Study: Yelling At Kids Comparable To Physical Punishment

I would never, ever hit my kids. No one in my social circle would. But many of us do something that may be just as bad: we yell.

Orange Steeler/flickr

Orange Steeler/flickr

According to a new study published online in the journal Child Development yelling — defined as shouting, cursing or insult-hurling — may be “just as detrimental” as physical punishment to the long-term well-being of adolescents.

I grew up in a family of screamers and to this day I remember the sting of an out-of-control raised voice. It was one of those things I vowed not to do as a parent. But I do it, and then I feel dirty.

And I know I’m not alone. A few years back, reporter Hilary Stout declared that “yelling is the new spanking” in The New York Times:

Many in today’s pregnancy-flaunting, soccer-cheering, organic-snack-proffering generation of parents would never spank their children. We congratulate our toddlers for blowing their nose (“Good job!”), we friend our teenagers (literally and virtually), we spend hours teaching our elementary-school offspring how to understand their feelings. But, incongruously and with regularity, this is a generation that yells.

“I’ve worked with thousands of parents and I can tell you, without question, that screaming is the new spanking,” said Amy McCready, the founder of Positive Parenting Solutions, which teaches parenting skills in classes, individual coaching sessions and an online course. “This is so the issue right now. As parents understand that it’s not socially acceptable to spank children, they are at a loss for what they can do. They resort to reminding, nagging, timeout, counting 1-2-3 and quickly realize that those strategies don’t work to change behavior. In the absence of tools that really work, they feel frustrated and angry and raise their voice. They feel guilty afterward, and the whole cycle begins again.”

Here’s The Wall Street Journal’s take on the study and a few more salient points from the University of Pittsburgh press release:

The paper…concludes that, rather than minimizing problematic behavior in adolescents, the use of harsh verbal discipline may in fact aggravate it. The researchers found that adolescents who had experienced harsh verbal discipline suffered from increased levels of depressive symptoms, and were more likely to demonstrate behavioral problems such as vandalism or antisocial and aggressive behavior…

The study is one of the first to indicate that harsh verbal discipline from parents can be damaging to developing adolescents.

Perhaps most surprising, Ming-Te Wang, of the University of Pittsburgh and Sarah Kenny, of the University of Michigan, found that the negative effects of verbal discipline within the two-year period of their study were comparable to the effects shown over the same period of time in other studies that focused on physical discipline.

“From that we can infer that these results will last the same way that the effects of physical discipline do because the immediate-to-two-year effects of verbal discipline were about the same as for physical discipline,” Wang said. Based on the literature studying the effects of physical discipline, Wang and Kenny anticipate similar long-term results for adolescents subjected to harsh verbal discipline.

Significantly, the researchers also found that “parental warmth”—i.e., the degree of love, emotional support, and affection between parents and adolescents—did not lessen the effects of the verbal discipline. The sense that parents are yelling at the child “out of love,” or “for their own good,” Wang said, does not mitigate the damage inflicted. Neither does the strength of the parent-child bond.

Even lapsing only occasionally into the use of harsh verbal discipline, said Wang, can still be harmful. “Even if you are supportive of your child, if you fly off the handle it’s still bad,” he said.

I asked Steven Schlozman, M.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and a staff child psychiatrist at Massachusetts General Hospital about the study. Here is his extremely thoughtful, lightly edited response:

The recent study by Ming Te-Wang and Sarah Kenny carefully uncovers the deleterious effects of harsh verbal reprimands by parents towards their children. As you might expect, yelling at your kids, and especially yelling in a way that humiliates your kids, is not good. As you might not have expected, it turns out that at least according to this study, yelling at your kids can negatively affect your kids’ sense of self and self-worth well into aduthood. In other words, there are permanent effects of verbal reprimands.

But, as with all social research, we need to look at these data with a big grain of salt.

It’s a given that we should not verbally assault our children. By that, I mean that it is never a good thing to continually or even occasionally refer to your child as “lazy” or “worthless” (and so on) and there is already a host of literature showing that these kinds of interactions affect kids in very negative ways.

Kids who are the subject of continual beratings by their parents have higher rates of emotional problems, including depression, anxiety, and conduct challenges. In other words, they feel less sure of themselves, they worry more, they are more prone to suffer the biological syndrome of depression, and they get into more trouble. In fact, this study shows that when adolescents are the recipients of these negative interactions, they are in fact MORE likely to raise hell.

This of course creates a vicious circle; you get yelled at, you get into trouble, you then get yelled at more, and on it goes. Also, recall that the adolescent brain has a very hard time accurately attributing perceived criticisms. The teen is wired to think that all redirections are assaultive and unfair. How many times has a 16-year-old asked a disappointed parent to “stop yelling” even though the parent is certain that no voices were raised. Ironically, it is this interaction that often yields the start of the REAL yelling.

