The Tantrum: Is Yelling in Front of the Kids Okay? Part 4

July 30th, 2010  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized


Well, you’ve heard the range of opinions, from Theodore (who sounds like he lives in a Marina Abramovic piece) to Nathan (who just grew up in one) to Matt (who prefers entirely passive forms of aggression). As for our home life, I doubt we will have to deal with this question anytime soon. Like Matt’s household but maybe even more so, ours is essentially argument-free. I guess my wife and I have our disagreements, but we are both fairly easy compromisers with a distaste for any sense of entitlement, and both of us know well enough where the other’s limits lie that we don’t have to discuss a lot of things that lie beyond the boundaries thereof. I honestly can’t think of a single real shouting match we’ve had. The worst it ever gets is a little peevish, with apologies later.

I continue to be a little flummoxed by people who shout and scream a lot. Why on earth would a person do that? It only irritates people. It loses you as many of the things you want as it gains you, because others (or at least I) dig in their heels. Yet I suppose I can see a disadvantage to this, even if I vastly prefer it to a life spent hollering over who left whose wet towel on the floor. I do periodically wish that I were more of a fist-banging-on-the-table sort, because in certain environments, nothing else will do. I am therefore a little reticent about passing on my reticence. If I can imbue my son with that same sense of premodern politesse and diplomacy, while also offering him a little more punch, there’s no telling where he could go with that.

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