Photo by Sharon D. Pruitt
I have heard debate after debate about the trauma of spanking your children and the reasons we should not resort to corporal punishment, but what about screaming.
Is bellowing out our frustration a proper response to our children? I used to be a screamer, and without the help of screamers anonymous, I have reformed.
I am a single mother with an entire set of buttons just waiting to be pushed. When my son was 6-years-old, I often fought the urge to spank, knowing it would not solve anything. Screaming seemed to be a quick fix. After a while, my son became immune to the shrill of my voice and blocked me out.
Of course, the more he ignored me the louder I would scream. The guilt I felt after one of these battles was almost as bad as if I had spanked him. I was turning into a “screaming maniac”.
Then, one day, after all my buttons were pushed more than once, and I had screamed every thought in my head something knocked some sense into me. I imagined having a heated discussion with a friend and they suddenly begin screaming at me because I do not understand their point of view. It put a knot in my stomach and the urge to flee. I then imagined my son lying in bed at that moment, wondering why his mother screamed at him.
That was the last time I screamed when I felt out of control. Today, during a fight with my now 15-year-old son, I debate back and forth, often biting my tongue. Instead of saying something I may regret I scream the words in my head a few times so that I can feel their full impact. I often find I am relieved I did not scream the words at my son. Most times the words are left unspoken, doing damage to know one.
Granted, my buttons are still pushed, I still get angry, and I may occasionally scream, but not screaming as an initial response has greatly improved my relationship with my son and helped me gain control as a parent.
If we scream to let our children know they are out of control, what have we taught them? We too are out of control! After a while, we become the same old record, playing over and over. As my son would say, “blah, blah, blah, someone please change the record already!”