“I’m not yelling,” the parent yells. And you’re off to the races.

But, there are confounders galore. First, I worry that parents who read or hear of this study, especially if the careful methodology of the study is shrunk to soundbites, will berate themselves for raising their collective voices towards their children. We ALL raise our voices at our kids, and while the point of this particular study was not to suggest alternative strategies, one is hard pressed to come up with other means by which kids can receive disciplinary direction during highly emotional moments. The simple way of saying this? We all lose our tempers. When we lose our tempers, we yell.

We can’t and shouldn’t be Stepford parents. Stepford parents are creepy. Among the risks of feeling compelled as parents to be under such questionably possible emotional control is the fact that your children will never get to see how you respond to your own raised vocal tensions. Making amends, showing insight into why you got angry and raised your voice in the first place, talking about your feelings to your kids…these are all part of being human and all are behaviors that it behooves us to model for our children.

So, you WILL at some point raise your voice to your kids. Try your very best to NOT be condescending or humiliating to your child when you do this. And, after you cool down, try your best to talk to your child in calmer tones about why you got so mad. It is in fact true, as this study suggests, that verbal abuse, by the numbers at least, is as bad as physical abuse. That means that kids who are physically abused do as poorly as kids who are verbally harshly attacked. However, that is not necessarily the same as saying that kids who are yelled at will be the same as kids who are beaten by their parents. The noxious stimuli of physical aggression is an extremely potent and negative determinant of brain plasticity. Brains that belong to beaten children don’t do so well. However, the jury is out as to whether brain development is as profoundly affected by verbal abuse.

A final word about culture: There is a scene from the critically acclaimed show Friday Night Lights where the coach is telling one of his players about the way he was raised. He recalls that his father harshly and loudly questioned him on every decision he ever made. It seems clear from the show that in the West Texas town where the story is set, parents are blunt and to the point. They raise their voices often as they attempt to get important life lessons imbibed into their kids. Where I grew up just outside Kansas City, it wasn’t that different. And though this is hardly a scientific conclusion, it is clear to me that my buddies whose parents yelled at them in an effort to get them to do the right thing still love and respect their parents very much. And, many of my buddies turned out pretty good.

These kinds of studies are immensely important but also immensely complex. Careful and nuanced discussion are absolutely essential.

Parents do you yell? Or have you learned not to yell? And if so, please let us know how your behavior evolved.

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  • Silet

    My mom yells often.I understand that I can be disrespectful but theres no reason to yell at a 13 year old girl . My mom also hits to.I felt like I was being abused so I reached out to family members but I got my phone taken away (This happnd twice in the two years).I am really sick of . She buggs me for the little things .Blame me for everything and its just sick.She ignores me regularly and I’m tired of it. She blames me for her boyfriend not wanting anything to do with me and she blames me for her boyfriend not wanting anything to do with her.I don’t blame him,but I shouldn’t be the one to be blame.Her boyfriend was having a snappy attitude with me all day,treating me like crap and spoling his son.(I was shooting a toy gun at the way ,Rodney was walking out of the garage so was Cameron and beanie.I wait for them to be close to the door to shoot the toy gun again.He says in a snappy attitude ”Did you try to shoot me”‘. And I said no.I was so fed up with the drama that I choose to put my bags in the car to go home.Sure I was walking fats and beanie is walking slowly to the door to go to the garage so I say ”Excuse me,Beanie”.yes it was in a little attitude that’s because it was hot outside and I just wanted to go back home and vent. So then Rodney says ”What’s your problem?” in a big attitude . I said ”I don’t have a problem”. I told him I didn’t like it how he accused me of trying to shoot the gun at him even though he was close to the door and I waited until they were close to the door to shoot. He stops me when I am talking ad yells at me to SHUTUP.I said nicley can I please finish talking and he just keeps saying shutup. so i said no,I cant deal with this right now and I put the bags in the car and rush inside to my mother.I am talkking and explaning everything to my mother ands he interrupts me again and says No,I will not be 2nd to a child words.My mom is comfused why he is being on the deffinse with her so rodney tells Beanie and Cameron to go out to the garrge.My mom syas I am not puttting your word 2nd I am just listening to my child,I start crying and my mom holds me to calm me down then she tells me to go to the other room.So they are aruring.so when its about time to leave they kiss and Im thinking wait you guys were just arguring and now your kissing I swore that they were both bipolar.So where on the road heading hiome and he calls and is telling my mom that i am a liar even though I am telling the truth ans days all of this bull crap that I dont feel like writting so yesterday my mom syas he doesnt want anything to do with you or me.I am comfused because she said that i stood up for myself and he was the one not being a man and picking on a 13 year olf gril.And my mom was balming him.But now she is saying well he doesnt want anything to do with us.Thats not my fault.And I say well he was picking on me and she says in a shout ”IT DOESN’T MATTER IF HE IS PICKING ON YOU , YOU NEED TO LEARN HOW TO SHUT UP.I personally dont think its my fault beacsue it was her fault when my dad left,when david dad left,when Steve left,When Anthony left,When Wesley left,when tony left,when Merice left and now it just makes since its her fault when rodney leaves us. sorry for the bad spelling errors and the sloppiness of this letter.

