In the past few decades in the United States, there’s been a consistent push to strip away all means of discipline to the point that we are simply coddling children instead of imparting life lessons. This holds true for the latest trend being advocated by parenting experts. The idea of not yelling at one’s child at all no matter what the scenario.
There is no exception to practical hands on experience in raising a child. You can read volumes of books on the subject matter, hear the advice from fellow parents as well as your own parents, tune in to radio and television talk shows, and of course surf the internet to read parenting web sites for assorted opinions. In most cases, the parents I’ve spoken with follow a culmination of bits and pieces of resources as well as a healthy dose of trial and error.
I’ll be the first to admit I’ve raised my voice during times of stress. But I do try to be mindful of my message. Especially since yelling can escalate to a hurtful tone fueled by emotion rather than rationale thought. Approaching any flare up with patience and understanding certainly helps. Young kids can’t always articulate exactly what’s bothering them. In a way, Mothers and Fathers need discipline first. Truth be told, this parenting thing is a tough gig.
Yet raising one’s voice does have its place as an effective tool to defuse potentially dangerous situations. For example, keeping them focused when approaching a driveway, or crossing the street, or breaking up a sibling rivalry fight. Unlike a tantrum which arguably could be scaled down through soft tones via some variety of emotion coaching, decisive action lends itself to act with heightened immediacy. The bottom line, it’s impossible to be a perfect parent. But we can strive to be good enough.
What do you think? What’s your approach to high stress situations with your kids?