Each and every parent will have their own specific parenting style. It often revolves around the way that they were raised as well as the type of children that they have in our family. For most families, however, the children are inpatient and have a bad temper when things aren’t going their way. They are adorable but they can also be challenging.
It doesn’t matter who the parent is, there are going to be times when they lose their patience and yell at the kids. They may even blow their cool every once in a while and go beyond where they know they should go. Even though it is normal to see parents yelling at kids when they are misbehaving, science is now saying that it may be harming the children more than most people realize.
The study was published in The Journal of Child Development in 2014. It said that yelling at kids affected them in a similar way as physical punishment. When children were yelled at regularly by the parents, they had lower self-esteem and typically had more problems with anxiety, stress and depression.
The founder of Aha! Parenting, Dr. Laura Markham said that yelling at kids regularly prepares them for additional shouting matches after they become teenagers.
“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. Markham said, explaining how children perceive their parents.
Dr. Markham said that parents are changing how the brains of the children work when they yell. “Let’s say during a soothing experience [the brain’s] neurotransmitters respond by sending out soothing biochemicals that we’re safe. That’s when a child is building neural pathways to calm down.” Dr. Markham explained.
In other words, when parents yell at children they are sending neurological signals that the child is in danger.
“The kid releases biochemicals that say fight, flight, or freeze. They may hit you. They may run away. Or they freeze and look like a deer in headlights. None of those are good for brain formation.” If the yelling occurs regularly, then the flight, fight or freeze reaction becomes ingrained in their personality.
Parents don’t appreciate being shouted at and children often react negatively when parents raise their voice constantly.
“When parents yell, kids acquiesce on the outside, but the child isn’t more open to your influence, they’re less,” Dr. Markham added. She further said that shouting only discourages children from listening.
If we aren’t supposed to yell at children when we discipline them, what is the best option? One study said that a calm conversation with children is a more effective solution than yelling at them.
Dr. Markham also said that parents can use humor when disciplining children. She said: “If the parent responds with a sense of humor, you still maintain your authority and keep them connected to you.”
She also said that at times, it may be necessary to raise your voice when getting your kids attention. “When you have kids hitting each other, like siblings, or there’s real danger.“ The esteemed doctor added. “These are instances when shocking them works, but she points out that once you get a kid’s attention, modulate your voice.”
To break it down, parents may have to yell at their children to grab their attention but when explaining what they did wrong, they may need to regulate their voice.
Children are going to be mischievous at times but we need to remember that they are still children. They don’t fully understand the consequences of their actions and they don’t have the stability or maturity to be treated as an adult.
When you get right down to it, your child will eventually forget why you yelled but they won’t forget the times that you did yell. That insecurity may stick with them for a long time.
Nobody said the parenting was easy but many people have said that it is fulfilling. Perfect parents do not exist but each day provides a new opportunity to be a better parent.
If we don’t allow our emotions to rule the day, it will be much better for us and for our kids. We will never have full authority over our emotions or how we react but we can show our children that we can handle ourselves positively in even the worst situation.