  • Anonymous

    To anonymous teen below,
    I have also grown up in this type of situation. I’m now 28, my parents are still married and my dad just deals with it. It has greatly affected my self esteem. Although logically I know I have plenty of worth, educated, married and workin on a family, I frequently experience severe anxiety, excessive worry, and frequent bouts of depression. I have a fairly decent relationship with my mom but I live 4 states away. Recently whole visiting she has an episode where she started yelling and I was quick to snap at her. Just can’t take it anymore. I realize now I cannot live near my mother as she is detrimental to me emotionally. Find a solid support system, friends or a significant other. I’m mostly sad for my dad who has handled this verbal abuse for more than 30 years. Good luck to u. U may never get an apology but learn to forgive anyways.

  • Anonymous

    To anonymous teen below,
    I have also grown up in this type of situation. I’m now 28, my parents are still married and my dad just deals with it. It has greatly affected my self esteem. Although logically I know I have plenty of worth, educated, married and workin on a family, I frequently experience severe anxiety, excessive worry, and frequent bouts of depression. I have a fairly decent relationship with my mom but I live 4 states away. Recently whole visiting she has an episode where she started yelling and I was quick to snap at her. Just can’t take it anymore. I realize now I cannot live near my mother as she is detrimental to me emotionally. Find a solid support system, friends or a significant other. I’m mostly sad for my dad who has handled this verbal abuse for more than 30 years. Good luck to u. U may never get an apology but learn to forgive anyways.

  • KitTheKid

    I know that my parents love me, but really, it’s the shouting that’s been making me do worse in school than what I could accomplish. It’s been like this since kindergarten. I don’t have many friends, and everything bad I do makes me feel worse about myself. My dad is very reasonable, but my mom freaks out about things like talking back, messy rooms, video games, grades… etc. She always goes into these hour-long lectures, and when she finds out that I’m starting to doze off or if I ask if I can sit down, she starts shouting. I’m pretty sure that I’m a good person, but she’s very suspicious about what I’m doing EVERY SINGLE MINUTE OF THE DAY. I haven’t done much, I think she’s like this because of her parents. If I could get advice on how to calm her down, that’d be great. I feel like I’m in a living hell right now.

    • Rebekah Bird

      I’m glad you wrote, KitTheKid. You sound like a good kid. It could be that your mom just has this “Neatnik” syndrome, I call it…and she wants a certain amount of neatness in your room, or picking up your things from around the house. I never will endorse yelling at a child, because I think it sends a message to the child, causing them to feel worthless, shameful, berated, etc. That’s NEVER good. Hey buddy, talk to your mom calmly and tell her you are doing your homework,etc. and try to be respectful and ask for a time-out with her. Then tell her how you feel and that you will be accountable. Tell her you are concerned about her and why she feels the need to yell. There are many reasons why a child should not be yelled at. Take it from there, buddy. And PRAY, find your voice to God, and start praying for your mom and dad, and yourself, too. Go to a God-loving church and learn what God says about you and that he values your life! I’d tell the same to my nieces and nephews….and hope we can grow up our 2nd grader to have a healthy self-esteem. Parents need help to be on the same page in discipline, or child-rearing; maybe it’s time they check out a website together, or get involved in a book on parenting together, or see a counselor together for the unrest they may be feeling. Keep your chin up!

  • Mike Bradley

    I think that parents (parent) who yell at there kids everyday are fucken idiots. What if your boss yelled at you everyday how would you feel ? would you feel good
    would you feel smart or maybe you would want to get up earlier to go in every day and get yelled at why not you have no problem yelling at your kids yeah I agree I have three kids and its frustrating sometime but STOP and ask yourself what if it was me standing in those little shoes. Dont be stupid it will affect them for the rest of there lives be a fucken parent not bully

  • Nathan Stenson

    Don’t yell. Don’t hit. Pick your battles carefully. Stick to your guns. Be consistent. Don’t go back on your word. Don’t reward bad behavior. Reinforce good behavior. Praise 90% of the time. Spend time with your kids. Don’t spoil your kids. Make them earn rewards. Do not tolerate disrespect. Set the example. Say “I love you” every day. Hug your child. Be as disciplined as you want them to be. The fruit doesn’t fall from the tree.

