Friday, October 23, 2009

I'm a Yeller


I'm a yeller.  My dad was a yeller, his mom was a yeller.  We have generations of yellers in our family.

I have read tons of books on parenting.  I've read books on understanding ADHD and ODD.  I've read books on natural consequences.  I have read books on conflict resolution.  And I have read books on coping with "spirited children".  In the years my family has been working with therapists, I have been provided with a tons of parental coaching to learn how to not yell.

Today, I read a couple of articles about yelling and the effect on children. Dr. Janet Taylor says that yelling contributes to higher rates of delinquency and psychological problems.  An article in the New York Times says that yelling may be the new spanking.  It says that two-thirds of the people interviewed on the topic say yelling is their biggest guilt inducer.  Yelling.  Not spanking.  Not missing a school event.  Not working too much.  Yelling.


I guess I'm in the minority third.  Now, if while yelling, I were berating my child and tearing them apart as a person, I would most likely feel guilty.  But I'm not.  Thanks to parental coaching, I have learned how to identify at what point I'm going to flip my lid.  In therapy, my kids created a scale, the Anger Scale.  It's a 0-5 scale they created to identify different levels of frustration.  We all use it, albeit none of us are 100% consistent.  When I get to a 5, I'm yelling.  My kids are warned when I get to a 2.  They get a stern knock it off at 3.  At 4, they are warned that I've reached my last straw.  They are given MANY chances to change their behaviors before I blow.  Why on Earth would I feel guilty if they have chosen to squander their chances to make better choices?  Isn't it my job as their mom to teach them to be accountable for their actions?  They know the series of events.  They know what happens when mom reaches her boiling point.  They need to learn how to use their warnings and change their behaviors before I get to that point.

Again, if I were calling them names, that would be bad.  If I were screaming hate-filled things that was demoralizing and hurtful, that would be uncalled for.  What I am doing is screaming.  I'm screaming things like, "How many flipping times do you need to be told to knock it off?!?!" or "Honestly!  Did you not hear me when I told you I am beyond frustrated with your actions right now?!?!?" or "Really!  You're going to keep doing that after you have been repeatedly told to cut it out?!?!"

Someone please explain to me how that is psychological aggression?  I think that their unwillingness to change their behavior and continue tormenting me and often times one another is far more detrimental to all of our psyches than me hollering at them for it.  Anyone else care to weigh in on this?  Am I out of my mind?  Am I causing irreversible damage to the two most important people in my world?

21 comments:

Daffy said...

No - you're not. The berating, belittling, tearing down of self esteem while yelling is the important component - In my professional opinion. Now, I'm not a doctor (played on on TV once) but I am a parent. I'm also a wife of a man/boy who grew up in an emotionally/pyschologically verbally abusive (not to mention physically at times) family and see first hand the damage it has caused.

Yelling in general is NOT the issue...the content is. Besides, if they take away spanking AND yelling what's left? SATAN'S SPAWN! Sheesh...my parents turned out great and they grew up with spanking and yelling. ***shoulder shrug** Me too :O)

Go on with your bad self - Yell a little :O) It's not like there was no warning.

kys said...

Yelling is the new spanking? Dear heavens. We are all abusing the hell out of each other up in here.

Jules said...

I can't really help you here, I've never been a yeller. Sometimes when I get angry I "try" to yell and my husband actually laughs at me. Oh well, good luck.

Ashley Dawn said...

Im a yeller too. Like you, after, I have repeatedly asked, told, requested, demanded etc etc... Maybe yelling has become the new spanking because the fear of CPS being called in. I mean this is America after all. Would hate to think we are allowed to APPROPRIATELY discipline our own children in this country. So I say yell on, Sweets.

Nancy@ifevolutionworks.com said...

I'm not a yeller..it takes a lot for me to raise my voice. But I have a good friend who is a yeller. I have to say that it upsets me and I think the reason is because she doesn't even give the child a chance to utter a word of explanation before she starts barking at them. I feel for them because it's embarassing. Yell if you need to...but don't humiliate them in front of people....ya know?

Erin M. said...

I'm a yeller, but like you, I'm not tearing anyone down and they get multiple warnings. But sometimes I still stop & hear myself and hate what I'm doing & how I sound. I just get so incredibly frustrated with them--their utter disregard, they way they don't LISTEN the first 12 times I ask them to do something, etc....

