Experts Say Yelling At Kids Can Be Just As Traumatic As Hitting Them

When we make the decision to become parents, we are doing more than bringing a child into the world. We are actually embarking on a project that will last many decades and most people would admit that the parenting doesn’t stop when the children grow up and move out of the house. As a matter of fact, we may even find that we worry about our children even more and we want what is best for them in life.

The difficult part is, when we are raising children, we sometimes find ourselves in a very frustrating situation. I don’t think any parent would say that parenting is easy and sometimes, the only easy thing about it is how easy it is to lose your cool. If you find that you are screaming at your children constantly, you may actually be doing more harm than most people realize.

Let’s face it, we all lose our temper every once in a while and is is a part of being a human. A study that was published in The Journal of Child Development says, however, that if you yell at your children regularly, it may have the same impact as hitting them.

When children get yelled at on a regular basis they tend to have higher rates of anxiety and depression. It can also lower their self-esteem and lead to behavioral problems.

Another thing to consider is that yelling at your children sets them up to yell at others or to expect to get yelled at when they get older. That is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the psychological impacts.

“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.

When you yell, it changes the way that a child’s brain works. Neural pathways are formed that makes the child think they are in danger and forces them into a fight or flight mode. When you yell constantly, it is something that gets ingrained into their personality.

In addition, yelling is not very effective. When you yell, your kids will not want to listen to you. It is just a way for parents to release some stress and anxiety but there are healthier ways to do it.

“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.”

If you want to discipline your children in a better way, engage them in calm conversation. Maintain your authority but try to find a sense of humor while correcting them. You should also explain what they did wrong.

A combination of positive and negative reinforcement is the best choice and if they do something right, give them praise. If they do something wrong, there should be consequences but it should not deal with any type of aggressive behavior.

Yelling on occasion is fine, such as when kids are hitting each other or are in real danger.

When you yell at them for those purposes, it causes them to stop a dangerous situation immediately. There is actually a risk of danger so the fight or flight response is justified.

Once you get your child’s attention, stop yelling and get through the situation in a calm manner. You will find that both you and your children benefit when you do so.