by Dave Boehi
In recent months, newspapers like the New York Times and the Washington Post have addressed a number of practical and fascinating issues of marriage and parenting. The lastest appeared today in a Times article, "For Some Parents, Shouting Is the New Spanking."
The author writes:
Many in today’s pregnancy-flaunting, soccer-cheering, organic-snack-proffering generation of parents would never spank their children. We congratulate our toddlers for blowing their nose (“Good job!”), we friend our teenagers (literally and virtually), we spend hours teaching our elementary-school offspring how to understand their feelings. But, incongruously and with regularity, this is a generation that yells.
“I’ve worked with thousands of parents and I can tell you, without question, that screaming is the new spanking,” said Amy McCready, the founder of Positive Parenting Solutions, which teaches parenting skills in classes, individual coaching sessions and an online course. “This is so the issue right now. As parents understand that it’s not socially acceptable to spank children, they are at a loss for what they can do. They resort to reminding, nagging, timeout, counting 1-2-3 and quickly realize that those strategies don’t work to change behavior. In the absence of tools that really work, they feel frustrated and angry and raise their voice. They feel guilty afterward, and the whole cycle begins again.”
Note the comment that "it's not socially acceptable to spank children." Over the years counselors and psychologists have often said that "research shows that spanking is harmful to children." But I've often wondered whether the real problem is any type of discipline—spanking, yelling, or even "time out"—that is done in anger. Anger in parents is a universal problem, and I can certainly understand it after raising children of my own. But when we lose control and it affects how we discipline our children, real damage can occur.
Here are some links that may help you keep emotions from taking over appropriate discipline:
- Administering Discipline for Attitude Problems
- The Forgotten Part of Discipline
- Say Goodbye to Whining