    • lavette Johnson

      Amen to that Nathan S. OMG!! U took It home … I’m lavette Johnson, and I replied at the top of page, can u read my reply n tell me what u think? Thx!!

  • TheNuszAbides

    “imbibed into”? i think that was supposed to be ‘imparted to’…

  • Sick and tired

    I’m sick of all these “studies” we need to get back to raising our kids and not let Dr. Phil and Murray’s boot camp do it. Lazy a** parents!

    • Annoyed

      let me guess….you yell at your kids. People who are threatened generally don’t like to hear what studies have to say. Perhaps you could learn a thing or two…

  • Maya

    Read my blog about this topic from another mom’s perspective: http://horriblyirreverentmom.wordpress.com/2013/09/05/am-i-my-childs-bully/.

  • Anonymous Teen

    Not a parent, but a 16 yr old that lives this every day. And amazingly enough, this all developed in 2 years. At first I thought i was just overreacting and took the low self esteem and depression as “me looking for sympathy”. But in the second year I got so depressed and upset that i found that i had anxiety too. Soon after i starte cutting myself and freaking out at the smallest things. I was a wreck. But as astonishing as it sounds, i didnt tell my mom (the one who yells all the time, my parents are divorced) anything about it. Because if its to the piont where you yell everyday and more than you talk regularly, then it becomes your personality. As much as i’d like to make mom not be so harsh, i cant change her, just learn how to deal with it day to day. so a message to your parents: I hate my mom, most days i cry because the yelling is so overwhelming. Even if shes not yelling at me. I’m just waiting till that glorious day when i can move out and never see her again. So if you really love your children, please be more kind and gentle to them! Tell them everyday how much you love them (because i can honestly say that i have never heard/remembered my mom tell me she loves me, or anything along those lines)! Even if you do thousands of nice things for them, by not changing your “discipline”, that will mean nothing. Thanks for reading!

    • Isobel Clinton

      Oh this is so sad. Try to hack it till you get a high school diploma, that’s really important. But your mother sounds like poison. I’m sorry to hear of your awful plight. Hope you have someone else in your life of your parents’ age to sympathize with you. Good luck to you.

      • PaiSai Catherine

        I know you are trying to sympathize with this.. 16 year old? who speaks really well… sounds more like an adult, but to say his mother is Poison is a little extreme. She is not poison. She is, more than likely, hurt from the divorce and does not know how to express her emotions. I recommend talking with her and letting her know how you feel, if she continues to yell, ask a counselor to speak with her and tell her the issues you are facing. Hope this helps. In this day and age people don’t believe in prayer, but I found it always so helpful to say it when I was down and out.

        • lavette Johnson

          Amen n Amen!! Yes that’s the answer to it all” Prayer. N can u read lavette johnson reply to the anonymous teen and tell me what’s wrong with my picture ? Because I know this can’t b real? Because kids need to stay n their place n obey their parents, don’t jus blame the parents for kids problem! Kids knws how to play games with parents just so can do what they wantttt. Thx!!

      • lavette Johnson

        Read lavette Johnson reply that she wrote,! N c if u can answer tha one? Thx!!

    • LesAnonymes

      Get a part time job or something to save your money to move out when you’re 18. Being independent will make things better .You can still maintain a relationship with your mom, but you will live a happier life.

    • Dan Alexander

      For a young lady in a tough situation you write very well and w great composure. Not sure if you are who you claim because of that, but if you are please be careful. You are going to have to figure out how to take care of yourself both emotionally and materially and that is a real challenge with lots of ways for bad things to happen. Get your education and when it comes time to find a mate be careful to see that what someone says matches what they do. You will have to set boundaries w your parents to keep them fromnhurting you more and you will have to figure out what form that boundary takes. If you can find a good church, that can be a good place of refuge. Good luck and I will pray for you.
      Dan

      • lavette Johnson

        Amen to that!!! Nice thoughts of words..

    • lavette Johnson

      Anonymous teen! Beautiful words n yes I understand!! Well I’m a mom my son is 24yrs and my daughter is 13yrs. What would you say if your mom tells you everyday she loves you, take you n your friend that you ask to bring alone and y’all go shopping all the time, your mom spend one on one with you when she’s off work.? And after all that, you do things she ask you not to do again time after time but you do it anyway? N she don’t wont to punish you r get a belt! She rather talk to you ” but you start talking back at her like you grown r try to get smart with your mouth? Then mommy is upset and starts yelling because she do to much for for you to think you gonna walk over her when she could be the worst mom like most! But everything she do it’s because of you.. how would you answer that??

