Dear No Greater Joy,
I have a question: My biggest problem is that I have 3 children 3, 5, and 7. They all need my attention at the same time, but I cannot stand the noise of everyone talking at once, and I feel like I am going insane, and I end up “freaking out” on everyone. How do you train them…only one at a time? – K

Dear Freaked out lady,
Forget about trying to train them one at a time, but rather train them all at once. When they are in the midst of their group pandemonium, speak with authority, reproving and rebuking them sharply. Demand instant silence, taking control of the fray before you unravel (freak out). Don’t try to distinguish one voice out of the many. Rather, silence everyone and then point to them one at a time, allowing each one his say. If one interrupts, stop. If he persists, tell him he has lost his hearing and make him wait until another day to speak his mind. You are his judge, and it is your courtroom. Pound your gavel and say, “Silence in the courtroom or I will have you carried out.” You get the respect you demand, no more. Take charge. Children will appreciate being heard and knowing that a wise person is in control.
So buck up, Mama. Stop “freaking out,” which basically means you are pitching your own mad fit, and take charge. It is the loving, long-suffering thing mamas have to do. ~ Teresa and Debi