We all know we shouldn’t yell at our children. We also shouldn’t yell at the guy who cut us off on the freeway, people at work who annoy us, refs who make wrong calls, and telemarketers who refuse to abide by the Do Not Call List.
To lump yelling at your child with striking him is just going a little overboard if you ask me. Sure, some will argue that when you yell at your child and berate her and call her names and tell her she’s worthless, you are messing with her psyche and self-confidence as well as self-worth. And, I do agree verbal abuse can be as damaging if not more, than physical abuse.
But, that’s emotional abuse, and it’s horrible. What I am hearing is that we shouldn’t raise our voices in anger at our children. And, in a perfect world, we wouldn’t, but just because we’re parents does not mean we are perfect. And, God knows those little ones we brought into this world are not perfect either.
Some days there’s only so much we can take from our offspring before we reach the end of our fuse. I know I have been there. I’m not proud of it. I don’t want to do it again, but I know it’s human nature. We had a bad day at work, didn’t get enough sleep the night before, find out the car needs a new fan belt. We carry these burdens with us, and then we come home to find that Sarah left the milk out all day and now it’s spoiled. Should we yell? Of course not, but we might.
And when we do (because we will at some point), we need to learn from it and try to better ourselves, but we should not beat ourselves up thinking that we damaged our children the same way hitting them will. I have been yelled at about not doing my chores and I have gotten a black eye for forgetting to put away my toys. I didn’t like either, but I can tell you that the scar left by that black eye was far deeper than any of the ones from being yelled at… and besides, I really should have put the milk back.
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