A conversation that circulated through my group of friends sometimes before, but often after children began entering our lives was about "the voice." This voice had a certain tone, a certain firmness and usually a look to accompany it. Often it included your middle name or if you were really in trouble your whole name said slowly and succinctly. For my friend Heidi Joy it arrived a year or so into her mommy journey but for me I must admit that while I used a firm voice with Ky many times before now I didn't hear "the voice" until just recently. The first time it came out I was sure I was shouting, it took me by surprise and I stopped short. But I was heard...there was a response to it. With the addition of a brother to the scene and around turning 4 Kyan's volume level went up. Loud voice, loud singing, loud samurai moves, shrieking, impressions, joke telling...it's all loud. And then you add pulling off your brother's socks, tumbling bear hugs, toy destroying prevention, and a baby who has found his lung capacity and it's really freaking loud.
What did my mama instincts do? Summoned up the voice.
The let your brother out of that headlock, he can't be a ghost under the blanket, and for the 10th time stop jumping off the couch voice.
For a while I questioned my attachment parenting philosophy and how it aligned with this sound emanating from me. I asked myself are you sure you aren't yelling, are you sure this is not going to damage your child somehow? The answer that I have come to many times is that when the chips are down and the top is blowing off your head there must be a game changer. The voice is that game changer. It sets the tone, it is a signal. Definite, clear, succinct. Heidi Joy calls it dragon mama, but regardless of its name it is from a deep place of parental discipline that all children no matter of culture or creed recognize as the final warning. Just as our children are growing and evolving everyday we as parents change too. Adapt or be left in the parenting dust of yesterday so to speak. Adapt I have.