  • Kristen Hanssen Goodell

    I appreciate this study and Dr. Schlozman’s comments. I have two healthy great elementary school kids, and I am glad to have a reason (other than social pressure) to try and keep my cool with my children. I should yell less, it simply makes sense to me that it can’t be good for kids to be yelled at, there has got to be a more effective way to communicate. On the other hand, there is a big difference between berating or frightening your child and yelling “Come ON!!! Let’s GO!!!! WHY DON’T YOU HAVE YOUR BACKPACK?!?!?!” sometimes.

  • Howard Wilson

    The only time yelling is appropriate is if there is a fire.

  • Paula Z Tusler

    I think it is helpful to distinguish between the toxic yelling and raising your voice. By toxic yelling I mean, being belittling, blaming the child not the action. There’s almost a bite to the yelling. I heard a mom just the other day yelling at her child in a language I don’t know. You could tell it was toxic yelling.

    But it does take away another tool for discipline. When my kids were little, it was very difficult. I couldn’t get them to go to timeout and I got very frustrated. And they were basically good kids!

    Now in my fifties, I often watch a friend’s kids. They can be a real challenge. Now I am able to bring my energy and anxiety level down when dealing with them. I also talk to them about what instigated the behavior. I would never have thought of or had the patience to do this as a young mom.

    One more, try not to tell your kid that s/he is wrong in front of his friends or even family. Humiliation is a great way to create dysfunction.

    • fun bobby

      good advice

  • Wistaview

    I’m a child of the 50s and can attest to the impact of being yelled at when very young. But I think today’s parents have it so much worse than my parents did in this regard. Example: My parents could leave me in the car (with our big guard dog) and nobody would report us to the police. Example: They could let me out to play in the woods in back of our house with no one gasping in dismay. Example: Very few if anyone had to deal with food allergies back then. We had other problems, like polio. Example: Every kid got the same half-dozen childhood diseases, including measles, whooping cough, and chicken pox, and when we did, the doctor came to the house.
    Today’s parents are essentially under house arrest and under scrutiny for every little thing. Can you blame them for yelling?

  • http://www.facebook.com/cphillipsjones Cai Phillips-Jones

    based on the comments, I’ve come to the conclusion that in the year 2013 people are still clueless about parenting.

  • Gr8GrAmAr

    I think Dr. Schlozman’s comments are excellent general advice on the interpretation of individual “newsworthy” studies. The fact is that dozens of confounding variables are virtually ignored by this piece (excepting of course the good dr’s commentary). I think the practice of repeating a study’s conclusions without providing context or perspective serves the audience poorly. Thankfully, the author did include Schlozman’s comments which provided much-needed context and perspective. It is a remarkable finding though, if borne out by repeatability.

  • fun bobby

    if everyone yells at their kids where did they get a sample of kids who had never been yelled at? spare the rod and spoil the child. children who receive physical discipline before but not after age 5 do much better in school and have less behavior problems later

    • Holly B. Anderson

      Can you show the study that supports your view? That would be enlightening.

      • fun bobby

        I think there have been a few. here is one I found with a quick internet search. I am not sure if it is the same one where I had remembered age 5 as being the cut off age. it was a news item a while back and also said physical discipline after that age is counterproductive. it makes sense of one considers development. kids below a certain age may understand an appropriate spanking better than other more abstract punishments as small children cant think abstractly. what this study in the article suggests is that spanking or not spanking may not be what’s important but more in how one frames the punishment if that makes sense to you. of course none of this is to suggest or condone abuse of any sort.
        http://www.ctvnews.ca/contentious-study-says-spanking-may-benefit-children-1.471361

        • http://www.facebook.com/cphillipsjones Cai Phillips-Jones

          So you post a link to a news article that describes, but does not name or give a link to, an unpublished, presumably unreviewed study. The performance of the children was self rated. Perhaps spanked children simply feel more pressure to pretend to be happy and lie about their academic success.

          Here are some actual studies to contrast that ctvnews article with. (if that is even possible)

          http://archpedi.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=518458

          http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=2540224

          Here is one that even says that there is only “minimal” increased aggression, if it is done correctly. Still I can’t find a study that purports actual benefits.

          http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF00977030#page-1

          Here is one about the benefits of not spanking:

          http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02712591?LI=true#page-1

          • fun bobby

            those are not actual studies those are abstracts of actual studies. I am not subscribed to those journals so how could I possible comment on an abstract of a study?

