I live near a school, and every summer there’s a football holiday camp on the field. You can hear the coaches shouting from early in the morning until late afternoon and lots of young footballers loudly having fun. There’s whistles, commanding voices and discipline. Trying to control a large group of screaming children whilst making sure they’re learning and enjoying themselves doesn’t sound easy from over the fence. A sense of authority is established by shouting.
Over another fence is a neighbour with three young children. Two are of the age of tricycles and cheeky grins, whilst the other is just a baby. With a barking dog, a crying baby and two children wanting to play all the time, there’s also a lot of noise in that house. Authority is established by lots of shouting – “No!” and “Stop it!”. Is this an effective way to speak to those we love and are trying to raise?
I know I’m guilty of not talking very nicely to my loved ones when I get annoyed, especially to my mum. But very often what’s remembered is not what we say, but how we say it, and how we make people feel.