I am going on record by stating this goal for my life: that when I have a family of my own, I will never yell at my spouse or children, unless it is to warn them of danger -- like if one of the kids runs out into the road and I need to stop them, or if a tree is going to fall on them (it happens -- my dad has been hit by trees twice). All other circumstances will be handled without any kind of yelling, screaming, swearing, belittling, guilt tripping, or any other such displays of loud, unkind anger. I will not be the cause for contention and fear in my home.
I know I'm not going to be a perfect wife or parent, but by golly, I will do whatever it takes to not scare or hurt my family. I want my spouse and kids to feel safe, loved, and treasured. If I've learned anything in my 20 years at home, it's that family members should be treated with respect, kindness, and love -- family members are not punching bags for you to verbally abuse because you are frustrated or upset. It is not and never will be okay. And so I promise now, today, forever, to do my best to be a peacemaker, to be understanding and kind -- not to be permissive -- but gently firm.