Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Don't Yell at Kids, Because You'll Be Worst Parent Ever!

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Don't Yell at Kids, Because You'll Be Worst Parent Ever!

Article excerpt

A new study, described on the front page of last Monday's Post- Gazette, reported that adolescents subjected to harsh verbal discipline by their parents were more likely to have depression and behavioral problems.

That, of course, raises a follow-up question: What is the level of depression and behavioral problems among parents who aren't permitted to use harsh verbal discipline on children in their early teens?

Can they honestly be expected to suppress any rational outburst of anger? Would these not be the parents most likely, as an alternative to shouting at kids, to commit violent acts of road rage (or at, the very least, aim the car at a squirrel in the street)?

We wouldn't be surprised if the following exchange took place in the typical Pittsburgh household with a 13-year-old son and 14-year- old daughter after that report came out in the journal Child Development:

Parent: I need you both to clean up your rooms before you leave this house. I've told you that three times already this month. Don't test my patience any longer.

Daughter: Oh my God, I can't believe you're yelling at us about this ... again!

Parent: I was not yelling. I was just stating the fact that --

Son: I can't take this much abuse! I'm going over to Jeffrey's house.

Parent: Hold it, I just said you can't leave until --

Son: There you go again! Don't you read Child Development journal? Don't you know what you're doing to us?

Parent: But I wasn't doing anything but asking you, once and for all, to clean the 10,000 pounds of clothes, towels, dishes, papers and food waste off the disgusting floors of your rooms.

Daughter: You just don't get it, do you? There's a whole harsh tone right there that is totally demoralizing to my maturation. Don't be surprised if I'm binge drinking again with Jennifer and Nate this weekend.

Parent: Again?

Daughter: Yes, just like after that time you yelled at me to do my homework. It's all your fault -- the research shows it. Worst ... parent ... ever!

Son: It's like the professor said in the newspaper article: "Adolescents are really sensitive to language and judgment from other people. It hurts their self-image and makes them feel like they are useless. …

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