Why Yelling at Your Kids Doesn’t Work.

Generally, unless the house is on fire or some dangerous event will take place without a very loud warning, yelling is probably not necessary.

Cherylyn Feierabend,
July 12, 2008
Episode #073

Page 2 of 2

The way your child reacts to you yelling may not be the same as my kids’ reactions. Yelling may scare your child or anger them into retaliation. There is rarely going to be any positive response. It’s true that your kid may sense your anger the fifth or tenth time you yell at them to clean their room and they might finally go in there and start doing as they’ve been instructed, but there are much better ways to communicate. Yelling may very well leave you flustered and angrier than you were when you started. You could even wind up with a self-induced headache or sore throat.

I’ve noticed that when I’m yelling, it’s usually because I want something to change right now and it’s not happening. In other words, I’m not getting my way. If you find yourself frustrated and unable to communicate in a civil tone, I recommend that you take a deep breath, count to ten, and try a different method to get your point across.

One method I recommend is one I’ve talked about in a previous episode. It works for me most of the time. Say your child’s name in a non-accusatory tone. As if your next sentence might be “would you like ice cream?” Then when your child is actually looking at you with the intention of hearing you, firmly say what you need to say. At this point your child has to actually choose to hear you or ignore you. It’s harder to ignore someone while you are looking into their eyes. Another suggestion is to remove environmental influences. In other words, turn off the TV. Seriously, my kids are easily distracted by anything shiny, noisy, or moving. The attention span of a child is directly related to the joy the child will receive from the task currently in possession of that attention. My request to “please pick up the crayons and put them away” is definitely not as fun as the crayons’ request to “please draw happy faces on Mommy’s shopping list.”

As a parent, you can expect to repeat yourself more often than you’d like, but try to remember that if your children can hear you and aren’t responding, raising your voice is going to raise your blood pressure and cause more of the tension that you are already experiencing. Unfortunately, I know that I’m probably not done yelling at my kids, my husband, or my deaf cat. I will, however, continue to try to find other ways to get their attention in a more positive manner. The results are usually better for everyone involved, when Mommy is able to keep her cool and find better ways to communicate.

That’s it for now. I hope you’ve enjoyed the show. Thank you for listening.

If you’d like to request a topic for the Mighty Mommy you can e-mail me directly at mommy@quickanddirtytips.com.

This is your friend the Mighty Mommy wishing you happy and fun parenting!

Mother Yelling image courtesy of Shutterstock