Hudson Valley Parent

HVP - January 2014

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Jennifer Powell-Lunder, an adjunct professor at Pace University and a clinical psychologist who maintains a practice in Katonah, says the results of this study are not surprising. A parent to teenagers herself, she says children learn primarily by observing, and when they observe aggressive and harsh verbal exchanges they will model that in their own behavior, having perceived that this is how one is supposed to interact with the world around them. These behaviors will lead to trouble at school and cause them to be more isolated from their peers, in turn leading to depression. Telling our children that they shouldn't behave in a certain way isn't enough, says Dr. Powell-Lunder, co-author of the book "Teenage As a Second Language: A Parent's Guide to Becoming Bilingual"and creator of the websites and "As parents, we must practice what we preach, modeling the behavior that we expect," she says, stressing that constant communication with our children is key. made a pledge to refrain from yelling at her children for 365 days straight, and issued a challenge to the readers of her blog to also stop yelling for 30 days in a row. On her website, theorange, this anonymous mom provides many alternatives to yelling and tips to calm down a building outburst, including walking away and counting to 10 (or 100) and putting post it notes around the house, especially where one is prone to yell. A group of Hudson Valley parents were inspired by this website and formed their own Orange Rhino group on Facebook to encourage and problem solve with one another. One member of the group, Erica Chase-Salerno of New Paltz, says that she realized her yelling had become problematic when she was hiding it. "I began to realize that I selectively yelled only at home when I was alone with the kids and not when other children or adults were around," says Chase-Salerno. "As a member of a few inspiring parenting groups, I learned how I was creating distance and divisiveness from my children by yelling. Yelling limited me, and I want more from my relationship with my children." Erin Bertholf of Kingston, another member of the group, says (Continued on Page 12) "As parents, we must practice what we preach." — Dr. Jennifer Powell-Lunder Orange Rhino More and more parents who are concerned about their own yelling have been participating in "The Orange Rhino Challenge." The movement traces back to a mother to four boys who found that she was yelling at them far more Erin Bertholf of Kingston never considered herself a yeller until she had kids. "I wanted to nip it in the bud before it often than she became a daily habit," she says. would like. She n Hudson Valley Parent 11

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