By: Krystle Crossman
When we are frustrated with our kids for doing something that we don’t want them to do we sometimes yell at them. While it may appear to work instantly there are some long-term effects that may make you think twice about yelling and look for other ways to punish them instead. Yelling is meant to make the child realize that what they are doing is bad and even though we don’t want to, it is made to make them feel bad about themselves. Some kids do not like the yelling and will stop whatever it is that they are doing but some will test you and continue the bad behavior.
Yelling is also called Harsh Verbal Discipline. Some parents take it to the extreme and swear at their child as well. They feel that when they curse the child will know that they mean business and that they are really upset. What they don’t think about is the implications that this could have on the child later in life. Some parents also resort to name calling which can damage a child’s self-esteem very quickly. Here are some of the long-term effects of HVD:
1. Lack of trust – A study from the University of Michigan and the University of Pittsburgh found that a child’s level of trust in their parent dips significantly when they are constantly yelled at. Even if you apologize after your outburst it still will not change the effects of the HVD. They will still lose trust every time that yelling or swearing occurs. Instead of using HVD parents should try to communicate to their child that whatever it is that they are doing is not appropriate and calmly find a way to constructively punish them. Do not speak to them like they are children, speak to them like you would an adult and let them know about the consequences of their actions. The trust will not diminish with this method because they will see that you are concerned about them and want to take care of them.
2. Hostility – The angrier you become with your child the angrier they will become with you. What starts as an episode of behaving badly can turn into a full-blown tantrum or violent episode. Remember that the emotion you express is the emotion that you may invoke from your child. If you scream at them they will most likely scream right back. If you call them names they will come right back at you. When you call your child names their self-esteem diminishes and they could end up with depression. They feel like they are not worth anything and cannot do anything right. Before you yell at your child or use HVD remember that their emotions are important and there are other ways to help them see that what they are doing is inappropriate.