Why I Yell At My Kids

Have you seen the new Sears commercial – the “when life happens” one? This commercial is a reminder as to why I yell at my kids. Does anyone else think the spot is as absurd as I think it is? This commercial is the inspiration for this column.

Here’s the link below if you haven’t seen it yet.

In the commercial, there’s a kid who looks to be AT LEAST 8 years old (and would CLEARLY “know better”) sprinting through the house in a homemade superhero costume and acting a fool. The mom is loading her nice stainless steel dishwasher when her sweet son decides to use the dishwasher door as a springboard platform in an obvious attempt to bolster his flying skills. Of course, the entire door snaps off and is now lying on the floor. The mom lightly tilts her head and gives the kid a “look” and then the next scene shows the reliable Sears repairman making everything all better as the mom and son look on happily. I threw up in my mouth a little when I saw it. When I saw the commercial, my reaction was – “Is this how I’m SUPPOSED to act as parent?”

To say I would have had a different reaction than the mom in the commercial would be an understatement. I would have yelled at my son or daughter. I don’t think I would have been able to hold back even if I wanted to. I would have dealt out some incredibly loud and harsh words, asked the kid what the heck was he thinking, and made him responsible for the repairs in more ways than one. It would probably be a parenting moment my child would not soon forget.

I wonder about all the psychologists who say we should not yell at our kids. I’ve even heard the phrase “Why would you yell at the ones who love you most?” Really? Am I supposed to feel guilty here? I’m the first to admit I yell at my kids… and here’s why. It’s more effective than talking.

I am of the belief that parenting used to be a lot easier. I feel like I’m being scrutinized more so than my parents or grandparents ever would be when it comes to parenting or discipline. Let’s face it, if any of us pulled off this dishwasher stunt when were kids, many of us would have had parenting justice brought upon us with a belt! So, I guess my Frank Costanza outburst yelling session would have at least been an improvement over a switch.

I yell at my kids because I’m a firm believer that the first reaction is often the correct reaction. As a parent, sometimes you don’t have time to weigh the pros and cons of an emotion or a reaction. If my son decides to perform a swan dive off of my appliances, there’s going to be a reaction… and it won’t be anything like the mom in the Sears commercial.

My kids somehow hear the urgency of my message more clearly when I yell it vs. state it. My kids need to see how upset I am with a situation so they understand the severity.

Lastly, about the dishwasher commercial. Dear Sears, if the child actor in that commercial was 3 or 4 years old instead of at least 8 years old, the commercial would have been more believable and the mother would have been a more sympathetic figure.

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