This evening at dinner the kids were running around being loud and crazy. Often when this happens I lose control and yell at them. Today I think I was inspired to try something different. Instead of yelling at them I said, in a voice so quiet I wasn't sure they would hear me, "Anyone not sitting in their seat when I count to five will be done with their dinner." Then I commenced counting, still in my quiet voice. The older kids responded first, and quickly moved back to their seats. Aurora caught on at about 3, and went back to her seat. I was actually quite amazed and how well they responded.
I then decided to experiment, and went for the rest of the evening speaking in a quiet voice. Guy often frustrates me, by getting involved in something and then tuning me out. I often end up yelling just his name in trying to get his attention, then I feel really frustrated. Well this evening, he was playing down stairs, and I just stood at the top of the stairs and said his name in a quiet voice. I may have had to say his name 2 or 3 times, but he responded a lot quicker than he does when I yell. Also there were only a few times during the evening that he had to ask me what I said. Most of the time he heard me well, and responded in a positive way.
This isn't to say that he didn't whine when I told him it was time for bed. He still did. But overall, he went to bed without a fight. So did Aurora. I felt like our evening was a much positive experience overall, and I think a big part of it, was me speaking in a soft voice instead of yelling.