Each family’s experiences raising a child are distinct and filled with different challenges. However, there are several common parenting errors that might leave a bad impression on your child. One of them is screaming and yelling at your children. Being aware that we are our children’s first superheroes and idols is one of the most important things to remember as parents. From a very young age, our children internalise all of our acts and characteristics, even the little ones. A 2014 study in The Journal of Child Development demonstrated that yelling produces results similar to physical punishment in children: increased levels of anxiety, stress and depression along with an increase in behavioral problems. (Also read: Tips for parents to make studying fun for children )
“Yelling for protection is different from yelling for correction. If your child is sprinting towards a busy street, that’s not the time to speak gently and offer choices. Yelling for their protection in that scenario would be 100% appropriate. However, if you regularly yell as a form of correction in your home, your child is far less likely to take you seriously and to stop immediately when you try to yell as a form of protection. Many of us grew up with caregivers who regularly yelled at us and we may find ourselves resorting to yelling when we don’t feel heard by our children.” says Parenting Coach, Rachael in her recent Instagram post. She further suggests four important reasons why you should stop yelling at your children.
1. It makes behavioural problems worse
Yelling, as a form of correction, teaches a child that problems are solved best with violence and aggression, therefore, perpetuating the cycle of negative behaviour inside the home. Many of us struggle with yelling because we did not have caregivers who modelled self-control, emotion regulation or effective communication to us in childhood.
2. It can lead to depression or anxiety
Humans instinctively yell as a form of protection, but when used as a form of correction, yelling creates relational tension & floods a child’s brain with stress hormones.
3. It changes brain development
Yelling, as a form of correction, alters and may even damage a child’s social, emotional & brain development. Yelling has been shown in multiple studies to stunt the growth of the Pre-frontal Cortex, responsible for the development of logic & reasoning (among other things) and the Amygdala, responsible for assigning the right emotional responses to a given circumstance.
4. It affects their physical health
A recent study found a link between consistent negative childhood experiences, including verbal abuse, and physical conditions in adulthood such as arthritis, bad headaches, back & neck pain & other chronic conditions.