I was caught up in an article tonight. The picture used was a young girl crying and her parents arguing in the background. To further tug at your momma heartstrings, one parent was holding a baby. The title was something to the effect of Surprising Study Finds Yelling at Your Kids Does Longterm Damage.
(i have since tried to find this article so i can site it, but *surprise* there were too many to go through to find the exact one!)
I was halfway through this article when i could feel my brain shift. I have had enough.
Here’s a secret; Sometimes your parent can be an asshole.
Does he/she wake up with a plan to crush their kids’ spirit that day? (Usually) No!! Does it sometimes happen out of the blue and without warning? Yes. The example used to start this article was a family driving in Hawaii. They were crossing a bridge when the 5 year old threw a water bottle to the front seat.
The gates of hell opened up and both mom & dad reigned down holy terror on this kid for endangering everyone. (At least, this was how she FELT after hearing it back)
The mom inadvertently recorded the whole thing and heard it later and immediately felt like an awful mother.
this is not an alien scenario to me. Let me say for the record here and now, Yes. I have yelled at my kids. I have yelled around my kids, under my kids, to my kids. This is life! Who goes around not showing emotion and frustration and anger and fear and determination?! Of course there’s a line, and yes i’ve crossed it. However, I think as a society we have become so incredibly self analytical, we cant have a thought without channeling it through the maze of psychologists, psychiatrists and all other ists before acting on it. Then there are the ‘other mom’ channels where you add to that comparing what you think you know you are pretty certain Brenda Bedazzled Homemaker next door would do. You either beat yourself up for not living up to it, or possibly use your judgmental card to feel better about your choice.
Either way, we are trained to not go with our own instinct because ‘what if?!’.
What if i yelled at my kid because he ran out into the street?! What if i yelled at my kid because he was tearing a store checkstand apart? What if i yelled at my kid because he pushed his sister down?!
I’ll tell you what if. What if he stops doing what you have told him three times not to do?
Am i going to mommy hell? Where there are only ‘SpongeBob’ shows playing on repeat, and the only option to feed my kids is broccoli. The kids all need to be changed and there are no diapers or wipes. And you are surrounded by wine bottles.
Empty wine bottles.
I think the more important question this reporter failed to ask was, “who funded this study, and why wasn’t that money given to a shelter where it could do more overall good?
Really?! Yelling at/around your children can cause insecurity down the road. It can cause your children to view the safety of their parent as unstable.
You know what will damage a kid more than a yelling parent? A whispering, bartering, bribing, sunshiny parent.
I bet that kid that threw the water bottle never threw anything inside a vehicle for the rest of his life!
Is it something we as moms enjoy doing? Hell no! Do we really have to enjoy every single moment of parenthood? If we aren’t enjoying the moment, does it mean we are doing it wrong ?! If that stopped us, no one would endure labor ever again. .. or marriage, or a mortgage. Any mom worth her apron will tell you she instantly feels like complete elephant sized shit when she yells at her kid. She will relive it many times over and at random times of the day and night. Does it mean she was wrong? Maybe. But maybe not. Parenting is hard work. Not elbow grease hard work, but constant wearing down of your concience and heart hard work. Because we are teaching small people to grow through an ever-changing labrynth of a world, and you want that kid to be a person. A functioning person who will make the right choices. Not the easy choice. Not the clean and tidy choice. The right choice, no matter how hard. We are not everywhere for them .. but perhaps if we yell, it’ll stick that moment someone offers them a cigarette , or to skip school, or when they want to reach for the chocolate milk knowing full well i said to only drink the regular milk!!!!!!!!!!
Are there consequences to how we are around kids? Of course! Does someone out there truly and honestly believe its possible to raise a kid in a perfect way with zero backlash or consequence or therapy for their adult kid?
Then that person does not have children. ..or he’s a dad.
We have all seen the parents that don’t yell. Don’t raise their voice. They are the family in the restaurant who is causing everyone to turn and look. Silverware thrown across the room, coloring on the actual table, spitting food onto the floor
And what do you think to yourself, or say to your very good friend? “Unbelievable! Handle your KID!”
How is it expected they should handle them? Quietly request they sit down nicely? Firmly explain the ramifications if they don’t ‘put on their listening ears’?
How I have and still would handle it is to take them – by whatever clothing or appendage necessary – into the bathroom where there are far fewer iphones and iballs watching how you will react. You have a come to Jesus talk, and then you walk back to the table looking calm and collected. If the kid continues to be a monster, you package up your food and leave.
But nooOO! I cant! What if Johnny is insecure at 14 because i raised my voice to him?
You know what? Im sure the warden will be more than happy to take over your job when Johnnie is 18.
It chaps my hide to no end when i see yet another study “proving” theres a better way to parent as a blanket statement. Of course there are homes where there’s screaming and abuse daily. Thats not the majority, and this was quite obviously not referring to an abusive household. It was drawing the conclusion and furthering the omnipresent guilt we all already have in abundance that if you continue to do what you are doing, you will undoubtedly screw up your kid.
I suppose that therapy savings we started will someday come in handy, then.
2 thoughts on “Rocket Science”
I agree with you, I actually decreased ( i admit it: can’t stop), the amount of “parenting” articles and stories I read, because I just felt like a failure since i can not make my 16 mo enjoy vegetables ( he is going to starve! ), doing “chores” ( OMG he has no sense of responsibility ! ) or pushing pom poms through a water bottle ( no motor skills ! harvard is not going to be impressed… ). The load of guilt I carry around already is gigantic, and he still seems to be a happy toddler, so I take it one day at time.
yes, it’s amazing anyone is able to fund those IVY League schools. I suppose someone should start interviewing THOSE mothers.. or nannys 🙂