When your kids don’t behave the way you expect them to, when they are disrespectful, when they hit or even make mistakes, many parents raise their voices and shout at their children. Sometimes, even if they don’t really want or mean to, it seems like there is no other choice, however, you might be surprised to hear that yelling does more harm than good. Not only does it make you feel guilty, but your children will live in a stressful environment where at any moment their favorite person may raise their voices. Want to stop this harmful habit? Check out the 10 tips that will help you stop yelling at your kids.
You wouldn’t yell at an annoying neighbor, would you? After all, it won’t cause them to stop being annoying. Then why do so many parents think it is normal to yell at their children to try and change them? "Parents assume that because everybody does it, yelling is harmless," said the late Dr. Murray A. Strauss, director of research at the University of New Hampshire. "That's not the case. Yelling belittles kids and undermines the parent-child bond."
Repeat if necessary, and avoid raising your voice. "If necessary, hold your child firmly and explain that what he's doing is not okay," said Straus. According to one of his studies, Strauss concluded that children whose parents yell at them or even hit them have an 80 percent chance of repeating the treatment they received that same day, and 50 percent chance of returning to do it within a few hours. So, repeat your message and emphasize it without raising your voice or your hands on your children.
You've already told your child to pick up his/her toys and get ready for bed, but when you returned after 5 minutes to their room, their toys were still everywhere. Instead of losing your temper, close his eyes and breathe deeply. "Take a break," says Michelle LaRowe, author of the book "A Mom’s Ultimate Book of Lists." While you're in “time-out,” think about what you will tell your child without yelling.
According to LaRowe, using a firm voice, even if it is soft, is the most effective way to influence the child. "When you speak in a calm but firm soft voice, children have to work to listen—and they almost always do. The calmer and softer you speak, the more impact your words will have," You can even try to whisper, and not only will your child understand your instructions better, you also won’t lose your voice trying to convey your message to them.
All of our children are good, sometimes they just don’t know how they are expected to behave or they are testing your limits. Just as you wouldn’t yell at a child who falls when they are first learning how to ride a bicycle, there is no reason to shout at a child who is learning how to behave. "For some reason, we think that punishment should be our teaching tool," says Dr. Rex Forehand, author of "Parenting the Strong-Willed Child." If your child hits another child who stole a toy, Rex recommends seeing this as an opportunity to teach the child how to behave correctly, and to explain to them why hitting is bad. "It's okay to be angry, but you do not have to hit, you can tell your friend that you're angry at him with words." Yelling won’t help, but your explanation will teach the child how to behave.
One of the reasons why many parents get mad at their children is because children test limits, and this happens when parents don’t keep to their word when children break the rules. If your child is watching TV and you tell him/her to turn it off, but after five minutes still see the TV on and you say "turn off the TV or you'll get punished" and after 5 minutes you're still talking, and not acting, you’ll only find yourself frustrated. To prevent this, you must simply set clear rules and abide by them, without allowing your children to test you. If you specify a consequence, follow through.
You can’t sit a baby in a car for hours and expect them to remain calm, and you can’t expect a toddler to go to the mall for hours without getting tired. Know what to expect from your child by age and state of development, and act accordingly; limit your supermarket time or shop online instead of dragging your kids along for long stretches of boring shopping, and find ways to keep your children happy even when you can’t avoid it.
Children like to get attention from their parents, even if it sometimes is negative. Parents tend to give their children attention by praising them and giving them rewards for good behavior and punishing them for bad behavior, and your children will get what they can from you. Instead of responding with shouting, you may want to ignore children when they are acting out, such as when they cry to get your attention. If you yell at them, you’ll just be giving them what they want, teaching them that If they want your attention they need to be bad to get it.
If your boss yells at you, are you going to listen to him, or will you be busy feeling shame and anger? Michelle LaRowe says that when you yell at your children, you risk damaging the sense of self-worth. Furthermore, they don’t actually have the chance to process what you’re saying because their busy focusing on how you're saying it. If you want to teach your children what is acceptable and what is not, do it without making them feel shame and embarrassment.
Your children have driven you crazy all day and you tried to keep cool, but in the end, there was one small case that made you lose your temper and yell at them - you raised your voice and now you can’t go back. In such a case, Dr. Rex Forehand recommends talking to your children once you've cooled down saying, "It's important for me to explain to you that I didn’t mean to raise my voice, and I didn’t mean to get upset." Dr. Forehand goes on to say, "Explain to them that it frustrates you when they don't listen, and ask them to do better and that you will, too."