Screaming at someone does not make your message any clearer and children are no different. Sometimes it does the opposite. The expression “turn a deaf ear” literally is what happens. They will learn to tune you out and discipline will be harder because every time you raise your voice, it will lower their receptivity. But that doesn’t mean you should never raise your voice. No one is perfect and I don’t believe there is any group of people who can say they are. What they are quick to point out is why you should not do something, but never how in case you do.

Remember that your children will believe what you say to them, it doesn't matter how loud you say it.

MeCalien Trevino

Raising your voice at the right time, in the right way is ok but only when absolutely needed. If you tend to yell or shout all the time, the effect is diminished each time you do. Thus, the point is never received. It is completely understandable that if your 3-year-old is darting into the road, I would scream at the highest level humanly possible “STOP!” But continuing to scream afterward can really do more harm than good. The point is, to make sure the point is heard in a strong, calm compassionate tone so they know what they did wrong.

Yelling does not make you a bad parent, it makes you a human parent. Frustration will eventually get the best of you but the trick is to turn that frustration into a positive. Be clear in your words, keep it brief, clearly outline the expectations when you slip and scream. Don’t worry, despite what you may read, you are not permanently damaging your children. We know how we deliver that scream and how many times we do it can be harmful but if you always think about the delivery and how often, you will be ok. Every relationship will have a balance of positive and negative moments. There have been intensive studies and they show that for every negative moment, we need five positive interactions to keep the relationship healthy and in balance. These studies were done with couples, but have been applied to the parent/child relationship as well. A smile, a touch, small gestures. I bet you do a lot of those small gestures with your children throughout the day. We are all going to get angry and do things that we aren’t so proud of, it’s how we make up for those things that count.


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