On Yelling

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"On Yelling"

NYT has a piece on an alleged trend toward increased parental yelling. Michelle Cottle pokes some holes in the thesis and offers a bold defense of yelling at your kids. I’ve got no kids and the article has no evidence, so I won’t offer any thoughts on yelling’s efficacy as a parenting technique. This, however, jumped out at me:

“It’s not kind,” said Ms. Klein in Oregon. “When I’m done I feel awful.”

I’m a bit of a recovering rage addict myself. So to state the obviously, anytime you find yourself repeatedly engaging in a pattern of behavior that you know perfectly well ends up with you feeling awful, that’s a good time to reconsider what you’re doing. People who don’t have this problem can react with incredulity—everyone gets mad sometimes, what’s the harm? Well, if there’s no harm then there’s no harm, just like most people drink sometimes and it doesn’t control our lives. But even though Ari Gold’s a funny character, you don’t actually want to act like that. If yelling at your kids sometimes when they act up works for you, then great. But if you’re spending a lot of time feeling awful then you should look into advice about how to stop.

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