Friday, July 19, 2013

Know Your Customer

As I was about to get started writing this, several people posted onto Facebook the link to this new parenting method - it's called CTFD - "Calm the F*ck Down."  Our friend Josyln from Stark.Raving.Mad.Mommy. even gave her take on it at

I think it's pretty weird that as I was formulating my parenting tips there would be a sudden rush on parenting tips.  Now it kind of looks like I am just jumping on the bandwagon.  Well, I'm not.  I had my ideas earlier this week, I just didn't get to the writing it down part.  So really, I am a procrastinator, not a copy-cat.  Just so you know.  No really, I thought of this Monday.  I did.

Anyhoo - back to knowing your customer...this is for parents AND children.  I think this revolutionary idea will help parents feel less guilty and help kids be less annoying and unconscious to the world around them.  Win-win.

It's always important to remain
a caring and nurturing parent.
A lot of parents try not to yell at their kids too much.  They don't want to be too shouty.  They don't want their kids to feel upset or scared or bad about themselves.  No.  Stop thinking this way.  It's good to yell.  And you know what, your kids totally know when you are about to lose it and start yelling - but yet, they keep going.  Kids like consistency.  They like to know what to expect.  If they are being jerks (that's right, I said jerks) and you don't yell at them, they become confused.  They don't really think you're angry or upset if you talk calmly to them.  Kids are pretty slow learners.  Quiet soothing voice means happy/not in trouble.  Yelling means knock it off/big trouble. 

First, let me say I don't mean ripping your kid a new one  Most crappy, annoying kid behavior doesn't warrant reducing your kid to a sniveling heap of pitiful.  Name calling and being mean and sarcastic is rarely an effective parenting tool, nor is it nice or a good example of how to handle anger.  Unless your kid has carjacked someone or is a drug dealer, simple yelling will suffice.

"Why" you ask?  I will tell you.  Sometimes children don't understand their native language unless it is spoken to them in a loud voice.  Scientists can't figure out why this is, but it's a fact (it is).  Children try to apply this concept when dealing with you as well.  They firmly believe that if they yell/whine/scream something louder, then it's more true.  

But wait, there's more.  When you raise your voice and sound annoyed or aggravated, you are helping your
This mom is caring and
loving and is helping 

her kids avoid injury.
child learn to "know your customer."    That is an important survival skill people. It's akin to knowing not to poke a bear.  It's just more subtle.  Kids need to learn what will set you off.  If they don't want to hear you yell or get a time-out or lose a privilege, they need to learn how to act right and listen the first time.  This will help them in school, the work world and life in general.

Think about it.  By the time you were 8 or 9 you knew exactly what you better not do/ get caught doing if you didn't want your mom or dad to go totally batcrap crazy on you.  This translates into real world ability.  At this point in your life you know not to provoke some thug on the street who looks menacing.  If you walk up to that guy and call him a punk-ass bitch he's not going to calmly tell you that those words were hurtful and that you shouldn't judge people by what they look like.  He's going to pound you into next week.  You know this because your parents yelled at you.

In summary, what I am telling you is that by yelling at your kids they are learning what behavior will keep you from yelling.  Learning how to judge people and their reactions and what they do and do not like will help your kids make friends, be more pleasant to be around and keep them out of danger.

I know some of you extra nice, super-nurturing parents out there are still feeling unsure that raising your voice to make your point is emotionally healthy for your kids, but trust me, it is.  This concept has been extensively studied at the DTC Institute for Technology and Science-y Stuff.  I will offer you a little tip if you are feeling squeamish or don't know how to get started yelling at your kids.  When my kids were little and they were really starting to make me angry, I would say "If I say this again, I am going to be yelling it."  It goes back to the slow learner thing.  It actually worked.  And by worked I mean that I didn't feel the least bit bad when I finally had to yell.

See!  Moms who are
calm and don't yell
HAVE to drink.  You
can drink just because
you want to.
Oh my God, I totally forgot that the whole yelling thing is also good for your mental and physical health.  Instead of bottling up your rage and masking it with alcohol and medication, you will feel more relaxed and mentally refreshed.  If you yell, you won't need so much or wine or vodka or Xanax.  That's actually supposed to sound like a good thing even though it sounds a little sad.


  1. Well, I rest my case. Look how beautifully you turned out.

  2. Okay, so I was totally laughing inappropriately in my office when I read "call him a punk-ass bitch". I love your tips. Makes me feel oh so much better after the morning I had with two children dawdling every chance they had. How long should it take to wash your face? And can you really be washing your face when I haven't heard the water turn on after 10 minutes, but I've heard lots of giggling? Really????

    1. children have no sense of self-preservation. It's amazing the species continues.


Popular Posts