Today's words of wisdom come from Seth Godin:

When you're cooking breakfast and the school bus is coming in just a few minutes, it's tempting (and apparently efficient) to yell up the stairs. If a recalcitrant teenager is hesitating before heading off to school (I know, sometimes it happens), go ahead and yell.

Good luck with that.

The alternative is to turn off the stove and walk up the stairs. Catch your breath, then have a quiet conversation.

Not efficient, but effective.

This is an almost universal metaphor. We keep finding ways to rationalize various versions of yelling upstairs instead of doing the difficult work of engaging instead.

Ouch. That one hurts...

My kids don't go to school (they're educated at home), so I don't have to scream at them every morning to catch the bus. But that doesn't mean they always get up in time... and yes, I yell at the stairs too much. Especially when it's time to leave for the dojo and they're still not ready, despite being told 348372 times to pack their bags and get their coats on.

I have tried talking to them. Can't say it's successful so far. Sometimes I swear they don't get moving until I lose my cool. My solution is to budget enough loose in the schedule that we're not late even when they dawdle. I can't always manage it, but when I do, it works pretty well.

I don't like it; I was born without the patience gene. I dislike wasting time and can't believe how much of it young children bring with them into the world. On the plus side, it makes me work on my character. But you know.