I WASN’T KIDDING, NOW, I AM by Rory J. Hill (Book Excerpt)


“I have to (or must) be smarter than these little kids” From a panicked uncle….ME!

60 Second Scream

The first time, I babysat my niece & nephews, I did not have a clue about what to do with them. My sister just told me to drive them to the local park & let them “play.” Simple enough, yet every time we drove there, they were very noisy. This was a kind of noise that was foreign to me. The only noise that was used while driving was the peaceful sound of jazz resonating through my stereo. Their noise was torture, the three of them in the backseat screaming & fighting. It sounded like a cross between cats & dogs fighting & World War lll.

Once, I returned home & complained to my sister about the disaster, I learned that they were just doing what “little ones do.” Apparently, what “little ones do” were trying to drive me crazy & it worked. No matter what I tried in the car: bribes, pleading, threats, etc. nothing worked. They got louder & quickly figured it out. I was a rookie!

Then out of desperate ion & just before I completely lost it totally, I realized in spite of my upset, they were having a great (kid) time laughing (hopefully, not just at me). According to sis, they were being “normal.” If this were “normal” I would be in big, big trouble.

Then a miracle happened… I “got it,” I decided that I could have fun too! I was not going to be defeated by FOUR-, FIVE-& SEVEN-year-olds. I was going to attack rather than retreat.

So, the next time they were at the height of “playing,” I blurted out: “I WANT YOU TO SCREAM AT THE TOP OF YOUR LUNGS & DON’T STOP FOR 60 SECONDS!

I had no idea where this approach came from, but something told me it had to be better than what was already happening. After astonished looks & whispers as to my sincerity… they did it. They screamed! I mean they gave it all that they had. If I thought there was noise before, I was mistaken. That was a prayer meeting compared to THIS. The difference was, now, I was in control!

For the first time “they followed instructions.” They started then stopped, started again, at my urging, until they had screamed for sixty continuous seconds. During the whole time of noisemaking (& after), they howled with laughter. What happened next was amazing. They fell
completely silent for the rest of the trip.

I wondered, was this one-time good luck or just an aberration? Then the next time they were in my car they actually asked me if they could scream again for 60 seconds. Sure, I said.

They played my game with me again & the same results occurred. Now, I was certain I had stumbled onto something. It was my first time of really “being” with them. It was not until  many years later & many additional observations of other kids that I did it again. Each time, I got the same results: Disbelief, Lots of Noise, Laughter & finally… QUIET.

I am proud to put this as my first activity in … “I Wasn’t Kidding, Now, I Am.” These field tested (by kids & parents) “activities/games,” “ploys” or whatever you wish to call them have been developed for parents & caretakers, including babysitters, uncles, grandparents & those who love just spending time with kids (henceforth called TEAMMATES), but don’t want to surrender their sanity.

Now TEAMMATES can bond more often while “the little ones” develop their creativity & build their confidence. Although the basic foundation of the book is to have fun with them, it is also important to know that they help establish boundaries & promote your personal family values.

A true bonus is that the family values & lessons will continue far beyond the initial age range suggested. The boundaries are taught using what I call “Love Based Discipline.” This Discipline encourages them to do what you want & need them to do, while also showing your love for them.

Rory Hill has spent most of his life as a salesperson. A salesperson who listens & who has always been interested in others, especially kids. . He earned customers’ trust & then turned them into lifelong repeat clients. He has been using many of these times tested “tools” for over 35 years. His dream is to leave a legacy that honors parents while cherishing the next generations. He lives in Boynton Beach, Florida with his girlfriend JoAnn & thirteen-year-old Shitzu named Bitsy. No kids but six nephews & nieces & eight great nephews & nieces & hundreds of little ones he has worked with in reading programs for kids between the ages of 5 and 10. Visit www.familyconnectionsforlife.com.