The way I see it, every single thing we do ruins our children. It's always something---whether we're putting them to sleep on their tummies, letting them drink out of plastic cups, or yelling/spanking. It's all going to completely damage them. We can't win!!!!

Andrea (ace1028) said...

I yell sometimes. It bothers me when I do, because my daughter isn't even three yet and usually it's more scary than effective to her. I kind of have to step back and see why the heck I'm yelling. But if you have a system in place and it works for you and your family then you know best, ya know? As for it being the new spanking, I'm not buying that part. Nuh uh.

Lunhatikk said...

Honestly, the new spanking *rolls her eyes* I'm a yeller too. It takes a fair bit to get me yelling but when I get to that point I go OFF. MY. NUT! Why? Because like you I have already given many warnings, clearly stated in no uncertain terms exactly what I need or want from my children. I even warn them straight up in the morning if I'm in a bad mood so yelling is more likley, my son (9) listens now but the 3.5 year old is still catching on. I hear my son sometimes go "stop it or mummy will get angry! She's already told you to stop 3 times!!!" That often makes me smile.

So yell away if you're not abusive about it and the kids have been asking for it all day :)

semihippysinglemum said...

I'm a yeller too. I can get it to banshee yelling level. But like you, I don't berate while I do it. I do know that it has an affect on her though because her face changes. This is something that I will be thinking about some more.

blueviolet said...

You're not battering their self-esteem with what you're saying and you're giving a warning. Think back to how you felt when your own parents yelled at you and you'll probably have your answer.

Angelica Bays, TygrLilies.com said...

Dude! I blow my top @ 3 periodically just to keep them on their toes! ;o)

Tracie said...

Yelling is not the new spanking. Verbal abuse and a loud talking (which is what yelling is) are not the same thing. Trust me....I had a grandmother who could be very verbally abusive--and she never once raised her voice! I'm a loud talker, and I also yell. I don't love that, and I try not to, but it happens. I'm like you though, I don't berate her or say mean things to her, it is usually "I have already told you five times to do _______ this is it!"

Happy SITS Saturday!!

Lisa Anne said...

I have no patience I'm totally a yeller at times too. My son's use to it though and he just tends to ignore me. LOl

Kimberly said...

Guilty. I yell at times, and recently lost it when the kids (9 and 11) were rolling on the floor over homework. I think it was my worst scene ever. I felt really bad. "How many times have I told you to start your homework? Just sit down with your damn pencil, and keep your hands to yourself."

SPEAKING FROM THE CRIB said...

i'm just loud in general so yelling is really the same as my normal speaking voice. i've yelled at my kids since birth so they're pretty much immune to it at this point.

Danielle said...

I agree that it is the content, not the yelling. They don't call me DanYELL for nothng! :)

That One Mom said...

Thanks so much to all who weighed in on this subject! I'm glad to know that most of you don't think I am doing irrepairable damage to my beloveds!
To my fellow yellers, if you ever devise a way to get the little stinkers to do what they're told the 1st time, LEMME KNOW. I, however, won't be holding my breath!

Matty said...

What Daffy said.

Lindsay & Emma Bartholomew said...

My mom yelled at me and I am a well adjusted person with no "issues" from it! I am a yeller within reason! Obviously if you are emotionally abusing them while yelling there are problems but just to yell "what the heck are you doing??!!!" is not going to scar kids for life!!
Love your blog!!

Retailer said...

I'm working on this too... decided it was time to when I saw that my baby was getting detached from me. I'm trying and am seeing that my baby understands as well. I used to excuse myself saying taht Im under a lot stress from work and she is driving me nuts. But then, some soul searching helped and hey it was no fault of hers so why does she have to take it from me!

Keep Writing :D

Beatriz said...

I grew up in a abusive home and that's the only form of communication I learned, so the question should be to the parent that yells. Have you learned to manage your anger to the point where belittling words don't come out when you choose to yell? For most parents they don't go to therapy, they don't read books, they don't seek to learn the lessons needed to handle their yelling in a constructive way, like having a chart, like warning their children. Most parents don't take parenting classes or counseling to improve their success as a parent. You are the exception to the rule and kudos to you for applying techniques that you have learned, unfortunately the norm is contrary and most children are experiencing the opposite with parents that yell at them and show out of control anger. It would be a better world if we all had the tools to make the right choices whether it's our children or us as adults.

Related Posts with Thumbnails