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Tough Talk

What exactly is tough talk? Is it an activity that separates the men from the boys? Is it gender specific? Is it rough and strong? Or is it simply saying what you mean and meaning what you say?

As a father I've finessed my tough talk from wild, brazen and mostly empty statements to calm, sincere, although often stern, conversational expressions of cause and effect and the subsequent consequences that follow. I try to make my tough talk teachable. This way I will hopefully reduce the need to repeat myself. This works mostly on the kids. I'd wager it has no effect on my wife at all.

Growing up in a yelling household made me a hater of yelling and for that matter a hater of noise. If I had my way I'd be living in an all white beachfront mansion a la Miami Vice with two maybe three pieces of furniture. Whatever. My point is that when it comes to the kids the less often I talk tough, the more serious it is when I do. Kids have this amazing ability to tune out noise once they register what they're hearing as noise. Raising your voice is at times a necessity, but in general I don't want my message to be lost on the kids because they can't get past the yelling. That's just me.

How about you?

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