Why You Shouldn't Yell at Your Kids

I recently saw a T-shirt that said, "Yell if You Like Peace and Quiet!"  It's laughable, for sure, but something that takes place in hundreds of thousands of homes across the globe.  Kids scream.  We try to outscream them to stop the screaming.  What is accomplished with this strategy?  What is lost?

Screaming or yelling at a child who is emotionally out of control teaches him a few things:

1. Screaming and yelling is how we handle big feelings.

When your child has trouble regulating his emotions, and you respond in a similar manner (by yelling or screaming, also), you are teaching him that this is how one deals with overwhelming feelings.

2. If this is how adults deal with upset feelings, it must be the right way.

When your child sees you dealing with upset feelings by yelling or screaming, he begins to think this is the right way.  In his eyes, you are all knowing.  He looks up to you.  For better or for worse. Consider that children learn mostly by imitating what they see.  What message do you wish to send to your child about managing BIG feelings?

3. This is the quickest way to get my needs met.

If you holler, "Stop that yelling this instant!" your child sees yelling as something one does when he wants to get his way. This is hardly the lesson we want to reinforce for our child.

What is Lost?

When we yell at our child during heated moments, we have lost an opportunity to teach him a better way.  Don't let that opportunity slip your fingers.  Stay calm.  Help your child calm down.  Say, "Right now your engine is all revved up. Let's take some deep breaths together to help you calm down," or, "You're angry, let's run in place until your anger is gone," or "How can I help you shrink your anger down so we can solve this problem?"  Yelling at a child removes the possibility of teaching for a better tomorrow.  Stop yelling. You can start today!

Go here get our FREE MP3 download and printables that introduce you to our Anger Toolbox for Kids.


Nicole said…
I needed to read this today. My daughter is really testing me and I am starting with a cold- a good reminder to show her how to act by my actions!

Awwww...I hope you feel better soon! I am glad this post helped you get through the day!

Stay tuned for Time-In Not Time-Out, a groundbreaking book about dealing with some of the most common prolems parents face with their kids! I a co-authoring this book with Dr. Lynne Kenney and Ava Parnass. It's coming soon!

In the meantime, know that we are all in this together!

Wendy =)
thricecursed said…
I'm glad I came across this article today... Sometimes a mirror is not so nice, but it might make my life a little more peaceful.

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