There's No Such Thing as Bad Publicity...by Liimu
After talking to a friend of mine, she helped me to realize that we were reinforcing their behavior by yelling at them, so we should just...stop. Stop yelling. Completely. What a concept. Instead, it was suggested that we just give them consequences for bad behavior. No yelling, no negotiating, straight consequences. Whoa.
Here's the crazy part...it worked! Not only did it bring their behavior into line, it also completely turned around the energy in our house. No more headaches for me and their dad. No more walking on egg shells for the girls. I like to think they've even stopped yelling at each other as much as they were before.
It's pretty tough to keep it up (their dad and I have even gotten a strike here and there for accidentally yelling), but it's definitely worth working on. So, thanks to those of you who gave me your feedback or advice. And I hope that those of you who stayed silent did so because all is well in your households. If not, I hope our experience will be of use to even just one person out there. It may sound counterintuitive (at least it did to me), but staying calm, cool and collected in the face of sassy toddlers or preteens may just be the key to diffusing an otherwise volatile situation.