The headline on one of the most ridiculous NYT articles I have ever seen reads: "For some parents, shouting is the new spanking." Interesting that this appears in the Fashion & Style section of the Times, but whatever. I'll read on...only to discover that now, according to this nonsense article, we need to add yelling to the list of things we should not be doing as parents. Okie doke. That's reasonable.
There are a number of choice quotes in this piece, but here are a few of my favorite:
"Parental yelling today may be partly a releasing of stress for multitasking, overachieving adults, parenting experts say." (Translation: Focus all your energy on your child, not on running your household, volunteering at church, or your outside-the-home job.)
"Psychologists and psychiatrists generally say yelling should be avoided. It’s at best ineffective (the more you do it the more the child tunes it out) and at worse damaging to a child’s sense of well-being and self-esteem." (Translation: It's much healthier psychologically for your child to run all over you than for you to express any sort of anger. Ever.)
"...while spanking is considered taboo by the major medical and psychological associations, there are still some religious and conservative groups who support it as an effective disciplinary tool....But...'There is no group of Americans that advocate yelling as a parenting style.'" (Translation: Not even religious zealots think yelling is ok, so really, you should feel lower than low for raising your voice last night when little Jimmy flushed his toys down the toilet and flooded the bathroom.)But here is my favorite bullcrap tip:
"Experts suggest figuring out ways to prevent situations that make you most prone to yell."Wow. Thanks for that piece of advice. Too bad the only way I can think of to prevent situations that make me most prone to yell would be to stay in bed all day long. Which is not really an option since I'm a frazzled, overwrought, under-rested, impatient, multitasking, working mother. Hmph.
So, in light of this new piece of parenting wisdom, let's recap the Guilty Mommy Commandments together:
- Thou shalt not work outside the home.
- Thou shalt not feed your child anything from a can, box, or bottle that contains any type of preservative or added sugar.
- Thou shalt not let your child watch television, especially the kind with commercials.
- Thou shalt not buy toys made outside the USA because they may contain lead.
- Thou shalt not allow your child to play in your yard unattended because there are lunatics lurking everywhere.
- Thou shalt not spank. Ever. Big no-no.
- Thou shalt not even threaten to spank.
- Thou shalt not put a child in time-out for more minutes than his/her age, no matter how much time you need to cool off in order to avoid spanking or threatening a spanking.
- Thou shalt not yell.
- Thou shalt not ever become frustrated because that leads to yelling. Which leads to crying. Which leads to you feeding your child salty, processed snacks in front of an episode of SpongeBob because you feel so guilty and ashamed.
By the way, instead of yelling at or spanking my child, I am now considering this mom's approach as the most sensible: