4 Effects of Yelling and 8 Tips to Stop
The 2-year-old is yelling for the millionth time because his 4-year-old brother just took away his toy. Dinner is on the stove boiling; your husband is at work late again and you are on your own. Anxiety and feelings of overwhelm is building like a pressure cooker until “STOP TAKING TOYS FROM YOU BROTHER LEAVE HIM ALONE!” Wide eyed the 4-year-old just looks at you, then burst into tears and runs off to his bedroom.
Does this sound familiar to you? This is my exact situation that has occurred to me way too often. After I yell the guilt sets in. this always leads to Cursing myself and telling myself I am the worst mom ever. My confidence is shot, and my nerves are fried. My poor soon is scared and thinking he is no good. I write this not only for other mothers in my situation but for myself.
The first step to breaking the habit of yelling is to understand what the effects are of yelling are on your kids. Here are the 4 effects of yelling and 8 tips to stop.
The effects of Yelling
1. Yelling scares kids.
I can attest to this effect. When I yell at my son’s fear paralyzes them and my oldest son will run to safety which is away from me. One of the best advice I have ever read was to video tape yourself yelling like you would yell at your children. Your face changes. It becomes grotesque.
Remember the movie Monsters Inc. In the end Sully the big blue monster roars at a dummy to demonstrate scaring technique to new recruits. Poor boo runs up just in time to see his roar and it terrifies her. Sully sees the screens that recorded his roar and is frozen on a nasty picture of him roaring.
No imagine you are sully and your child is boo. This is why yelling instill fear in them. The last thing we want is for our children to fear us. We want
them to run to us to help them with their problems but if the do not feel safe around us then they won’t even when they grow up and have real problems.
2. Yelling causes insecurities and low self-esteem.
If you are being yelled at constantly do you think you’re going to feel good about yourself. The best way to understand this effect is to put yourself in their shoes. If you had a boss who yelled at you a lot would you think your doing a good job?
3. Yelling can Cause Aggression
We have all heard about fight or flight mode. Our body senses danger and will then decide if we need to fight or run. When we yell at our kids their bodies are detecting a danger. They then decide if it is best to fight or run. My child will run away to safety; however, it is common for a child to carry that fear and turn it into aggression.
We, as parents, are in charge or teaching our children. The best way you will ever teach your child is by example. If you are teaching them to yell when you get angry, frustrated, or overwhelmed then they are soaking in exactly what
to do when they feel those emotions.
I have caught my 4-year-old yelling at his two-year-old brother. Why? Because that is what mom and dad do. That is obviously how you handle hard situations. Is this okay? Absolutely not! I get after him and make his say sorry to his brother. But how hypocritical of me! We need to teach how to handle the stress of life by our examples.
4. Yelling Causes Anxiety
This goes hand in hand with aggression. Instead of turning around and showing aggression to other they get stuck in fight or flight mode. This is when their bodies are producing the stress hormones and prevents them from going back into normal mode.
This is exactly how my anxiety feels like. I am on edge waiting around for the ice to crack and my anxiety to swallow me up. When the tantrums start and the chaos of a normal home life with little children causes my anxiety to crack. Therefore, I yell.
Does Yelling work?
By my own experience I have seen worse behavior when I yell. I have seen more disrespect for me and for his brother because of my yelling. He is more stressed out and handles stressful situations poorly. Does he even answer or do what I say when I yell? Absolutely not! In fact, the more I yell the less he listens. Yelling does not work!
How Can we Stop yelling?
First off, it is best to understand that you can not quit yelling forever. You will have slip ups. Stress and anxiety are my constant companions. So never yelling at my children seems like an impossible task. It is possible to yell less!
1. Prepare for any possible stressful situation.
If getting out the door on time stresses you out and causes you to yell then give yourself 30 extra minutes to calmly get things in order and the kids ready to walk out the door.
2. Understand why you yell
If you know your triggers, then you can know when you are going to need to watch yourself. If dinner time is hard for you then be extra vigilant. When you are mindful of yourself it is easier to stop yourself before the yelling begins. It is also easier to avoid those situations if possible. If you have anxiety look at these tips to help you find peace in your own body and prevent you from boiling over. Also watch for the things that could be causing your anxiety. A simple adjustment could mean the difference between feelings of overwhelm and patience amidst the daily parental challenges.
3. Try warning your children
One of the best discipline books I have used is “1 2 3 Magic” talks about the 1 2 3 counting method. My children understand that when I begin to count then they better do what I ask before I get to 3. Once I count to 3 they go to time out then stay there for a minute for each year they have lived. For example, my 4-year-old would stay in time our for 4 minutes. To find this book to help you learn this excellent method that has helped me tremendously, click on the image below.
4. Give yourself a time out.
When you feel the stress building then turn off the stove and go to your bedroom. Lock that door and no matter the pounding or screaming behind the door, just breathe or scream into your pillow. It is better to yell at an object that can’t feel then at your children. Do whatever you can to help your stress to diminish. Then calmly face your kids.
5. Talk to your Children about things to do before you yell.
This is a wonderful parenting opportunity. Talk to your kids and make a list about things you can do before you yell. When they see you doing things on the list then it reinforces the list and ways to manage their feelings. For example, talk about how if you are getting overwhelmed then go upstairs and yell into your pillow. Next time you are about to yell, try out a few things on the list.
6. Discuss and teach when you are calm.
You are not teaching your child anything when you are yelling at them. It is okay to stop and take some separate time until things have cooled down. Then discuss with them what happened and teach them the lesson they need to hear. Don’t worry they are not going to forget what happened. It is better to be calm when you teach.
7. Understand what is normal for your child’s age.
I know I am guilty of being too hard on my first son. He is just barely 4 years old and I expect him to listen and obey quickly. We all need to realize that they are kids. Certain behaviors are normal for a child. When they are disrespectful it is because they do not know any better. Teach them. Sometimes a minor adjustment of our expectation can help us remain calm when they back talk or don’t listen right away. You are not a terrible parent because of this behavior. Just remember with consistency you can calmly teach them which behavior is right and which is wrong.
8. Talk to them about yelling especially when you mess up and yell.
We all know we are not perfect. We cannot go from yelling as a habit to zero yelling. We are going to make mistakes. However, it is what you do when you make that mistake that will teach your child to most. Once you regain your composure, sit your child down and say your sorry. A child needs to know that mom and dad make mistakes too and you are showing them by example how to handle your mistakes.
Tell them why you yelled, which behavior caused the yelling, and why yelling was not okay. Ask for their forgiveness then ask them to help you not to yell by correcting the bad behavior. If any punishment is required, then tell them why they are being punished. Try to remain calm and understand that they are kids and we are charged with the task to teach them.
It is okay if you lose it. I still struggle with staying calm. Parenting is hard. But if you want to teach your children the best way to handle their emotions, you must show them! This is not a one day quick fix. This will be for their entire childhood. But once you get into the good habits then it will be much easier not to yell. This will be better for your children, yourself, and your marriage in the long run. I promise if you try to stop yelling then you will find it easier to be happy and parenting will become less stressful for you and your child.