Household Chaos


New Member
Our house is in constant uproar. Are any of you guys yellers? I feel like all we do is yell at difficult child. Then we are playing with the little ones because they are not in trouble. Aside from not speaking to anyone in the house, how can my husband and I stop the madness? I know that we will always have frustrations because of difficult child, but something has to change. It won't be ong before the babies are affected by this. They seem to take it all in stride now, but I would just about kill for one night in our house where there is not conflict! How do we accomplish this without losing total control over difficult child?


New Member
No, I haven't. I have seen it mentioned on here several times. I will have to get to the library this weekend. Is this the book that talks about the baskets (A, B & C)?


Well-Known Member
I hate to admit it but I was a yeller for a time as well. I began to figure out that this is what M wanted because it fed into his circular thinking about being "bad". If I yelled at him it must be because he's bad, so he can be bad because I yell at him because he's bad.

It turned around when I began to look at us as individuals. I was happy with everything in my life but him. I couldn't change him (he was only 8 - 9 at the time) only he could change him. I could be happy and not play into his anger, and hopefully one day he would become happy. (It hasn't happened yet.) But in the meantime, I was setting a good example by being happy, and I was not buying into his unhappiness.
I realized that Pixie was yelling at me. A LOT. Hmm, where could she have picked that up from? It is just the 2 of us in this home, and there was a lot of yelling back and forth.

One day I told her, new rule, we are going to try NOT to yell anymore. She got her point across to me: "That means you can't yell at me!" I agreed. You know what? There has been very little that needed to be communicated to her that needed to be yelled. Obviously, if she is about to walk in front of a car or something, but normal day-to-day stuff, we talk. If I feel my blood pressure about to skyrocket, I walk away for a few minutes, then come back and talk to her.

Hardly any yelling in the home anymore. I like it.


No real answers to life..
<span style='font-family: Comic Sans MS'>This sounds pretty simplistic, but if you just stop yelling it can make a difference. I was a yeller, but one day decided the only person I had control over was me....the yelling was not effective, so I reacted differently. I calmly looked at a situation and said in a controlled voice Explain what is happening and is there anything I can do to change the outcome? Well, first of all it such a surprise that the return exchange was not said in a yelling voice. Now don't get me wrong it didn't change overnight, but at least I felt I was more effective with the calm, controlled voice. People in general will react in kind to how they are spoken to, so it can't hurt...give it a try until you can do it without thinking....

It will at least lower the decibles in your home.....

Good luck! And I do believe yelling does become a habit, so make the opposite a habit.</span>



New Member
I think the thing that pushes my buttons more than anything is the disrepectful tone he uses with us. Nothing that comes out of his mouth is nice. Even if it is a simple "No", it comes out nasty. Then I get mad and yell. I have tried to change the habit, but maybe I can try harder. What kills me is before difficult child and husband, I was a happy go lucky person. It just seems like this whole thing has drained the optimism out of me. Don't get me wrong, I don't think that I am depressed or anything. I am still a happy person, just not when I am at home. It is to the point that I almost dread coming home after work because of all the turmoil. I want my kids to have a happy home like I did growing up. Maybe after we get difficult child evaluated this summer and get some answers thing will start turning around.

Thanks for the input!


I am a yeller..then a cryer. difficult child knows he gets to me. When I am yelling, I sometimes don't even realize it..then I see the dogs hiding in the corner all curled up. difficult child just yells back so it just goes round and round. Not until I see the dogs trying to hide that I realize how it must be. Then I feel guilty for not being strong for difficult child. I also feel angry that difficult child can get me to that state of mind. I know we all vent here at some time or another, ask for advice when difficult child's are difficult child's. But there are times when difficult child is sweet, nice, thoughtful..I expect the same from everyone. Only then I always get my hopes up that, hey..maybe he is changing, medications helping, maturing. I am happy, smiling...then it hits again. and again, and again. I enjoy coming home from work with nobody there, but this year I am really looking forward to summer. I am so stressed out with school, and the teachers and the whole system I just want it to be over.


Well-Known Member
"The Explosive Child" is in my opinion a great method to de-escalate the combat zone at home until the child is stable. in my opinion yelling doesn't rein a child in and makes an out-of-control kid even more out-of-control because of the drama of our "losing it." I've learned to speak softly.

timer lady

Queen of Hearts
Yelling makes me crazy. Both husband & I are calm by nature - yelling is not a common occurrence here.

Having said that, the more escalated my little wonders become, the quieter I become. The times I have exploded it shocked kt & wm (when he was here at home).

The Explosive Child is an excellent book but this is something that is common sense - change your response. It's not working.

Now - where do you go with your frustrations - dig in a garden, beat the heck out of a pillow, workout, your favorite hobby.

Seriously, a "thank you for sharing your feelings" or "I appreciate knowing that" said to the tweedles did more than yelling or crying.

Seem to be rambling this morning - sorry. I hope this makes sense.

Good luck.
I had a doctor tell me years ago, when difficult child 1 was little, "if your child is yelling, talk softly. The softer you talk the better, Eventually, they will stop yelling because they cannot hear you over their yelling."

I had forgotten that until I mad the "rule" of no yelling in the house. And it makes sense. Now, I am not saying we NEVER yell, but if Pixie starts yelling, I tell her "you need to talk nice, Mommy isn't yelling". She calls me on it too. "MOM! You are YELLING!" We've been doing this for a little over a month. I can't tell you the change it's made. It is an effort, because I come from a family of loudmouths. But we have cut down on the yelling and the chaos by at least 80%. Maybe making the rule wasn't what changed it, but it was a step in the right direction.


