When I would yell at my children, I was teaching them that they didn’t have to do what I said whenever I said it, just when it was important enough (or I was mad enough) to raise my voice. What’s worse, I was undermining my wife’s authority in the home because she wasn’t as big and scary and didn’t have as deep a voice as me. Thus my word (thundered through the house) became the standard for eliciting obedience. We do not want our children to do what we say with conditions attached. We want them to obey, period. Learning not to repeat ourselves, not to yell, not to call the offending child by all three of his or her names, but to speak in clear, level tones and follow through with consequences for every act of disobedience has completely transformed our home.
- Voddie Baucham