Screaming Parents

In the previous entry titled Should Parents Scream, I was examining the idea from the point of view of a communications researcher.

In this entry, I want to focus more on the perspective I got on the subject from going through the official Total Transformation Material.

Lehman explains parental screaming from a psychological point of view. He tells you about what we call in communications or in psychology the metamessage – the message a receiver gets from the entire communications experience, not just the actual English (or whatever language) words that are being transmitted.

A quick example to help you understand metacommunications and metamessages would be if you cooked your spouse a brand new dish and eagerly said, “Try this, I have been cooking it special for you all day.” Your spouse takes a bite and says, “It’s good,” all the while trying not to gag and distorting his or her face from the pain caused by the excessive spices you used. Regardless of the words “it’s good,” you would know by the totality of the message that indeed it was not good at all.

Anyway, Lehman’s contention about screaming parents is that what they are really taking their kids is that they have lost control of themselves and therefore the entire situation. Lehamn says that kids learn that nobody is in control.

I would actually take it a step further and say that the kid may decide he is in control once a parent has started to scream. He may know exactly how to push the parent to that point. If so, the kid is in fact in control. Think about that. Hardly the message parents want to convey!

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