As parents, emotions often get the best of us. No matter how much we plan to be friendly and understanding parents for our kids, we often find punishments and yelling the best resorts for intolerable attitude. While any outburst or frustration is pretty normal among parental circles, it leaves a damaging mark on child’s personality. Parents need to maintain a relationship of mutual respect and authority with their children which is hard to achieve when parents themselves are incapable of handling their emotions. In order to teach children how to behave and handle their emotions, this article shows ways to improve a child’s behavior without yelling at them.
Why do Parents Yell?
You may think that your anger is a response to something your child did. However, there is always an underlying reason for such outbursts. Most common reason is that parents are usually overwhelmed with their duties all day, whether it is house chores, job, child care or any other issue. Psychologists suggest that in order to raise children effectively, parents should first understand their responsibility and consequence of their own behavior instead of their kids’. Understand that kids learn from home first and when we are dedicating so much time on making them learn new skills, values, social skills, we ought to watch out our behavior as well. It is important to find the root cause of your frustration and take care of yourself first, both physically and emotionally. Take some rest during the day, give yourself a treat, and find things and activities that make you happy.
How Yelling Harms the Child?
Children learn from what they see and experience, not what they are told. It is accurately said that children are great ‘mimickers’. When shouting and yelling becomes a norm by parents, children are most likely to follow in their suit. Apart from adopting such behavior, there are several negative and damaging effects that yelling can have on children. These include:
- Yelling expresses parents’ anger which in turn can make children nervous and insecure in long term due to feeling of being unloved.
- The act of yelling at children can allow the perception that it is a normal behavior and thus, children can become more aggressive in their speech as well as actions.
- The disappointment and sudden grief that children can feel after being yelled at can result in withdrawal from parents, sullen responses and even selective deafness. This is quite common in adolescence where prolonged practice of yelling by parents result in emotional numbness of children.
- Yelling makes children susceptible to bulling and abuse in future as due to low self-esteem, the concept of self-respect and boundaries become blur.
- The act of yelling makes it difficult to send your message across as the child’s mind is already upset by your resentment. Remaining calm, on the other hand, makes a child believe that he/she is loved by parents under all circumstances and allows more flexibility on their part.
Tips to Reduce Yelling and Improve Behavior
It takes a lot of time and patience to raise a disciplined child. No single strategy is effective all the time to make your children listen to you. American Academy of Pediatricians (AAP) recommends formulating a long term yet clear strategy for yourself and your child to adopt at times when there are chances for your rage to build up. Based on recommendations of AAP and other psychologists, we have shortlisted most effective methods to counter the habit of yelling while working on your child’s behavior.
This refers to establishing some ground rules for expected behavior when the atmosphere is more calm and friendly. Let children know about your expectations from them in terms of conduct, study time, play time, house chores etc. This will save you from yell out these rules in future when children won’t be able to understand them in heat of moment.
Put Self-Care on Priority
Give yourself a break whenever needed. Parents who are more tired, sick or sleepless are more likely to respond aggressively towards bad behavior. If you feel welled up, try few recommended tricks to calm down. For instance, leave the room immediately to calm yourself down before losing it completely. This will also teach your children how to control their emotions in future. You can also count numbers or take specific number of deep breaths to calm yourself down. Make it a rule for your children as well.
Listen to your child
Try to keep your focus on your child’s behavior rather than reaction. If you see that the child is displaying a particular bad behavior in a pattern, try to talk to them instead of yelling. Make it a habit and motto to give them a chance to explain themselves first. When you will have this aim in mind, the yelling will reduce automatically resulting in better conversation and understanding with children. They can also open up about things that are disturbing them.
Avoid Threats and Focus on Consequences
When yelling becomes a norm, it often accompanies threats and punishments with them. Psychiatrists suggest that threats and consequences are more inclined to bringing shame, anger and humiliation to the child. This in turn lowers self-esteem of children and make then insecure about themselves. Whenever a child misbehaves, look for actions that can make your child understand consequences of his actions instead of insulting him or yelling at him for his mistake. If a child hits someone, take away his game or other things of interest for some time so next time, he knows the consequences.
Always Make them Understand their Mistake
Just as important it is to listen to your child and give them a chance, it is equally important to communicate with them regarding their bad behaviors. Once calmed down, your child should understand why his actions or words were wrong and how it hurt or disappointed others. Parents should provide a comfortable environment at home where everyone can respectfully present their opinions or concerns. Instead of blaming and shaming the children for their mistakes, present your perspective on their mistakes calmly to allow them to listen carefully and understand what is acceptable or unacceptable and why.
Appreciate their Good Behavior
Learn to notice how your child behaves all day, whether good or bad. Appreciate them when they display good behavior or keep themselves involved in a productive activity. Highlight their positive attitude and deeds within family and friends to help the child understand how good behavior makes him and people around him happy. Praise them for any efforts they put in the work given to them. This can reinforce positive behavior and build up self-esteem.