About a week ago I became overwhelmed with how messy the house was. I can often just look past the mess until it’s time to clean up, but I couldn’t handle it. So I decided to clean one small corner of the house and take a picture.
Ahhhh… That’s better! Crisis over.
I posted the picture on the Proverbial Homemaker Facebook page to say “hey look at that, this corner is clean!” I completely forgot that my megaphone was hanging there in it’s normal spot on the cabinet wall. Nobody else missed it though! Soon I had several comments asking about the megaphone and what I used it for, including where to get one! So funny!
Yes, Mommy Has a Megaphone
My parents bought us a megaphone for Christmas this past year. I thought it was a joke, but it wasn’t! Either way, it has actually been a huge help in my parenting.
That’s unexpected, right? I know.
You might imagine Drill Sargent Mom barking orders through a bullhorn to get her kids to clean their rooms or whipping it out in a moment of frustration to yell at the kids to come right now “or else.” That’s not really how it happens in our home. Instead, it helps me to yell less.
Small Voice, Big Voice
Do your kids get loud? Do they seem to not hear you when you talk to them or call out to them? There are several ways to approach this problem. I’m not saying a megaphone is THE thing. However, I always sigh just a bit when I hear people say “just get closer” or “just whisper, they’ll start quieting down too!”
Really? My household didn’t get that memo. I can’t always walk over to them (although I have been trying to do more of that). In addition, there are between 5 and 9 kids in our house at all times. It’s it’s not always possible to get up close and personal. When they’re playing or rowdy, whispering is extremely effective at making myself even less heard, not more.
So here’s one solution… make your small voice BIG.
Here’s the scene: The kids are busy playing a fun game of knights and princesses (and dogs, because the toddler needs a role, too), and things are getting just WAY too loud. You call out for them to quiet down and they just can’t hear you, whether actually or in the excitement of the moment.
You unhook the megaphone from the wall, turn it on, check the volume, and calmly say into it “Hey guys, all done for now. Let’s play outside or find a quieter game while I make lunch.” Miracle of miracles: they hear you.
There is no yelling or harshness. With a megaphone, you just made your small, gentle voice a calm but BIG voice.
The Multi-Purpose Megaphone
The megaphone is something you don’t want to use ALL the time because then it loses its effectiveness. However, there are several times when it is a great parenting tool:
- The kids are getting too loud
- You need to get everyone’s attention
- In a very large open space (like a field)
- There are a lot of children doing different things in different parts of the house
- Calling upstairs without leaving other kids downstairs
- Calling kids in for a meal or bed time
- When you feel like you are about to yell
Helps You Stop Yelling
My experience is that the megaphone actually helps me yell less. The time it takes me to go to the megaphone, unhook it, turn it on, check the volume, and speak into it is enough to calm me down a bit and focus my thoughts.
Talking into the megaphone also somehow makes me speak calmer and slower. Sometimes I say funny things like “Do not eat the dirt! I repeat! Do not eat the dirt!” Usually, however, it’s just normal speaking.
You might ask “Why not just whistle loud, talk loud, clap in a rhythm, or some other kind of way to get their attention?” I have tried all these things and, frankly, they either slide too easily into frustration for me or they aren’t as effective as the megaphone. I do whistle sometimes to get the kids’ attention, but the megaphone just works better.
Tips for Parenting With a Megaphone
There are some tips and tricks for making this work in your home.
- Don’t yell or talk harshly into it. Ever.
- Don’t overuse it, or it loses its effect.
- Hang it up where the kids can’t get it. This is for Mom and Dad only.
- Do not use the siren on it. That’s just rude. LOL!
- Buy a little one for your purse. There’s one in my Amazon cart right now!
Where to Get a Megaphone
My parents purchased one for me, presumably from a sporting goods store. You can also buy one on amazon.
This one is the same as the one I have but a different color. I included the little one from my shopping cart for you as well. 🙂
What do you think? Is this crazy or fantastic?