A New York Times article says we are Generation Yell.
Apparently, it's not the act of screaming, but the tone of the scream that causes the damage: "It isn't the yelling per se that's going to make a difference, it's how the yelling is interpreted," said Ronald P. Rohner, director of the Ronald and Nancy Rohner Center for the Study of Interpersonal Acceptance and Rejection at the University of Connecticut. If a parent is simply loud, he says, the effect is minimal. But if the tone connotes anger, insult or sarcasm, it can be perceived as a sign of rejection."
I get this. It totally sucks to get yelled at! Especially if you are a vulnerable and impressionable young person. Parents are responsible for controlling themselves -- no doubt.
But to try and curtail ALL yelling? Is that realistic? Why don't they just give my kids permission to bind me to a chair and secure my mouth with duck tape? Seriously, what's a parent to do? Isn't your parents' disapproval ... well ... part of being a kid? Do we need to check ourselves for every single transgression? What's normal here?
The piece says our generation yells because we are notorious overachievers and multi-taskers. Basically, if our kids' delinquencies, real or imagined, throw a monkey wrench in our program, we have a tendency to lose our sh*t verbally because we can't hit.
To prevent losing your sh*t, the experts cited in the article recommend taking precautionary measures to circumvent your stress: "If forgotten homework sends you into the stratosphere, make sure the children have their books and notebooks packed and waiting by the door before they go to bed. If you're stressed and hungry after a long day at the office, make sure you grab something to eat in the kitchen before you tackle, say, a brewing disagreement over Legos."
Now, don't get me wrong. I hate it when I shout. But no matter how many lunches you stay up until 1am to pack, and no matter how many Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Peanut Clusters you stuff in your face, most normal loving parents (not the verbally abusive kind) yell, because kids aren't the greatest of listeners, and their ability to ignore your simple requests as if you cease to exist can drive the most mild-mannered momma to raise her voice to deafening timbres on occasion. It's part and parcel of parenthood.
What do you guys think?
|Vivian Manning-Schaffel has written for Babble, Parenting, The Advocate, The New York Post, Business Week and a variety of other publications and lives and works in the heart of breeder Brooklyn with her husband and two kids. She authors two pop culture blogs: The Mad Mom and A Hag Supreme, and is on the web at vivianmanningschaffel.com.|