            I was not able to read the whole study but this was interesting and sounds very much like what I was saying ”
            “For preadolescent and adolescent aggression toward the parent, however, this association depended upon parental use of reasoning, such that spanking had a minimal effect on aggression for frequent reasoners”
            kind of hard to judge though with even less info than was in the article I cited

    • http://www.facebook.com/cphillipsjones Cai Phillips-Jones

      citation or didn’t happen

      • disgusted

        Wow…reading these comments makes me sick to my stomach….evidently the vast majority of the parents here are narrow minded verbally abusive assholes….no wonder our youth is screwed up….well done you idiots…..you only have yourselves to blame

      • fun bobby

        did you double post?

    • http://www.facebook.com/cphillipsjones Cai Phillips-Jones

      in fact, cite meta-analysis or didn’t happen

      • fun bobby

        are you calling me a liar?

        • http://www.facebook.com/cphillipsjones Cai Phillips-Jones

          can you be lying if you are merely ignorant?

          • fun bobby

            sounds like a philosophical question

    • RDjackson

      It all comes down to parenting . I’m sorry but if you have to yell or use violence to prevent your kid from being a brat you’ve already failed . YOU HAVE TO RAISE THEM SO THAT BY THE TIME THEY’RE ONLY LIKE 5 THEY ALREADY CHOSE TO DO THE RIGHT THING OF THEIR OWN ACCORD – SO THAT YOU NEED NO “CONSEQUENCES” BECAUSE THERE’S NO MISBEHAVIOR IN THE FIRST PLACE . RAISE RAISE RAISE BE ACTIVELT INVOLVED IN YOUR KIDS LIFE . SCREW THE OTHER CRAP RAISE YOUR KID IN THE RIGHT WAYS AND HE WILL NOT DEPART FROM THEM . THE SPARE THE ROD SPOIL THE CHILD QOUTE IS TALKING ABOUT PUNKS THAT ACT LIKE MAFIOSOS NOT TINY LITTLE KIDS AND ITS NOT SAYING THAT THE WAY TO DEAL WITH THEM IS YELLING OR VIOLENCE , IT’S TALKING ABOUT A METAPHORIC ROD , IT’S SAYING YOU NEED RULES AND DISCIPLINE . BASICALLY IT’S SAYING SCREW MORAL RELATIVISM , THERE’S A RIGHT AND WRONG AND YOU’RE GONNA DO WHAT’S RIGHT THATS THAT CASE CLOSED END OF DISCUSSION .
      BUT A PROPWR PARENT WOULD RAISE THEIR KID SO THAT THEY DON’T END UP MISBEHAVING AT ALL AND THERE’S NOTHING TO PUNISH
      THE KEY IS TO RAISE YOUR KID CONSTANTLY BE THERE BE HIS FRIEND AND HIS GUIDE . DO NOT ACT LIKE HIS CONTROLLER I REPEAT DO NKR ACT LIKE HIS CONTROLLER EVER . YOU HAVE TO ACT LIKE HIS GUIDE , HIS GAURDIAN AND HIS PROTECTOR . YOU HAVE TO STILL HAVE RULES THOUGH ! THE RULES SHOULD BE NO SEXUAL IMMORALITY . NO VIOLENCE . BE HUMBLE . LOVE EVERYONE . YOU KNOW ALL THE SIMPLE BASIC RULES OF SOCIETY THAT ALL THE MODERN IDIOTS FORGET . YOU HAVE TO HAVE RULES BUT YOU MUST NEVER ENFORCE THEM LIKE A CONTROLLER YOU HAVE TO BE GENTLE AND APPROACH HIM AS A FRIEND AND AS A GAURDIAN OR PROTECTOR . YOU ALSO DON’T JUST WAIT UNTIL THE KID DOES SOMETHING WRONG TO CORRECT HIM THAT WOULD CONFUSE HIM YOU HAVE TO ACTIVELY TEACH THEM ALL THE THINGS THAT HE SHOULD DO AT A YOUNG AGE SO THAT WHEN HE GETS OLDER HED CHOOSE TO DO THE RIGHT TNING OUT OF THE GOODNESS OF HIS HEART . ALSO NEVER WASTE YOUR TIME TEACHING YOUR KIDS POINTLESS CRAP AND PRETENDING IT HELPS THEM . YOU KNOW WHAT ? ALL YOU NEED TO DO IS TO TEACH YOUR KID SIMPLE MORALS LIKS GOD AND LOVE AND HUMILITY , AND TO TEACH HIM TO PROTECT HIMSELF AND AVOID HARM EMOTIONALLY AND PHYSICALLY .
