Is screaming the new spanking?

    A New York Times article in October claimed that "incongruously and with regularity, this is a generation that yells." The ensuing controversy has mixed up a slurry of affirmations, denials and rationales on child rearing practices. As a mom whose adult daughter still squirms when I whisper at her, I ask you, "What's a mother, or father, to do?"  
    Just a quick look through Parent school: simple lessons from the leading experts on being a mom & dad by Jerry and Lorin Biederman reveal some excellent pointers in dealing with kids--such as using nonverbal cues rather than lectures when your kids haven't done their part. For example, put a sheet over the tv if the room hasn't been picked up yet.  Another chapter deals with gratitude--post a gratitude page on the frig for people to write in their thanks, or start each meal by thanking someone for something they did.
     If you want to really wrestle with these issues, try Nurtureshock: new thinking about children by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman.  They have taken new research and summed it up in essays for the general reader--and the general readers are noticing! The essays contradict accepted ways and thoughts, for instance, they say those lovely Baby Einstein DVD's don't help a child learn at all! And just because a school has a diverse racial population doesn't mean those kids are more integrated socially.  Those are just a couple examples of the new research included in this book. Watch for more news about this book--it is working its way up the bestsellers lists.
    Kevin Leman has been writing about parenting for many years, and boatloads of parents rave about his methods and ideas. Have a new kid by Friday: How to change your child's attitude, behavior & character in 5 days is one of his more recent books, well-known and recommended by educators and parents. Leman is full of tips and practical approaches as well as principles for parents.
     Parenting with love and logic by Foster Cline and Jim Fay has moved into updated editions, it has been that popular.  This time-tested tome offers lots of practical advice that is become mainstream:  ever heard of helicopter parents?  That's theirs! Highly praised and critically acclaimed, this book remains a bestseller.
     Whichever book you choose, I just know you won't find screaming in there as a parenting tool of choice.