A 2 Story House is a Yelling House

Nobody told me when I was house hunting. It took me 7 years of owning a 2 story home to figure it out. Two story houses are yelling houses. And in case ya'll were wondering, that house above is not my house... neither are the other ones... these are my dream homes.
So how in the world with a family of 8 do I make this house a non-yelling house? Well, in all truth I'm still working on it. When there are 6 kids to bring something downstairs for you and you don't have to leave the pot your stirring in the kitchen, the temptation to yell upstairs to one of the kids and stay lazy overwhelms me more often than my sad triathlon training butt cares to admit.
One of the greatest ways I've cut down on my yelling in the home has been to hang a dinner bell in my kitchen. Every meal I ring the bell and my hungry punk-a-noodles come running. They know the bell means business (because if they're not here in time for prayer they have to watch us eat for a good 5-10 minutes before being served).
Gales Gifts has several styles but if you shop around I'm sure you'll find one that suits your home.

Along with our dinner bell I use other sounds to cue my children into action:

Sunday Morning music cues wake up time and breakfast. This sets the tone in our home as we prepare to worship on the Sabbath.

Upbeat work music helps cue kiddos that it's time to do the chores.

The sound of a moving starting in the family room will gather everyone as easily as a bell... but the gang knows that jobs have to be finished to participate.

I have a large key chain that has tipped of my little ones and the dog that I'm getting ready to leave. A little shake of those keys and my kids run to find out where I'm going and if they can come too. (note: this isn't too helpful when you're trying to leave for date night.)

I admit, trying to keep from yelling to my kids saps my self discipline. Its hard! But I also believe that taking that walk upstairs to speak to my children is worth it. I don't want to be remembered as a grumpy yelling mom. Over time yelling just trains our kids to not listen when we yell. I want my kids to know they're worth the extra 12 steps to talk to lovingly... and maybe, just maybe, my tone will be worth listening to.

How do you keep your house from becoming a yelling house?


Funky Junk Interiors said...

My son has a tendancy to do just that. He'll yell from across the street for me and I'm buried in the house somewhere. LOL!

How do I respond? I don't. He knows the drill. He has to find me before I'll acknowledge him.

BTW, when it was time to wake up, my mom use to bang a wooden spoon on the wall at the foot of the stairs. Hey, no yelling at least. LOL


Beverly said...

In the original Cheaper By The Dozen movie, the dad has a special tune he whistles that brings the kids running. He times how long it takes them all to assemble and they try to beat it each time.

When my hubby yells for me, I walk to where he is and quietly say "you bellowed?" Gets my point across--but doesn't stop him from doing it again!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

About 10 years ago we got a phone with a few cordless units and it had an intercom. Each phone had a number so if I wanted to get my son while I was in the den and he was in his room, I picked up the cordless in the den, punched in "Intercom 5" and it rang in his room. Saved a lot of yelling up the stairs.

Crissybug said...
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Joy @FrugalMenuMamas said...

I love these ideas as we just moved into a 2 story house and we end up yelling up the stairs a lot!
I can't wait to get a bell now!

Carrie said...

AGH! I'm totally convicted right now! We just moved into a two story house and yelling has become a way of life! I love your ideas and will be looking for a bell!!!! And I love your idea that they have to wait 5-10 minutes if they miss prayer time...AWESOME.

Jody said...

What a coencidence. There's been a lot of yelling (mostly by me) in this house the past couple of days. So your post came at a good time. I could tell last night you were in the same mood as I was the day before. I'm sorry if I intruded. I guess it makes you feel better when friends are dealing with the same family issues as you.

btw, I LOVE your dinner bell! I might steal it someday.....:)

Anonymous said...

When my children were young (a long time ago) they played outside with all the other neighborhood children.

Instead of calling individuals by name, each family had a bell. When the bell rang, those children were to come home.

Ours was a ship's bell; another was a triangle. The children knew the different bell sounds so they knew whose mother was calling.


Bonita said...

I love that dinner bell idea. Only problem is that my daughter does most of the cooking these days so I guess she would be the one using it. I have an old iron school bell that is so loud the whole neighborhood would show up to eat.

As for noise, we live in a small house and there's only four of us so we don't have to do as much yelling.

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Beverly's comment made me smile. I played "Anne" in CBTD in my Senior play, and we had to do the scene where the father whistles and all the kids came running. :)

Good reminder in this post about kids not responding after time. We had someone speak at our MOPS group about that. :) I am a yeller...trying to reform. ;)

kenziekylanmom said...

I just HAVE to get a bell now because we have lived in this 2 story house for 10 yrs and it was never a "yelling" house until the past 2 yrs when my kids were old enough to actually know what I was yelling about and they actually play in their rooms now...before they always had to play downstairs (usually under my feet)!

Carrie said...

We live in a 2 storey and it is totally a yelling house (and it's usually me doing the yelling). I like the idea of getting a bell.

Leslie said...

I have one of those inexpensive electronic doorbells. The ringer portion sits inside one of my kitchen drawers and the responder is plugged into an outlet in the upstairs hallway. Both of my kids (teens now) know that they're required to high-tail it downstairs whenever they hear the bell.

Carla said...

We totally live in a yelling two story house. I am guilty of yelling up the stairs. And when I tell the kids go get your brothers and sisters to come eat they go the bottom of the stairs an yell. I love the bell idea. I do not know if it would still be heard when they are in there rooms upstairs with the door shut. I had thought of the doorbell idea before. I like the intercom phone idea but that person obviously does not have to look for phones as often as we do around here :).
I have gotten where I call my oldest cell phone sometimes while we are both in the house. How is that for lazy. I feel the guilt just writing this comment jeez!

Laura said...

Hmmm. I was just discussing this the other day with my children as I had noticed how much yelling had become part of our day. Love the bell idea. My mom had one when I was growing up to call us to dinner. Now I see why. :)

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