As Moms, here are a couple more ways we can be sure to silence communication with our kids:

4) Yell at them

Our Delusion: This is one that really helps preteens and teenagers. Not so much for the improved communication effect, but just for sheer entertainment. Teenagers go over the moon when their mothers raise their voice fifteen decibels above normal tone. Although, a lot have requested that their moms take a momentary intermission so they can go out and get some popcorn before the show starts. (Just passing along the request.) After all, the louder we speak…then the more they will hear us, right? And by golly, there is just no way humanly possible for us to show how much we really don’t like their behavior by using our own “inside voices.”

Mom Reality: The only thing yelling accomplishes is raising feelings of fear, inadequacy and even apathy. The moment someone raises their voice, the other person immediately shuts down or tunes out. Do whatever you need to do to remain calm both for your sanity and theirs. Count to ten. Go for a brisk walk. Take a break and resume the conversation later.

5) Beat a dead horse

Our Delusion: Here’s and oldy but a goody! This skill is also known as The Lecture. It is probably the most popular and most implemented amongst mothers. Teenagers will immediately stop whatever they are doing so they don’t miss out on this one. The combined essentials of redundancy and endless time limit makes them cheer and keep coming back for more. They really enjoy this special time as their mothers demonstrate what a filibuster is as they talk what seems like hours on end, about the same topic over and over. If you look closely, as their moms talk in circles, you can actually see the kids’ heads spinning like a hamster wheel.

Mom Reality: Our kids despise The Lecture as much as we did. I can’t tell you how many mental to-do lists I got done. As we told our own parents, “Please say what you have to say once and then let’s move on!”

Yes, sarcasm can mimic reality. So what do we do if we have made not one, but all of these mistake? The same thing we do with all our other mistakes: Forgive ourselves, make amends and learn from them.

The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing. ~John Powell