Although I believe every day is the best day for a fresh start, I would like to post something that provides a sort of ‘reboot’ for parenting in the New Year. The best parenting tip I have for you at this time comes from a previous blog post earlier in 2017. I think all parents, myself included, would do well to be reminded of this important message.
Happy New Year to all!
Regarding defaulting to YELLING as a strategy for handling our children, I present you with a quote from my friend and colleague, Dr. Frank Alessi: “If yelling was an effective parenting strategy, wouldn’t there be books available explaining how to be a better yeller? Perhaps, ‘An Introduction to Yelling’ for the new parent, ‘Advanced Yelling for parents of teens,’ and ‘The Art of Freestyle Yelling’ for grandparents?”
Kidding aside, most all of us have yelled at a child before and, no doubt, more than once. Anybody can do it with little or no training. It is usually done out of frustration and indeed children can be frustrating. This tip serves as a reminder to all of us that yelling really serves no purpose, and it is far too easy to let it become our go-to when we are unhappy with the behavior of others. Yelling tells another that we are out of control, makes for a stressful environment, often promotes retaliation, and tends to compromise an otherwise healthy relationship.
With exception to situations where it is necessary, for example to get the attention of someone who is in danger, let’s make it just that: “exception interaction” and not our primary response. If you choose to move “yelling” to the very back of your parenting toolbox, you will be surprised how much room you will have for more effective and loving strategies.
About the author
Kate Martin has been a high school teacher for 27 years and retired from the Racine Unified School District in 2015. She taught students with special needs as well as those in general education. While working with hundreds of parents over the years, she discovered that there was a significant lack of resources and educational opportunities to help them navigate the many demands of parenting today. For this reason, in 2013 she founded The Purposeful Parent, offering workshops and resources for parents, teachers, and caregivers.
In 2016 Kate published a book intended to help reduce ‘pre-sleep’ anxiety experienced by many of her students. The book: “The Best Thoughts to Think— Five Minutes Before” has quickly become a beloved bedside sleep guide for people of all ages. The book offers six simple techniques to help dismiss negative thoughts and replace them with positive thinking.
Today, Kate is busy giving presentations to schools, businesses, community groups, and all who are eager to learn how to help people and groups tap into their full capacity by learning to trust their brilliance more than their doubts.