How yelling at your children affects them and how to stop doing it

While you may think that shouting at your children encourages them to listen, this is not always the case.

Parenting experts claim that yelling is only effective in the short-term; more importantly, they caution against using shouting as a way to promote discipline and long-term behavioural change. Yelling at your child is actually more ineffective than you may think; what is more, it can also negatively affect their behavior and mental health.

Why is yelling ineffective?

1. Yelling is not communicating

Yelling at your child does not teach them a lesson but instead, instils fear. If they cease what they are doing and comply, this is due to their fear rather than their understanding of what they have done wrong.

2. Yelling can result in rebellious behavior

If as a parent, you act in an aggressive manner, the child will likely react in the same way. Furthermore, research has shown that children with verbally aggressive parents become violent and aggressive as adults; this is because children view their parents as the models they should learn from.

3. Children can become desensitized to yelling

If a child is often scolded, they will eventually become desensitized to shouting; this means that sooner or later, your child will no longer respond to yelling, thereby making it completely ineffective.

4. Scaring is not disciplining

As previously mentioned, yelling is not communicating and consequently, scaring is not disciplining. Being verbally aggressive and frightening your child leads to breaking trust as yelling evokes insecurity when children need to feel secure.

5. Yelling has psychological effects on the child

Children who are constantly shouted at, frightened and made to feel insecure, often have trouble learning self-respect. This means that your child may become more prone and susceptible to bullying as they may struggle to stand up for themselves.

When is yelling effective?

According to experts, yelling should only be used to grasp the children’s attention in moments of urgency or danger. Dr. Laura Markham suggests: “Yell to warn, speak to explain”.

Learn how to stop yelling:

1. Identify triggers

In order to learn how to stop yelling, you must work to understand what triggers your verbal aggression. Once you find out what your triggers are, you can begin to learn how to manage them.

2. Give warnings

When you feel as though you are losing your patience, calmly warn your children that you are getting frustrated.

3. Give yourself a break

Physically removing yourself from a situation by leaving the room is sometimes necessary if you find it difficult to exercise control over your emotions.

4. Recognize when you are at fault

It takes a big person to be able to look inwards and admit that they might be the problem. If you find yourself losing your temper too often, it is worth considering that maybe there is something else stirring up frustration.

5. Apologize when you lose your temper

At the end of the day, nobody is perfect. No matter how hard we try, we sometimes lose control of our emotions. The important thing is that if and when we do so, we owe it to those we love to apologize and admit when we are at fault.

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