A new article in the Wall Street Journal says that 3 out of 4 parents yell at their children once a month. I say 4 out of 4 parents are liars.
This is the most ridiculous statistic I’ve heard in my lifetime. I have 2 little children who’ve been out of school and snowed in within the confines of our house for 3 full days and so far, I’ve yelled at them at least once every single day — and that’s a modest estimate.
If indeed the parents in this survey have only yelled at their children once a month (and don’t forget there’s that 1 out of 4 who claims not to have yelled at all), then we’re gonna need some clarification about who they called up for the survey. I’m thinking Quakers.
I have no interest in getting into whether we’re doing damage to our kids by yelling at them or not. That’s a better question for experts and something each individual family should meditate on. I really think it’s ridiculous to lump all yelling into one big bag of coal. The truth is, there are some types of yelling that are damaging. If you yell insults at your kids, yeah, you’re damaging them, doofus. But is the occasional raising of your voice damning them to a long future of psychiatric couches? I don’t think so.
I think some parental yelling is normal and expected and actually okay. Especially if you go to your children afterwards and model how to properly apologize — own up to it, say you’re sorry, give them an explanation of the human failings that are indeed inside of all of us — GASP, even their own mother and father. It’s important for our children to know we’re human and fallible just like everyone else but that our love for them is greater than all of it.
Children, especially little children, are annoying. They are the noisiest creatures on the face of the planet. They makes giant messes in tiny spaces of time. They break things. They misbehave. If they’re like mine, no matter how many times I ask them not to throw full containers of water out of the bathtub right into my face, they do not listen.
To yell on occasion is just to be a human person involved in the constant care-taking of that completely untamable thing known as offspring.
And to pretend like we don’t yell is to do a disservice to all parents, who after reading this stupid survey, will sink into a depression about what terrible, horrible mothers and fathers they are because they yell at their kids more often than ONE TIME PER MONTH even though they give everything they have to their children and then some 24 hours a day every day.
My parents yelled at me and I’m still able to get out of bed and walk around without questioning my self-worth 80 million times per day.
Parents + kids = yelling.
Remember, there’s a reason that monks are able to maintain their vows of silence. (Hint, they don’t have kids).
Sometimes I yell. But guess what? I’m still a good parent.