Ask any parent and they will tell you that children can be difficult to manage sometimes. They also admit that parenting can be frustrating in certain situations as well. Then again, nobody ever said parenting was easy.
Even though that may be the case, it is no excuse to constantly yell at your children. You might even be surprised to learn that it could cause permanent harm to your children.
Let’s face it, sometimes our human side is going to show through and we may lose our temper. According to a study published in The Journal of Child Development, however, regularly yelling at children can have just as devastating of an effect as hitting them.
When children are yelled at regularly, they may suffer from anxiety and depression and could have lower self-esteem. Behavioral problems are also more likely to occur when a child is regularly yelled at.
You may also be establishing a pattern that could affect them later in life. According to Positive Outlooks, yelling at children can eventually cause them to yell at others or could cause them to expect to be yelled at. That is only the tip of the psychological iceberg.
“The power parents hold over young kids is absolute. To them, their folks are humans twice their size who provide things they need to live: Food, shelter, love — Nick Jr. When that person they trust implicitly frightens them, it rocks their sense of security. And yes, it’s truly frightening for a child, “ Dr. Laura Markham, founder of Aha! Parenting and author of Peaceful Parent said.
The reason why it may be such a problem is because a child’s brain can be changed due to yelling. It causes the brain to form a neural pathway that would result in a flight or fight response. That response may become a part of their normal personality.
Yelling is also not very effective. When you constantly yell, your kids tend to simply shut you out.
Many parents yell at their children because they need a way to vent their frustration. They may be too weak, either emotionally or physically to deal with the situation in a proper manner.
“If the goal of the parent is catharsis, I want to get this out of my system and show you how mad I am, well, yelling is probably perfect,” Dr. Alan Kazdin, a professor of psychology and child psychiatry at Yale, told the New York Times. “If the goal here is to change something in the child or develop a positive habit in the child, yelling is not the way to do that.”
There are better ways to discipline your children and one of the ways is to remain calm when you engage them in conversation.
Try adding a sense of humor to the mix without losing your position of authority. It allows you to correct them and explain what they have done wrong without hurting them in the process.
Positive reinforcement can also be used very powerfully. Praise them for what they do right and establish consequences for what they do wrong without being aggressive or yelling.
That isn’t to say that you will never yell at them. Sometimes, yelling can be effective if you need to snap them to attention quickly because there is a real, imminent danger.
When you yell at them for legitimate reasons it can stop the dangerous situation and bring them to their senses. After you get the attention of your child, adjust your voice and calm down to remedy the situation properly.
When you handle your children in this way, you will find that things go much better as a result.