Oh dear. Oh no. It seems today's anti-spanking, "pregnancy-flaunting, soccer-cheering, organic-snack-proffering generation of parents" have a dark secret: sometimes they yell at their kids.

Writes the New York Times' Hilary Stout,

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."

So, those unenlightened generations who did hit their kids maintained a calm silence at all times? Doubtful. Yelling is apparently traumatic for kids, but having come from such a family - no hitting, plenty of exasperated yelling - at least part of the issue seems to be that it's so ineffective. Yeah, it might mean Mom's mad, but in our house, that was as bad as it got...her being mad. Yelling implied a lack of control that wasn't scary, but certainly didn't suggest authority. On Supernanny, a show to which I'm addicted, if only because she makes parenting look so deceptively easy, Jo arrives at a house full of screaming, ineffectual adults and insolent brats and with a little consistency, plenty of hugs and a few rounds on the Naughty Mat, gets the house running like a well-oiled Duggar machine. (And say what you will about Michelle Duggar, the woman doesn't raise her voice.) The issue isn't "corporal punishment" versus "total lack of discipline," and it seems a little problematic to make the choice seem so diametric. Indeed, isn't that parenting coach (!) kind of implying that spanking is the only solution that "works" - albeit "socially unacceptable?" Many a formerly slap-happy Supernanny success story could tell you otherwise - at least as of two weeks after filming.

For Some Parents, Shouting Is The New Spanking [NYTimes]