      YOU CAN’T TURN YOUR KID INTO A LITTLE BRAT BUT YOU CAN’T ACT LIKE A BRAT YOURSELF IN RAISING HIM . WHEN RAISING A KID YOU HAVE TO LOVE HIM ENDLESSLY , YOU HAVE TO BE COMPLETELY SELFLESS , AND YOU HAVE TO TEACH THEM TO BE A GOOD PERSON FROM AN EXTREMELT EARLY AGE . STARTING AT BIRTH YOU HAVE TO ALWAYS LOVE AND BE BEAUTIFULLY KIND TO YOUR CHILD , AND YOU HAVE TO TEACH HIM TO DO THE SAME , LEAD BY BOTH WORDS AND EXAMPLE . SOCIETY THESE DAYS IS TOO LOOSE WITH WHAT THEY ALLOW THEIR KIDS TO DO , BUT TO STRICT IN ENFORCING WHATEVER FEW RULES WE HAVE . SOCIETY TODAY IS COMPLETELY UPSIDE DOWN . YOU HAVE TO HAVE A LOT OF MORAL RULES FOR YOUR KIDS BUT YOU HAVE TO MAKE SURE THEY FOLLOW THE RULES IN A LOVING WAY YOU HAVE TO ACT LIKE A FRIEND AND GUIDE NOT AN EVIL DICTATOR . UNFORTUNATELY OUR SOCIETY IS THE OPPOSITE . THEY HAVE NO RULES FOR THEIR KIDS AND THEY TEACH THEIR KIDS TO BE ARROGANT LITTLE WHORES , BUT GOD FORBID YOU ACVIDENTALLY USE INCORRECT GRAMMAR AND THE PARENTS WILL ABUSE YOU TO SUBMISSION . STUPID THUGS . WHAT WE NEED IS LESS POINTLESS RULES , AND MORE FOCUS ON THE ONES THAT MATTER , AKA MORAL RULES . AND WE HAVE TO ENFORCE THEM KINDLY LIKE A GUIDE NOT A DICTATOR . IT DOESN’T MATTER IF YOU HAVE GOOD INTENTIONS IF YOU ACT LIKE A DICTATOR YOUR KIDS WILL SEE IT AS BEING A DICTATOR YOU HAVE TO ACT LIKE A FRIENDLY GUIDE
      ( NOTE : THE FOLLOWING SECTION IS NOT TRYING TO DEMONIZE THE GOOD PARENTS WHO LOVE THEIR KIDS WHO NEVER ACT LIKE A TYRANT AND WHO ACTIVELY MAKE SURE THEIR KIDS BECOME PEOPLE , INSTEAD IT’S INTENDED AS AN EXPOSÉ OF ALL THE FAKE PARENTS IN THIS WORLD AND HOW ALL THEY DO IS COMPLAIN ABOUT RAISING KIDS WELL GUESS WHAT IT’S THEIR FAULT IF THEY’RE KIDS TURN OUT BAD THEN YEAH THE KIDS ARE ALSO TO BLAME BUT UNLESS YOU RAISED YOUR KID THE BEST WAY AND WITHELD NOTHING IN LOVING HIM , PROTECTING HIM AND TEACHING HIM THE RIGHT THING , IT’S YOUR DAM FAULT TOO . ( AND IF YOUR KID IS LIKE VERBALLY ABUSING SOMEONE FOR WEARING SHOES HE DOESN’T LIKE OR SOME OTHER CRAP THAN ITS HIGHLY UNLIKELY THAT YOU RAISED HIM THE RIGHT WAY )
      PARENTS THESE DAYS ARE LIKE ” OMG KIDS ARE SO TOTALLY HARD TO RAISE ” . HMM I WONDER WHY ? IF A PARENT THINKS THAT KIDS ARE DIFFICULT BY NATURE THEN THEY’RE STUPID PLAIJ AND SIMPLE . KIDS ARE NOT DIFFICULT THEY ARE EXTREMELY BEAUTIFUL AND RAISING THEM GIVES YOU NO PAIN AT ALL . IF RAISING A KID IS HARD THAT MEANS EITHER TWO THINGS . ONE YOUR KID IS IMMORAL MEANING YOU RAISED HIM THE WRONG WAY DON’T GO TRYING TO BE A GOOD PARENT NOW WHEN YOU SAT ON A COUCH OR SOMETHING THE FIRST FIVE YEARS OF YOUR KIDS LIFE AND DIDNT EVEN RAISE HIM PROPERLY . OR TWO IF YOUR KID IS NOT IMMORAL AND IS A NORMAL PERSON THEN IT’S NOT HIS DAMN FAULT THAT RAISING HIM IS HARD ITS YOUR FAULT . IF YOUR KID IS A NICE PERSON MEANING HE’S KIND , HE CARES ABOUT EVERYONE , HE’S HUMBLE , HE DOESN’T BELIEVE THE LIES SOCIETY FEEDS HIM , AND HE’S NOT AN IMMORAL LIBERTINE , YET YOU STILL THINK RAISING HIM IS HARD THEN YOU’RE EITHER AN IDIOT OR THERE’S A THIRD PARTY BESIDES THE KID AND THE PARENTS THATS MAKING RAISING THE KID HARD IF SO TELL THE THIRD PARTY TO GET THE HECK OUT OF RAISING YOUR KID A KID IS RAISED BY HIS MOM AND DAD IF YOUR KID IS COMPLETELY GOOD BUT SOME THIRD PARTY PIECE OF CRAP THINKS HE’S BAD CAUSE HE’S NOT LIKE EVERYONE ELSE OR SOME CRAP THEN DON’T TRY TO CHANGE THE KID TO FIT THE EXPECTATIONS OF THE THIRD PARTY RESULTING IN AN EXTREMELY DIFFICULT AND STRENUOUS JOB OF PARENTING , INSTEAD TELL THE THIRD PARTY TO GET THE HECK OUT OF YOUR LIFE .

