Voice: slow

Slowing down – speaking slowly. Not easy in general, and especially not when I am frustrated, uncomfortable, happy or enthusiastic (Dang – I think that’s about all of the time!).

AND when I can keep my voice s..l..o..w, I LIKE the way I sound. Kids can hear me better, I can hear me better, and I can stop being so reactive and start responding. In class, we ask, “Do you want to be more like Lil’ Kim, or more like Angelina Jolie?” You get the idea – I really like ME when I am slower and more in control.

The speed of my voice with my kids is my temperature gauge: how fast and hot am I running? In class, we use suggestions to get away from the ‘rapid responding mode’ – things like using a shrug (and then another one, if needed), or saying, “hmmm….” or saying, “That’s an interesting idea; I’ll have to think about that.” I like myself a lot more when I speak and respond slowly.
I also think of fights I have had and things I regretted saying — almost all of them were said fast. And I think back to my own teenage days, when I would make my parents mad and there would be yelling: time to tune out.
easy: start to notice how quickly or slowly you speak.
more challenging: make a concerted effort to think first and speak more slowly.
even more challenging: Use nonverbals (shrug, hug, smile), and when you do speak to your child, use 7 words or less.