Parents of teenagers often find themselves feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. The teen years are particularly difficult for teens as they struggle for an independence they are not quite mature enough to have. As a result, parents often resort to verbal forms of discipline, such as yelling or even using labels such as "dumb" or "lazy." However, according to an article published today by Yahoo! News, parents who use such tactics may find that their children's behavior does not improve and, in fact, that it worsens over time.
The article cites a study conducted by the University of Pittsburgh, which found that teens whose parents yell at them or use other forms of "harsh verbal discipline" are more likely to escalate their own behavioral problems in response, rather than curtailing them. Sadly, there is often a cycle of behavioral problems and discipline, with parents responding negatively to behaviors and teens responding negatively to discipline.
The problem affects a huge percentage of families, since a previous study found that 90 percent of parents in the United States have used some form of verbal discipline as a means to controlling their children's behavior. It is unfortunate that so many parents think that yelling at their kids is an acceptable way to communicate, and it is hard to understand why they would believe it could be effective. One need only stop to think how he or she responds to being yelled at or labeled with derogatory terms to realize that using harsh words does not encourage communication. Being yelled at causes virtually everyone to bristle in response, and it should not be surprising to parents when their teens react the same way.