“I AM ABOUT TO LOSE MY MIND!”
I can’t be the only one who screams at my children. This is what I tell myself at least four times a days…by dinnertime. Don’t get me wrong, I love my children. I start off most days like Mary Poppins, but they know, even at the young ages of 1 and 5 years old, how to push my buttons. And boy can they push me over the edge so I’m ending the day like Cruella.
Recently I feel like I’ve been yelling more than ever before (thank you summer ‘vacation’). So, I’ve decided to do a little research. I needed to find out if I should have a separate savings account for therapy for my boys, or if the yelling is normal.
It’s surprising to see how many people judge yellers. My favorite is the Orange Rhino. This SAHM of 4 boys under that age of 7 has an impressive website if you are trying to cut back or stop yelling. Me, I’ve decided to embrace my yelling, as did my mom and the generations of strong Italian women before her.
Luckily, a simple internet search validated my feelings and screaming. Alicia Clark, a psychologist and professor at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, did a lot of research about the benefit of yelling. “It seems like such a sad kind of defeatism to just give into the fact that I am going to yell…Parents are human, we experience normal human emotion. And when you combine that emotion with the stresses of parenting, then sometimes parents yell. And if we don’t talk about how it is to be frustrated as parents, we aren’t prepared for frustration and therefor, we can be mean. And while yelling can be OK, being mean never is.”
This idea of showing human emotion hit home for me. We live in a time of Facebook and the image of “perfect” lives. The reality is we all need a life check. Showing all kinds of emotions, both good and bad, quiet and loud, can help everyone remember what it means to be human. There is nothing wrong with getting upset.
One of the most interesting points Dr. Clark talks about is how children with parents who yell (or show emotion) actually are better suited to handle high stress situations later in life. They are also often more empathetic, which allows them to be more successful. These “soft skills” aren’t measurable but are finding their ways into school.
After reading these few articles, I felt better about my yelling. I’m never mean and I usually start my statements with “I”, which teaches my boys that I’m taking ownership of my feelings. The other good thing about my yelling is once it’s out, most of the time I feel better, and within 5 minutes I’m hugging or kissing one of my boys. Being a parent is no joke. We need to remember that the things we worry that are ruining our children are actually helping build better adults.