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Is shouting the new smacking?

1 December
Posted by:
Michael Grose
Hands up if you ever yelled at your kids?

Okay, now that I’ve got your attention you can all put your hands down!

It seems there’s always something to for parents to feel guilty about.

Some feel guilty when they don’t spending enough time with their kids. Others feel guilty because they spend too much time and don’t give kids space.

Some feel guilty because they work and others feel guilty because they don’t work.
Some feel guilty because they’re too soft and others feel guilty when they discipline their kids. Guilt and parenting goes hand-in-hand these days!

Now it seems there’s something NEW to be guilty about – shouting at your kids!
The authors of US book “Mommy Guilt: Learn to worry less, focus on what matters and raise happier kids” commissioned a survey of 1,300 American parents to determine what made them feel guilty.

It seems the biggest guilt inducer is shouting, with two-thirds of respondents nominating yelling at their kids as their main source of parental guilt. I suspect the figures would be fairly similar in Australia.

This isn’t a big surprise. Most parents these days admit it’s socially unacceptable to smack, but many are bereft of what to do in its’ place to get cooperation or deal with kids who behave poorly. When time out, nagging, reminding and pleading don’t work do we resort to yelling to get some attention?

I suspect that shouting is a taboo area for many parents. It’s use is indicative of frustration, stress and an inability to get cooperation by being…………..cooperative yourself. It’s something that’s common but it’s not something we feel good about as parents.

Here’s some random thoughts about shouting as a parenting technique:

• Some parents are loud. Loud and noisy parents usually have loud noisy families.

• It’s comes with the parenting territory. Nothing wrong with blowing off a little steam now and then but if you are always yelling at your kids then it may mean that something is amiss in your life.

• If you keep shouting at kids to get cooperation they will become parent deaf……..eventually. Shouting just doesn’t work long term.

• Often we shout when we’ve lost control and then we can become personal………..and critical. There’s a big difference between “I am so MAD COS YOU KIDS JUST WON’T DO A THING I ASK.” And “You ARE A ROTTEN *&%$^#! “ The first is letting off steam, and the other is directed at a child and can have a very negative impact as it is delivered with real emotion.

• Sometimes we as parents yell at kids because it’s easier than yelling at our spouse, boss or workmates. Transferred anger is pretty awful.

• If you have gone over the top and lost your cool and spread a little verbal shrapnel around then it’s time to apologise. Yep, admit your human and you went too.

Here’ some thoughts if you yell at your kids a little bit too much for your liking:

1. Recognise what triggers you to lose control and yell. If possible avoid the situations that lead you to scream like a banshee or simply recognise that when you are not in a good place mentally and emotionally and that you need to do something to keep calm.

2. If your shouting has become a habit then catch yourself when you do. Set a daily target and reduce each day. Reward yourself when you reach your daily target.

3. If your kids don’t listen to you then try moving into their space and getting their attention quietly rather than shouting at them ten metres and three rooms away.

4. Laugh don’t yell. Sometimes catching yourself and doing the absolute opposite is the best way to relieve stress.
5. Say nothing. This is really hard for some people.

If you have an alternative to shouting, an opinion or some encouragement for those who would like to shout less than they do then leave a comment in the comments section below.

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