Monday Morning Open Thread

What’s up?

Here is a tough one for me: “10 ways to stop yelling” brought to you by Parents magazine. Okay, must take a deep breath…

Another tough one for me: California Gov. Jerry Brown just increased the age for booster seats from 6 to 8, or 4 feet 9 inches — whichever comes first, according to the Oakland Tribune. I swear, the booster seat manufacturers are going to milk this one until the kids are in junior high school. If they are really that important, why aren’t they automatically built into cars?

Dana over at Mombian posted an excellent story on how same-sex parents, who in some states are not allowed to marry, should fill out financial aid forms for their children.

South African Wendy Luhabe, considered one of the 50 leading women entrepreneurs of the world, proposed a salary for stay-at-home mothers, according to CNN. She said that husbands should pay their stay-at-home wives 10 percent of their salaries to honor the work that they do. What say you?

The details in this news story are sick, but at the end justice was served. A Roman Catholic bishop in Kansas was indicted for failing to report a priest who had been sexually abusing children, according to the New York Times. Also, the New York Times published a report on the high infant mortality rate in the African American community, which is twice as high as the Caucasian infant mortality rate and higher than Sri Lanka’s. Yikes.

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?


Weekly Parenting News Roundup

Cross-posted at Daily Kos.

Hi all!

I am back from a trip to Chicago. My brother-in-law got married in a unique and beautiful ceremony. You can read all about it and see pictures here and here.

Now onto some parenting news…

Are you a yeller? You are not alone. We discussed a New York Times story about how yelling is the new spanking. A poll cited in the article stated that as many as 88 percent of parents have yelled at their children. But no studies have been conducted to show whether this is harmful to kids.

Our Erika highlighted this MSNBC story about kids getting braces younger and younger. How old were your children when they got braces?

I am sure similar diaries have been posted here, but I thought I would mention to you that the Courage Campaign is seeking a few good volunteers to help fight the anti-gay marriage initiatives in various states and cities.

In somewhat related news, one of our front-page posters, Katie, is wondering whether she should change her last name when she marries her partner Kelly. It sparked a long discussion about women changing their last names — if at all — hyphenated names and everything you can possibly think of when it comes to choosing a last name. Ayayay!

Yet, in other LGBT news: The Scholastic Book Fairs banned books with gay and lesbian relationships, according to our contributing writer Dana. She and other moms on our site, who signed a petition, received a less than satisfying response from the company.  

Our Gloria highlighted this brow-raising article in Jezebel about mothers in their late 30s or early 40s being jealous of their teenaged daughters’ good looks. I am not there yet and found this article surprising and disturbing. What do you all think? Are you jealous of your gorgeous teenagers?

Attention Patrick Swayze fans: I reviewed the book Time of My Life. What a satisfying and quick read!

What else is in the news? What’s up with you?


Are You a Yeller?

My confession for the day: I have been known on more than one occasion to blow a fuse and scare the bejesus out of my children by yelling at them. Sometimes after a day of work, cooking, cleaning, carpooling and running around like a madwoman there is only so much crap one person can take, ya know?

But I am aware of it and try to enforce time-outs as my preferred method of discipline. (Although, I probably should stop yelling “time out!” at the top of my lungs.)

You could say I was not surprised to learn that “shouting is the new spanking,” according to this New York Times article.

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.“

A study cited in the Times article stated as many as 88 percent of parents have yelled at their children. Another study listed “yelling” as the No. 1 guilt-inducer for parents over spanking, working outside the home and missing a school event.

While there are no studies showing the effects of regular yelling, childcare professionals said loud sarcastic and hurtful comments could have a long-term damaging effect.

My reaction? When I first became a parent, I felt guilty every time I yelled. But now that I see that Ari is a smart and sweet boy, I don’t worry about it as much. It’s not like I yell regularly and every once in a while it probably is not a bad idea for him to see that even adults get frustrated.

Are you a yeller? What other tools of discipline do you have at your disposal?