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Is Yelling the New Spanking For Parents Disciplining Children – Can it Harm?

For many children growing up in America before the 1990’s, they may have heard their mom or dad say go outdoors and “get me a switch.” Those dreaded words may have disappeared from the disciplinary arsenal of most current parents, but according to TODAY Moms, yelling may have replaced spanking. Is it right to yell at your kids as the go to option and is it effective?

yelling and screaming at the kids can harm them when they are older
Photo Credit - Atlanta Black Star

Every parent has felt the notion to let out an instantaneous scream when a child is uncontrollable in a store, or is misbehaving at the park or simply getting on a parent’s last nerve at home. So if parents are not allowed to spank their child in public, at a park or in their home because of possible intervention by the local Department of Family Services what remains?

Of course there are answers, and for many parents understand that in many instances it is easier to just yell “shut up!” or “Shut up because I said so!” as the instant remedy for silencing their child and shutting down bad behavior. For other parents it is the gradual escalation where mere words of reassurance are tossed back them by the child like a gauntlet on the familial battlefield.

So the only resort that parents feel left is to yell, and the louder the better control they feel, according to Kerry Lyons who is a Irvington New York mom, reports TODAY Moms. “I feel guilty and I feel like I just wish I had more control, she told TODAY Moms.

According to the mom, it was not simply the yelling itself which she was feeling upset about but the continuous uncontrolled avalanche of words that spilled out of her mouth. She added, “It’s the “rotten, mean and nasty” yelling – the kind that scares her kids, she offered that she needed to stop doing, reported TODAY Moms.

Many child behavioral experts have found that yelling actually is counterproductive if it is used as a constant disciplinary technique. This is due in part to the level of yelling as well as the demeaning words that are used does not promote good behavior and teaches the child nothing about correcting the behavior.

George Holden, a psychology professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas is an expert on parent-child relationships stresses that if a parent simply uses yelling infrequently, and then there is no true harm. Yet, he states that “The danger is that some negative and demeaning comments might slip out or it could impact the kids’ feelings about themselves or their self-worth or their self-esteem,according to TODAY Mom.

Yelling as a discipline measure only has worsening impact upon teens according to a recent study published last fall in the Child Development journal.Harsh verbal discipline – defined as a parent yelling, cursing and hurling insults, such as calling the child dumb or lazy – is a common practice among American families with adolescents,” the study affirms.

Parents who engage in this type of behavior where yelling and berating a child is their disciplinary method run the very real risk of increasing of increasing, “the teens’ conduct problems and symptoms of depression,” suggests the Child Development journal study.

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