I don’t make a habit of yelling at my child. But, I have been guilty of raising my voice out of frustration in the past. As it turns out, I’m not the only one. Experts say that parental yelling is on the rise.
According to The Wall Street Journal, three out of four parents yell, scream or shout at their children or teens about once a month. But, is that a bad thing?
Parenting trainer and author, Adele Faber says that calling attention to something while shouting is ok. However, belittling or blaming a child crosses the line. With that said, parents should avoid saying things like, “Why can’t you ever remember?” or, “You always get this wrong!”
Faber advises parents to begin sentences with “I” rather than “You.” This would allow parents to get out of attack mode. “Say what you don’t like, then add what you would like or expect,” she says.
Experts say that parents shout because they take children’s misbehavior personally. They get frustrated and lash out in response to what they perceive as rebellion.
One study suggests that yelling at a child could lead to behavioral problems and depression down the road, while another claims that yelling could negatively affect future romantic relationships.
If you’re a yeller, there are ways to control your temper. The next time you feel overwhelmed, here are a few things to do before lashing out at your kids.
1. Take deep breaths. Whenever my daughter pushes me to my breaking point, I pause, inhale, then exhale.
2. Think of a pleasant place. Sometimes I pretend I’m on a warm island soaking up the sun. Believe it or not, it helps.
3. Count to ten. Rather than raise my voice, counting whips my little girl right into shape.
4. Ask your spouse or someone you trust to take over. Whenever I feel like I’m going to explode, I tell my husband to jump in, so that I can calm down.
5. Leave the room. When all else fails, I make sure the kids are in a safe place and walk away for a few minutes.
I reached out to other parents to find their thoughts on yelling, and how they avoid shouting at their kids. Here’s what they had to say.