - you just need to get in charge.


Llamasally · 18/05/2021 18:22

@recklessgran ha! Love these!

OP posts:

fallingsnowflakes · 18/05/2021 19:09

@recklessgran these made me laugh! I agree though you need to have consequences. Don't repeat an instruction, it just dilutes it, so for toddler it might be if you throw a toy again I'm going to take it away or if you run off you'll need to go in the buggy. Husband needs to be responsible for chores that have consequences for not being done ie laundry (and make sure you buy more pants and socks than him!) or cooking dinner etc. If you really need him to listen "when you... I feel... I need..." can be a helpful structure. Ie, "when you don't wash up, I feel unappreciated and unloved, I need you to wash the dishes between finishing a meal and going to bed". The dog I have no idea about sorry!

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