Monday, April 30, 2012

Is Yelling the New Spanking?

I came across this article from the NY Times a few weeks ago and I've been thinking about it a lot.  The basic idea is that shouting at our kids has become the new, more accepted, way of dealing with our kids' misbehaviour.

I'm the first to admit, though shamefacedly, that I yell at my kids.  I NEVER thought I would be that type of parent.  I don't start off yelling; but, as I become more and more frustrated with their poor behaviour or choices, I blow my top.  I ALWAYS feel horrible afterward and have been known to lock myself in the bathroom afterward and have a good cry.
What's worse is that I know it doesn't work.  The kids just tune me out, which then makes me want to yell more.  I'm conscious of this character flaw and I do try to find other ways of dealing with said poor behaviour, like distraction and time-ins.  But when the other methods don't work, I just get so frustrated it comes out in a shouted mess.  It's a vicious circle and one I am desperately trying to stop.

Growing up, my parents yelled and spanked my brother and I.  We were never hit anywhere but on the bottom and it was never violently.  One swat, enough to shock us into behaving, was all it took; and those instances were often few and far between.
I have smacked my kids; but only in instances when they've been reaching for something dangerous and it was a gut reaction to smack their hand away.  It was never intended as a punishment or to hurt them.

I've always heard that you parent how your were parented.  I'd like to say that statement is not 100% correct.  While I have followed in my parents' footsteps by yelling at my kids; I don't spank them.

I'd love to hear your tips for coping with your kids.  Are you a shouter or have you figured out how to reign in that temper when they simply won't listen and/or behave?

How do you feel about the article?  Do you agree that we've become a society of shouting parents in place of spankers?


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