New Member
Good morning everyone! Just wanted to give an update. My husband and I have worked out a plan to help stop the stress in the house. We each get a "night off" Tuesday-Thursday. This means that one of us is responsible for the children that night-totally. Of course, the other is in the house in case things get out of control. But the "off" parent is only available to the kids for hugs and kisses or positive thoughts. They are not allowed to deal with any discipline or anger or school or anything else. That way, we can each de-stress for one night. So far, it has worked (of course this is only the first week :))

Also, as far as school goes, we have decided that since difficult child will not do anything in class (he has a 23 in social studies), his job is to clean the house every day. He keeps going on about how unfair it is. He is the only one that has to clean. Whine, whine, whine. We have told him that each of us has a job to do. Dad and I go to work, he goes to school. If he chooses to not do anything at school, than he is choosing to be the housekeeper. There is only two weeks of school left, but he is getting the point. He hates to clean.

How wonderful! I love the idea of each of you getting a night off. Now that is teamwork. Good for you!

Poor, poor difficult child has to clean. *sniff* Very good idea, maybe he will get the point. I like how you took lemons and made lemonade!


New Member
Bad Kitty...I think I could do it if I had one kid, but I have 3 and I have always been a yeller and I despise! My mother yelled, I yell and all three kids yell! difficult child#3 is just loud. Plays loud.
I think when family therapy starts, I am going to bring that up. We should all make an effort to not yell!


New Member
We have three kids, too. We do only have one difficult child, but the others do feed off of him.

Last night was my husband's night off. He still helped out by whispering things to me, but he was out of the loop. I think this helped with the kids. Instead of having two crazy parents, they only had one! :smile:

Let me assure you, my husband has no patience for our difficult child. We, too, argue about the discipline in our house. I tend to let things slide and he tends to be way overbearing. He claims that is why I do not get the respect that I do. But I don't want my kids to respect me out of fear. I want them to understand the reasons behind my orders. This is our biggest point of conflict. When the difficult child is out of town during the summer, we don't argue at all. During the rest of the year, we argue almost daily.


Roll With It
Hi! I haven't been around lately, but we had great luck with Love and Logic by Faye and Cline. They have a website ( and are very responsive. I even went to a conference with Jim Faye and was very impressed. He walked the walk with his son, really lived this stuff. I found this at least as helpful as Explosive Child, and my husband really "got" Love and logic. Explosive child didn't really make an impression on husband.



New Member
Oh yes I can totally relate. lol My house is quite interesting to say the least. CHAOS is putting it mildly. There is no peace and serenity here ever. It bothers me A LOT. It's like a vicious cycle that never ends. It usually starts off with the difficult child either annoying her 10 yr old sister and me and husband intervene which in turn turns into yelling on all angles. Then it just sorta continues on all evening trying to get the cooperation for the simplist tasks like them getting a bath and going to bed. Bedtime is when the fireworks really take place with difficult child. I have a 1 yr old who has been a very pleasant baby since day 1 but I've even noticed the past couple weeks that stress levels are soaring she is irritable also. Then husband and I argue almost daily and constantly from what it seems to me. I try to "talk" and he gets defensive and raises his voice which then gets me fired up until I just can't take it anymore and try to find some escape. I think when you have a challenging child in the home there's always chaos. But does it ever end??


Well-Known Member
I read these other posts and see our homelife. Mornings are the absolute horror experience. Our therapist suggested husband stay home in the mornings (he used to leave at 7:00), so now I'M the referee. There is NO way to control what goes on. Literally, now I get the daggar looks from husband who thinks he should be at the office and difficult child now challenging husband instead of just me. And this is supposed to reduce MY stress factor? NOT! Now I'm stressed more than ever with the constant fear of what could happen between husband and difficult child because difficult child is showing husband his true colors. The defiance is out of this world and I will never, ever understand it. We've tried it all, honestly, and it seems nothing we do makes any kind of impact. I've used "baskets", spoken softly, threatened and followed through, ignored, yelled, cried, left the house and difficult child to get on the bus on his own two feet, he's given a medication at 5:00 AM to help with the mornings, still....nothing. I've tried desperately to become a non-yeller, and now it's husband, so what's the point? By the time I get the two of them out of here I'm a shaking wreck....and I, like Crazy-Steph used to be a happy, optimistic person. Where is she now?


New Member
My problem with husband is this: if I want to try anything new, he is all for it. But if he doesn't see results in the first night, then my idea was stupid and a waste of time. He is just about as big of a handful as our difficult child. I know he means well, but geez. I keep telling him that I don't like to get so upset because I don't want him to die from a heart attack just because difficult child didn't bring home homework!

We have talked with difficult child, and he says he doesn't like us to be mad at him. Yet he won't do anything differently. He wants to be able to do absolutely nothing in life and have a happy mom and dad.

I understand where you are coming from, Pamela. I don't think I will ever understand difficult child. Now, my hope is that we will someday just all be able to get along. All of my dreams of the "perfect family" have gone out the window in the last nine years.


Well-Known Member
Perfect family???!!! What a laugh. I guess it doesn't exist anyway. My husband and I never, ever argue. Never have. He, also thinks the things that the therapist comes up with as "homework" are ridiculous. HOW are we to get difficult child to write down five things he would like to change and then write down how he plans to change them, when he won't do a lick of homework? It's getting to be laughable with me. We go to the therapist and he just shakes his head because difficult child has done nothing he told him to do and I haven't made him. Made him? His suggestion on how to make him is everything stops cold till he does it. We don't go to baseball practice or a game, we eat no dinner, we don't turn on the tv, we don't, we don't, we don't. Now try to get a husband to NOT turn on the news when he gets home from a hard day at the office. OR try to get him to wait on dinner because difficult child hasn't written down what the doctor wanted him to. ARG......! I feel like we're wasting our time and money on a therapist, but I don't know what else to do.