We’ve heard the debate over spanking our kids and seen the research, but what about yelling at them when they’ve done something wrong? A new study is now suggesting that yelling as a form of discipline can be just as harmful as spanking them. So for parents who have spared the rod – they might also want to lower their voices.
The Washington Post reports about the University of Pittsburgh study that finds yelling at tweens and teens poses the same negative effects as when we hit them as a form of discipline. The two year study found that kids who were yelled at (especially those who were insulted and cursed at) had behavioral problems and were suffering from depression. The same results were found for kids who were yelled at and live in an otherwise warm and loving home
Aside from causing depression, yelling as a form of discipline appears to be ineffective in getting kids to stop the bad behavior. Mom of three and parenting coach, Meghan Leahy, explains what kind of message we send our kids when we yell. She says, “If you yell at your child, you either create somebody who yells back at you or somebody who is shamed and retreats. You’re either growing aggression or growing shame. Those are not characteristics that any parents want in their kids.”
Of course it’s easy to tell parents not to yell at their teens, but at an age where hormones are raging and kids are testing the waters of rebellion it can be hard for a parent not to lose their cool. It’s important to try and remind yourself that yelling or insulting your child won’t really get you anywhere. Experts recommend waiting 20 minutes when you feel yourself bubbling over and then think over the problem when you’re more calm. Also if you do catch yourself yelling, set a good example by apologizing to your child for losing your temper.
What do you think of the recent study that suggests yelling at children can be just as harmful as hitting them?
How do you discipline your kids? What do you find is most effective?