When you jump into a cold pool or lake, it’s a shock to your body at first, but you adjust to it after a few minutes of swimming, right?

Are you old enough to remember that the news didn’t used to be so graphic? Or that sitcoms didn’t used to be sex-oriented and movies only implied sex. We never heard a curse word on the radio or TV when I was a kid. That only happened in R-rated movies and it didn’t occur very many times.

Today, we are inundated with graphic violence and sex and vulgar language. How did we get here?

The media has been desensitizing us for years. It’s like swimming around in the cold lake and not feeling cold anymore. We’ve gotten used to the sights and sounds of current pop culture.

Yelling is the same way. If I yell at my kids every time they don’t listen, or I want them to do something, or they’re out of my sight, or I’m just in a crabby mood, they become desensitized to my yelling. After a while, my yelling means the same as my talking used to.

So, what happens if I really have an urgent plea? Maybe my son is walking in front of a moving car. Or, he has his back to me and I’ve got the beaters tangled up in my tongue. If I yell, it won’t be translated as urgent to him. My yell won’t put him on alert. It’s been overplayed, overused, it’s been broadcast steadily for too long. The shock has worn off.

Plus, yelling sets off an angry response in the target of our tirade. Just because we’re angry, doesn’t mean the people around us should feel angry too. Why share the poison? Anger doesn’t typically inspire our kids to scoop the dog poop or clean up their room.

Who are you more happy to work for: Squidward, who yells and makes demands and clearly dislikes what you do, or SpongeBob who sees the good in you and is happy to lend a helping hand?

Yelling works when you hardly ever use it. Treat it like your fine china…pull it out only for special occasions. We, as parents, have lots of other tricks to get our kids to clean their rooms. :c)