The Top Fifteen Rules for Boys (Written by Boys for Boys) RULE #7 NO YELLING and RULE #8 LISTEN TO YOUR PARENTS

So, far I’ve listed my sons’–Patrick, age nine, and Luke, four–first six “house rules,” rules that they developed to make my husband and me happy.

We’ve covered:

1. No punching.
2. No kicking.
3. No hitting really hard with swords.
4. No stabling balls with swords.
5. No pooping without spraying.
6. No farting without warning.

Today’s two rules are actually linked because, when my sons’ yell, I yell, and, when they don’t listen to me, I yell. It is not my first instinct to yell. It’s not even my second. But it seems as if they NEVER listen to me.

In the case of their yelling, obviously they’re yelling, so it’s hard to hear anything else, as in their mother very calmly telling them to be quiet, to stop screaming because, for example, their exhausted father is trying to take a much-needed weekend nap. They’ll stop yelling. But, within minutes, my four-year-old Luke, who is the loudest child on the planet–whose normal talking voice is close to a scream, because he takes after his very loud father and semi-loud mother–starts in again. In this case, I don’t yell (because of my husband sleeping). But I ask, “Why do you have to yell all the time?” And he responds with absolute honesty: “I can’t help it.”

When my sons don’t listen to my husband and me, however, it’s more frustrating, because I have–in a very Zen way–told them what they should be doing: putting on their clothes for school, brushing their teeth, putting away their toys, cleaning up their rooms, getting their shoes and coats on, and so on. And, even though I say it very nicely the first time and more sternly the second time and slightly yelling the third time, it’s only when I actually yell that I get their attention. And then they are shocked that I’m yelling.

I’ve discussed this with my friends, also very nice woman who are yelling mothers. And they state that it’s only when they get to the yell that their children pay attention.


If my sons would only follow their own rules–no yelling and listen to your parents–we’d have a very peaceful household.

Except for my husband, who’s usually very loud.

And me, who’s semi-loud.

And Luke, who’s always loud.

Poor Patrick…

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