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You're ready to leave your house. You've managed to get the washing hung out, everyone fed, and for a change you had time to put a bit of make-up on.
You call-out to your kids from the bathhroom, "Put your shoes on, kids. We're about to leave."
You quickly run the brush through your hair then glance at your phone – it's really time to go now.
You grab your handbag and find the kids sitting in the loungeroom WITHOUT their shoes on.
You calmly ask them again, "Please put your shoes on, kids. We have to go."
You go to the kitchen and start to stack the dishwasher while you wait.
Five minutes later it's DEFINITELY go-time. You return to the loungeroom to tell the kids to hop in the car, but you stop mid-sentence – they still don't have their shoes on.
You're impatient and annoyed for having to ask them so many times to do a simple thing. You can't help but yell this time, "PUT YOUR SHOES ON! NOW!!"
They glance up to see your clenched jaw, your hands on your hips and a large vein pulsating on your forehead.
They jump to their feet.
Finally, they actually listen to you and start putting their shoes on.
Does this scenerio sound familiar?
You never set-out to yell at your kids. But they keep ignoring you so you lose your patience and end up raising your voice to get them to finally listen.
Dr Erica Reischer, a psychologist and parenting coach says this pattern of communication is not uncommon but creates a bad habit for both you and your children.
"Your kids are effectively learning that they can ignore you until you yell, or to put it another way, that you only really mean it when you yell. And you are learning from their response to yell in order to get their attention," explains Dr Reischer.
In a nutshell; your kids have learned that you're only serious when you raise your voice. And you have learned that when you turn into Mrs Cranky Pants your kids burst into action.
So there you go. That's what's been going on. Stay tuned for next week when we share how you can fix it and farewell Mrs Cranky Pants for good.