Raising a child is like walking in a park- a jurassic park! Although they are one of the most adorable creatures to walk this planet, children often leave adults frustrated- especially their parents.
It is not uncommon for parents to lose patience with their children. And most parents admit that they tend to yell at their kids when they’re about to lose their composure. But although it is normal to see parents yelling at their children when they are misbehaving, science says it is doing more harm than good to your kids.
According to a study published in year 2014, The Journal of Child Development, yelling to your children has an effect to them which is similar to physical punishment. Children who received regular shouting from their parents tend to have lower self-esteem and higher rates of depression, anxiety, and stress.
Dr. Laura Markham, founder of Aha! Parenting and author of Peaceful Parent, says that regularly yelling at your children is only preparing you for more shouting matches with them once they bloomed in their teenage years.
“The power parents hold over young kids is absolute. To them, their folks are humans twice their size who provide things they need to live: Food, shelter, love — Nick Jr. When that person they trust implicitly frightens them, it rocks their sense of security. And yes, it’s truly frightening for a child. “ Dr. Markham said, explaining how children perceive their parents.
According to Dr. Markham, whenever parents yell at their kids, they are changing how their brains work. “Let’s say during a soothing experience [the brain’s] neurotransmitters respond by sending out soothing biochemicals that we’re safe. That’s when a child is building neural pathways to calm down.” Dr. Markham explained.
Hence, when parents yell at their children, they are sending signals to their brains that they are in danger.
“The kid releases biochemicals that say fight, flight, or freeze. They may hit you. They may run away. Or they freeze and look like a deer in headlights. None of those are good for brain formation.” Thus, if a child will receive regular yelling, the ‘fight, flight, or freeze’ reaction will be ingrained in their personality.
Just like how adults hate to be shouted at, kids do not react positively to their parents who constantly raise their voice at them. “When parents yell, kids acquiesce on the outside, but the child isn’t more open to your influence, they’re less,” Dr. Markham added, explaining that shouting will only discourage your child from listening to you.
If yelling at your children is not the right way of disciplining them, then what should you do? According to a study, engaging in a calm conversation with children is more effective than shouting at them.
In her research, Dr. Markham says that it is better for Parents to incorporate humor in disciplining their children. “If the parent responds with a sense of humor, you still maintain your authority and keep them connected to you.”
However, Dr. Markham clarified that there are times when it is advisable to raise your voice to your kids. “When you have kids hitting each other, like siblings, or there’s real danger.“ The esteemed doctor added. “These are instances when shocking them works, but she points out that once you get a kid’s attention, modulate your voice.”
In simple words, parents should yell to get their attention and warn their children, but they need to regulate their voice in explaining what they did wrong.
No matter how mischievous children tend to be, we must keep in mind that they are still children. They have no grasp about the consequences of their actions. They lack the emotional maturity to be treated like an adult.
Also, in the long run, your child will forget what you yelled them for, but they will never forget the times you raised your voice at them and made them feel insecure.
That being said, parenting sure is the hardest job in the world, but it is also one of the most fulfilling. Though there are no perfect parents, each day is an opportunity to learn how to improve and be a better parent. At the end of the day, children are not conscious about their actions, but adults are.
Let us not allow our emotions take the better of us. After all, we may not have full control over our kids, but we do have full authority over our emotions and reactions. Show your kids that you can handle even the most frustrating situation, and they will surely be able to emulate your positive actions!