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Dec 6, 2021
Second of 2 essays on effective strategies to stop yelling at your children
Has yelling become the new spanking?
Sure. It’s a more socially acceptable way to deliver discipline and get kids’ attention. Many in our generation grew up being yelled at and even spanked, so it’s what we know. And we may deem it normal.
But it's harmful.
It's scary, aggressive and intimidating for them. Acconpanying facial expressions are really angry and scary. If we get results (usually in the short term), it's because they're scared and want us to stop yelling. Not because they actually made a decision to alter their behavior.
Over time, kids will either shut down or learn to tune it out.
6️⃣ Know what’s considered normal behavior
Some of your children's behavior are simply nomal and age appropriate.
Realizing about it makes the action less personal. Put it into perspective to help yourself taking the edge off. The idea that they shouldn't be that way and that there's something wrong with your kids and yourself otten makes you yell.
Seeing them otherwise will help for them becoming behaviors to cope with, and not tactics intended to drive you crazy.
7️⃣ Be proactive
Think of it as strike while the iron's cold approach to parenting.
Bring snacks to head off mid-hike whining. Involve them in packing activities to keep them busy while you're running errands. They will be less likely to fight with each other.
In a nutshell, prepare in advance.
8️⃣ Adjust your expectations
Oftentimes, our high hopes for an outing or event don’t meet the reality.
Plan a shorter walk. Run fewer errands. Issue one directive at a time. Or abandon your expectations altogether.
Keeping expectations realistic is key.
9️⃣ Recognize when it’s about you, not your child’s misbehavior
Yelling is often about more than a misbehaving child.
It can be an outward manifestation of our own unmet needs. Whether lack of proper sleep, feeling unappreciated or any other issue... just ask yourself what else is going on for you.
Sometimes, it's all it takes to take it out on them because there’s something wrong with you.
🔟 Have a yelling debrief
Saying sorry models appropriate behavior for children.
They will follow it more easily if they ever lose their temper, because they will cement the link between the big feeling and the resulting yelling. Talk about what prompted the yelling (the parent losing control and the child needing to modify his/her behavior). Go for a win-win team approach and find a way to solve it for the future. It takes the sting out of an ugly situation and reminds your kids you're human, and that leads you to speak in ways you're not proud of.
The healthiest and most effective way to teach any child is building them up, not breaking them down.