It’s true that it’s hard to be a parent but sometimes, it’s a lot harder to be a child.
Parents get to be angry and shout at their children in order to discipline them. They have a lot of control over any given situation. As a child, you don’t have a lot of options that are within the confines of respectful behaviour against a parent who is shouting.
Personally, I find that shouting doesn’t solve anything. A lot of parents employ fear tactics to keep their kids obedient. The danger here is many fold. Firstly, the child will not develop any sort of relationship with you so it’ll make communicating your ideas a lot harder. Secondly, they will inevitably stop feeling scared of you. Most kids grow out of this by 15. Some take longer, 18, 20, 25. Eventually we all grow out of it and the kids who don’t confront their parents just end up ignoring them later in life.
Personally I find the quieter types a lot more dangerous. As children, they were afraid to approach you because you would always say no. When you shouted at them they just held it all in instead of letting it out. All of those ill feelings solidify as they approach adulthood and now they ignore you willfully. As kids they lacked control over their lives and their treatment. As adults they’ve shelved themselves off completely as an exercise in regaining control.
The other type of kid will shout back. They will react exactly the way their parents do and to most parents this will be like taking a bullet. In verbal warfare, most parents completely fail to see that their children are talking to them the only way they’ve learned how! It’s a tricky business to get around. The loud sort of child cuts their parents out his/her life much the same way the quiet one does. The only difference is because they’re vocal about it, you just hate them more. The quieter ones are sneakier and will almost always put up an excellent facade when you’re around. Rather, as a parent, you will always choose to see the parts of their behaviour that appease your ego instead of realising their obvious insincerity.
It isn’t always a hateful act to raise your voice at your kids. A lot of parents cannot communicate their ideas any other way. It’s sad but its true. For some parents, teaching their child right from wrong comes in the form of long drawn out angry episodes. The reality is these parents cannot see the error of their ways. How many parents do you know who will actually hold their temper and come back to their kids in a calm fashion to explain their expectations? This kind of behaviour only teaches your kids one thing – evasion. They master the art of skirting around you even as you share the same living space. This creates issues in other aspects of their lives and especially when they actually need your guidance.
As the child, you have to shut up and put up. End of story.
Your feelings and emotions don’t really come into play – how many parents apologise for losing the plot? There’s no recognition that the child has a self esteem that takes a beating everytime the parent raises their voice. There’s no recognition of the effect the same words have from one sibling to the next.
So yes, it is hard to be a parent but it’s also sometimes a lot harder to be a child.
Think about that next time you feel like raising your voice during a confrontation.