Parenting presents a bag full of challenges. Running behind your tot feeding him food or disciplining him surely runs out your patience. Well, let’s face it; kids can be as exasperating as they can be cute. As a result, you find yourself hollering at your little one. However, after things settle down, you are drowned in the feeling of remorse and try to make up to your kid by buying gifts and treats. This has grave psychological effect, both on you and your kid. Instead of yelling, try to communicate effectively and make peace with frustrations.
Why Do Parents Yell?
The fact is, we are living a very stressful life and maybe you are overworking and juggling between career and family. This is the primary reason that a tiny act of your kid may trigger unwanted response from you.
Another reason is that your kid disobeys you and is constantly challenging your instructions – a hint of disciplining gone bad! Every time a child tries to undermine your authority, helplessness takes over and you find yourself in a battle of wills. More than the discipline, it becomes a contest to control. The pitch takes up in order to impress on the kids that you are the ‘Boss’ here.
Effects Of Screaming on Children
A study conducted by University of Pennsylvania and University of Michigan has found that yelling on kids has the same effect as physical punishment. Some of the effects are as listed below:
- Verbal disciplining makes kids go into a hermit mode and may have destructive effects
- Such kids are more likely to have behavioural issues and become more violent and abusive as they grow up
- They also suffer from lowered self esteem, aggression and depression
- You are letting your kid feel your stress
- Seeing you scream and angry will make him feel insecure
- You are passing him the wrong message that screaming is the way to cope with frustration
- He is likely to imitate you and accept that screaming is the way to have his way with others and a fine way of conversation
- You are expressing that the life and emotions get frequently out of control and screaming probably settles things
- Your kid is getting accustomed to screaming – he’s not going to be afraid of screaming if its habitual to him. He is just going to accept it and forget it rather than rectifying his behaviour
- Yelling impairs emotional functioning, both of you and your child. Yelling releases cortisol, the stress hormone which causes the freezing of cognitive functioning and fires the emotional part. This may cause both of you to yell and rant upon as an emotional victim
12 Tips To Avoid Yelling At Kids
- Time out: Step away from the fight, stop talking immediately. It’s perfectly alright. Withdrawing from the heated situation will give both of you time to cool down. Touching him about his misbehaviour is more effective when you both are composed
- Wait: Hold yourself for some time and think about the response. You may want to wait for 10 mins, 2 hrs or probably a day. This way you and your kid both have time to think about the incident which might actually be very minor and yelling is not necessary
- Relax: Don’t be on the roll all the time. Once you are back from work or grocery shopping from scorching sun, your kid might seem impatient; but go on, wash yourself, have a nice drink, assemble yourself and then face your kids. Eventually your kid will learn that he needs to wait and you will attend him once you are ready
- Plan: Think about how to deal with your kid’s unfinished homework or consistent video games other than yelling. Plan that first you are going to settle yourself and then talk to him. Remember that the situation can be controlled and yelling is not the answer
- Identify triggers: It’s not difficult to realise what behaviours of your child upsets you. Think how to counter these. Maybe your kid has spilled the coke on kitchen floor, instead of immediately reacting to it by screaming, let your kid finish the drink, call him to kitchen, show the spilled coke, tell him that his mother could have slipped and hurt and there may be germs breeding; its best to simply wipe it with a kitchen napkin or towel. Show him how to do it and let him complete it
- Involve family members: Discuss your child’s behaviour with your husband and other family members. They will help you out and support you. You need it!
- Devise ways to de-stress yourself: Either soaking in the hot tub filled with aromatic bubbles, hot cup of coffee with sinful pastry or screaming in the cupboard; whatever immediately relieves your stress, do it. Channel that harmful energy towards something else
- Lower your expectations: If you feel that you are yelling almost all the time, then maybe you are expecting too much from our kids. A child is a child, and nothing can take this away. Tune in with the developmental phases of your child to figure what is appropriate for him
- Get some “me” time: You will live a balanced life if you take care of yourself. Spend enough time resting and have sufficient sleep. Eat well, go for movies and connect with friends, these time outs will energise you
- Regress: During those angry moments flipping through the photos of sweet and sour memories of your baby will dampen you. It will also make you feel how little and frail your child is and should not be subject to screaming
- Be Strategic: Childproofing your house or going shopping when the kids are at school, running errands at one go etc are some strategies that you can opt for and will make yours and your child’s life easy
- Work out: Letting out the frustrations in a physical release can be good for many people. Take a jog, and let go of negative energies. And this might as well help you loose some weight!
Alternatives To Screaming At Kids
- Just say one word: The situation worsens when you go on and on. Best to either scream “Stop” or make a guttural noise etc. and that’s it. Don’t go on blabbering. You will feel good and have yelled out too, although momentarily
- Grab a stress ball: Squeeze a stress ball, a pillow or go on and punch hard a soft toy! It’s going to make you feel better and allow you to deal gently with your kid
- Breathe: Best calming technique! Take deep breaths, slowly exhale, breathe one, two, three… You may instruct your kid to follow suit
- Send your kid out: During the heated moment, send your kid outside to grab some fresh air. Letting that miscreant out of your sight is surely preventing a showdown!
It’ fine to speak firmly to the kids, it’s a part of parenting. I you loose it once in a while, that’s acceptable too. Yelling all the time is not right and ineffective. Teach discipline to your child. There is nothing as a perfect parent or child. Don’t be hard on yourself, learn from the mistakes and adopt effective parenting techniques!