Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Yelling is the new spanking

The NY Times reports:
For Some Parents, Shouting Is the New Spanking

“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.” ...

Professor Rohner noted that while spanking is considered taboo by the major medical and psychological associations, there are still some religious and conservative groups who support it as an effective disciplinary tool, believing that the Bible explicitly allows it.

But, he said, “There is no group of Americans that advocate yelling as a parenting style.”

“My bottom-line recommendation is don’t yell,” he said. “It is a risk factor for a family.”
This article was in the Fashion section, where trends are identified with a snowclone like pink is the new black.

The study is on psychological aggression by American parents. It says:
the definition of psychological aggression used for this research: ‘‘Psychological aggression is a communication intended to cause the child to experience psychological pain. The communicative act may be active or passive or verbal or nonverbal’’ ...

In principal, to be legally or administratively classified as abusive requires that the behavior exceed a level of severity and chronicity that a caseworker or criminal justice official believes puts the child at risk of injury. In practice, an injury needs to have actually occurred and needs to be attributable to the psychological aggression. This is very difficult to demonstrate in an individual case and, as a result, few cases of psychological aggression meet the legal or administrative criteria to be judged serious enough to confirm psychological abuse.
So they have defined yelling so broadly that it could include not saying anything, in some cases. And they have declared it to be bad but they cannot show that it is harmful.

All I get out of this is that there are a bunch of silly psychologists who are trying to tell parents what to do, but they have no useful data to back up what they say. So they try to pick something that no one will oppose, and legal authorities won't do anything about it either.

1 comment:

Chic Noir said...

five bucks says none of the shrinks have kids of their own.