Why You Shouldn’t Yell at Kids (According to Experts)

According to experts, these are the reasons you shouldn’t yell at kids and how to find other ways to express yourself.

Photo by @jordanmcmillansmith, featuring Rust Collection

Today’s kids are growing up in a very different world than their parents and grandparents. Whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing is up to you, but there’s no doubt we learn more with each new generation. More recently, experts have come out with reasons why you shouldn’t yell at kids and how it could impact their development. It’s not hard to imagine why – after all, it’s clear that yelling (as opposed to other forms of expression or discipline) could impact self-esteem and kids’ mental health. Here’s what the experts are saying about why parents shouldn’t yell at their kids when they misbehave.

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Why Experts Say You Shouldn’t Yell at Kids

Research has revealed that yelling at kids is as harmful as spanking. In that case, what are parents supposed to do when kids misbehave? According to the study by the University of Pittsburg, tweens and teens who were “yelled” at by their parents were more likely to be depressed or have behavioral problems. Even the most loving homes were susceptible to behavioral and mental problems if yelling was a normal occurrence. However, experts agree that it’s not always the raised voice that’s the problem – it’s what parents say. One of the main arguments why you shouldn’t yell at kids is that you may also be raising a kid who will yell back. 

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How to Yell at your Kids Less and Get Results

Does this research leave you wondering if your kids will even listen if you never yell? What really is a “yell” anyway? There’s a big difference between a raised voice and screaming at a little kid. Maybe both seem warranted sometimes. After all, every child is different and responds differently to yelling.

It sounds strange, but there may actually be a “right” way to yell at your kids. Try these quick parenting tips for how to yell at your kids less:

  • Make it clear that a child’s actions are frustrating, not the child themselves. Parents who yell at kids for being “slow” or calling them “dumb” are the examples experts are concerned about. However, raising your voice to yell at your kids to get dressed NOW is simply showing how serious you are and not criticizing them directly.
  • You probably shouldn’t yell at kids when they’re simply too young to understand. A toddler won’t understand your frustrated yell like an older child will. Yelling at your toddler will probably only result in tears, not a change in behavior.

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  • Simply don’t yell if you don’t have to. It’s certainly possible to be strict with your kids without a raised voice. Sternness isn’t synonymous with yelling, and kids will still be motivated to comply.
  • The problem comes when parents get carried away. Yelling at kids is normal to an extent. In the heat of the moment, taking your emotions too far could traumatize children. If you feel those emotions rising too high, take a break or simply walk away.
  • Learn what behaviors trigger your yelling. Focus on making yourself aware of why you yell at your kids so you can determine when it’s truly warranted and when you’re just overwhelmed. If it’s often the same behaviors, look for specific ways to combat them or specific punishments for them, such as a timeout or taking away a toy.

Perhaps instead of saying you shouldn’t yell at kids, it’s more appropriate to say that parents should yell less or be more mindful of how their yelling could impact their kids. As with any parenting advice, always remember that every child is different and will react differently to actions like yelling.

What do you think about new research that you shouldn’t yell at kids?

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