Nobody becomes a parent thinking I’m going to yell at my child. But as our children get older, they become less of the angelic baby that can do no wrong. They become tantruming toddlers, backtalking preteens, they push our buttons, and test their limits, and we yell. We yell to get them to listen and behave, and then it can start to become a habit, and something we begin to rely on way too much.
We don’t want to yell, but our children are leaving us no other option, right?
Why do you yell?
You might be thinking because my child’s not listening or because my child hit their sibling. But we don’t yell because of our children’s behavior, we yell because we feel at a loss of power and control. We feel powerless, so we yell in an effort to gain some power and control back.
We yell because we feel powerless…
- We feel powerless over our child’s behavior
- We feel powerless to get our children to move quickly enough to leave the house on time
- We feel powerless to get our children to stop fighting with each other
- We feel powerless to get our children to sleep at night
- And sometimes because we’re too preoccupied/distracted, and yelling is easier than getting up and actually getting their attention to parent them in a positive way.
Yelling is an easy, short term fix.
It’s a short term fix to make us feel like we are in control. Yelling appears to be effective because it gets our children to behave, but they are behaving out of fear. Yelling teaches our children to fear us rather than to learn through the consequences of their own choices and actions. Yelling does not get your message across to your child any more clear then not yelling would have, in fact it can cause your child to be even less receptive to what you are saying.
The effects of yelling are long term.
Studies show that yelling as a huge effect on our children’s relationships and social skills.
- Children will yell at you and others because that is what is modeled for them
- Yelling makes children more aggressive (both physically and emotionally)
- Your relationship with them can become unstable
- The begin to resent you
- They become more easily influenced by their peers because they feel like that can’t talk to you for fear of you yelling/getting angry.
By staying calm and not yelling our children will feel love and accepted.
By staying calm and teaching through consequences, our children will learn to behave because it makes them happy instead of learning to behave out of fear of us yelling/getting mad.
Be future minded
We will naturally have less control over our children as they get older and approach adulthood. As they get older, they will realize that they can fight back against our control. If we’ve relied on yelling, fear, and punishment, we will have to up our fear factor to get them to behave. But eventually, they will be adults that we no longer have control over. And what will we be left with? What kind of relationship will we have with our children? Most likely, we will be left with a weak relationship with our children because it hasn’t been built on mutual trust and respect.
How are you feeling when you yell at your child?
Think of the emotion you are feeling when you yell. Frustrated, stressed, the need to gain their attention, loss of control, overwhelmed, distracted, at a loss of what else to do. These are all the same feelings and emotions our children have when they misbehave. The only difference being that we have had years of practice learning how to express our emotions in a respectful way. And we still make mistakes, we still yell, we don’t always express our emotions respectfully. Yet, we expect our children to behave better than we behave.
Instead of yelling at our children, identify their struggle and teach them. They will learn to behave because it brings them happiness, and you will build a relationship with your child that is built on trust and mutual respect, which will benefit our future relationship with our children as well as our children’s future relationship with themselves and others.
HOW TO STAY CALM
I’ve gotten a lot of questions asking for tips on how to stay calm in those difficult moments. I know staying calm and not yelling is a lot easier said than done, so I’ll be sharing my 12 Tips to Help You Be a Calm Parent in a guest post on Navy Grace soon. Stay tuned for that 🙂