      • fun bobby

        great advice. did you know some people consider all caps to be yelling? they would feel like you just verbally abused me and I guess that’s just as bad as physical abuse.

      • Echte

        I thought I was reading one of my own rants. Well said. Truth hurts and people do not like to hear the truth. I especially loved this part because I say it all the time “ALL THE FAKE PARENTS IN THIS WORLD AND HOW ALL THEY DO IS COMPLAIN ABOUT RAISING KIDS WELL GUESS WHAT IT’S THEIR FAULT IF THEY’RE KIDS TURN OUT BAD THEN YEAH THE KIDS ARE ALSO TO BLAME BUT UNLESS YOU RAISED YOUR KID THE BEST WAY AND WITHELD NOTHING IN LOVING HIM , PROTECTING HIM AND TEACHING HIM THE RIGHT THING , IT’S YOUR DAM FAULT TOO . ( AND IF YOUR KID IS LIKE VERBALLY ABUSING SOMEONE FOR WEARING SHOES HE DOESN’T LIKE OR SOME OTHER CRAP THAN ITS HIGHLY UNLIKELY THAT YOU RAISED HIM THE RIGHT WAY ) PARENTS THESE DAYS ARE LIKE ” OMG KIDS ARE SO TOTALLY HARD TO RAISE ” . HMM I WONDER WHY ? IF A PARENT THINKS THAT KIDS ARE DIFFICULT BY NATURE THEN THEY’RE STUPID PLAIJ AND SIMPLE . KIDS ARE NOT DIFFICULT THEY ARE EXTREMELY BEAUTIFUL AND RAISING THEM GIVES YOU NO PAIN AT ALL ”
        Woo-Hoo Rock On!!

        • Not2l84prayer

          Did you know that typing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling?

  • Andy Gatchell

    I recently realized that I have been doing to my kids one of the things that my father had done to me: yelling and insinuating that normal human reactions to given situations were, in fact, personal flaws. I didn’t realize I was doing this, because only recently, through my interactions with my kids, have I begun to realize that some of the things in myself which I’d thought were personal flaws were actually normal human reactions to events. I still have a very hard time modifying my children’s behavior, especially when they hurt each other, but I am trying hard to not turn their behaviors into character flaws.

  • Jeepers

    I have been know to yell at them while busting their Azzes…

    • Jason Farnon

      lol i guess you’re not enlightened enough to be a part of zimmerman’s “social circle”…but seriously are these authors so close-minded they really think

      “today’s pregnancy-flaunting, soccer-cheering, organic-snack-proffering generation of parents”

      is typical? i hope these authors realize they’re having a dialogue with a group of people completely unrepresentative of the population at large. its defective journalism, to not realize how biased your point of view is.

      • fun bobby

        you call them and group of people completely unrepresentative of the population at large. NPR calls them their base

        • Jason Farnon

          yeah i know. its called an echo chamber.

    • joe

      If you only yell at them without spanking, they become confused. Like your some kind of wimp, frightened by physical confrontation. This was likely the cause of the deleterious effects spoken of by the author. I find a combination of yelling a spanking to be the most effective. It worked great for my parents.

      • Holly B. Anderson

        My children are not confused when I yell without spanking. They know that I pick my battles; when I pick them, I intend to win them; and when I say something will have a consequence, I will follow through and they won’t like it. Spanking is not needed to get good parenting results, although it’s much easier than thinking through things before lashing out.

      • Sherry

        well, that’s just idiotic.