Kids should be forbidden from screaming during play. Where does the deranged idea come from that screaming and loud shrieking are essential components of healthy childhood play?
If you believe this, you may as well believe that drawing on the living room wall with crayons and having food fights in the kitchen are equally essential components to childhood. However, I’m sure you’d quickly stop this behavior. So why, then, is screaming during play permitted?
Is it because “kids are kids”? If “kids are kids,” why not let them eat cookies and ice cream every morning for breakfast? “Kids will be kids”: Translation: You have no control over your kids. Christie Barnes, author of The Paranoid Parents Guide, has four kids, one 10 years and triplets age 8 years, who has taught them not to scream during play.
She explains, ” It is the parents’ responsibility to teach manners. Many would not want other people’s children to do it but feel their children are entitled to do anything they want — from screaming, breaking other kids’ toys, to cutting in line. Screaming is just a first sign that there is no respect for others.”
Screams of children during play are indistinguishable from screams of children being abducted, attacked by a dog or trapped in a hole. If you hear your child screaming during play outdoors, will you be able to tell if it’s a reaction to an emergency versus a reaction from playing? Don’t bet on it.
When my cousin was 7, she was playing and accidentally tore through the skin of her arm (which needed stitches) after stumbling into a sharp object. Her screams were identical to that of a little girl being chased by a playmate. Nearby adults at first didn’t respond because they thought she was play-screaming!
Hearing loss. The No. 1 cause of hearing loss is repeated exposure to loud sounds. A child’s scream is very loud. Don’t you care about your kids’ hearing health? Are you the least considerate of nearby adults? Kids can suffer permanent hearing damage from being around a lot of their own high-decibel noise.
It’s a very ugly, disturbing sound, even if it’s down the street. Why do many parents tolerate this? Is it similar to birds chirping or leaves rustling? Sometimes the screaming is persistent and ongoing. It’s a wretched sound. However, parents “let their kids rule because discipline is hard work,” says Barnes. ” It becomes easier to just let the kids have their own way and turn a blind eye,” she says.
Funny, my mother had no trouble teaching me and my siblings not to scream. And she did it without threatening to spank us, either. Hmmm…
Parents indeed enforce many other rules; so why not a No-Scream rule? Which issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, or the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, actually cites research declaring that a No-Scream rule would harm kids?
By permitting your daughter(s) to scream during play, you reinforce in her a victim’s role. You rarely hear little boys screaming and shrieking during play (tantrums, yes, but this is about playtime). It’s always girls. Why?
Little girls learn that it’s acceptable to play the role of victim. They scream when being chased or sprinkled with a few drops of water. Little boys don’t. They scream at bugs. Little boys don’t. I’ve witnessed mothers smiling at their screaming daughters, looking at other adults to see if they, too, are just as charmed.
It’ll be no wonder when, 20 years later on the job, when sexually harassed, these girls — all grown up — will continue acting like the victim instead of taking swift action to stop the harassment. (I once stopped a man on the job from leering at me by asking him, “Is that what they train you monkeys to do here, gawk at women?” He never looked at me after that.)
See if you can find any studies that have been reported in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, or the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, that show that being forbidden to scream during play will stunt a child’s growth.