Many parents resort to yelling or shouting when their children do not listen. However, this may be damaging to your child in many ways. It can even affect the way your child behaves in school and what he thinks of himself. As a mother to many (with experience in nannying and babysitting), I have researched this topic extensively over the years.
Are You Healing or Hurting Your Child?
Parental actions can either be the cause of a child's negative reactions or the cause of their healing process. It is up to the parent to decide which is better for their child. Obviously, most would choose the latter.
What Are Some of The Negative Effects of Yelling?
Multiple studies have shown that yelling can cause many negative effects for children. Some of those effects are feelings of fear, feeling insecure, feeling unworthy, low self-esteem, misbehavior in school or other public places, disruptive behavior, immunity to any type of discipline that involves yelling or speaking loudly, and many more.
Is Your Child Worth The Struggle Not to Yell?
Children are a difficult crowd to please at times, especially those with behavioral issues or those used to getting their own way. But, it can be much easier if you are willing to go through a small period of struggle first. What have you got to lose? You are likely already struggling, so a short-lived struggle is much better than an everyday one.
First Steps in Ending Yelling As a Form of Discipline
The first thing you need to do is make the conscious decision that you will no longer yell or shout at your child. There is a difference between speaking with a firm tone and yelling or shouting. When you speak with a firm tone, you are simply flattening your voice and you have a serious look on your face. You will be just a touch louder than normal, but you will not be close to yelling. If you are downstairs and someone upstairs can hear you, you are too loud and you are yelling.
Organizing Your "No-Yelling" Plan
Once you have made the decision not to yell anymore, you need a plan. Write down all the possible misbehaviors that you think your child might partake in. It doesn't have to be too specific. For example, taking a Barbie from a sibling and taking a book from a sibling is essentially the same thing, so that category could be "Using Other People's Property Without Permission". Organize the list and be sure that you don't have items that could be contained into the same category.
After you have that list, rewrite it neatly on a separate piece of paper, leaving a few lines blank after each category. In those blank lines, write down what type of discipline could be used for each item. Some types of discipline will be repeated.
Putting The No-Yelling Discipline Plan Into Action
Think of a creative way to organize your list and frame it. Place it in an area that will be easy to access for the whole family. Whenever a child misbehaves, take him or her to the list and show him or her what the appropriate punishment is. Follow through every time. This means every time your child repeats an action that is not acceptable, take that child to chart and each time follow through with the corresponding punishment.
The adjustment may be hard at first, but over time, it will get easier for you as well as for your child.
Note: The author's positive parenting method has evolved into what she calls Upstream Parenting.
*I originally published a version of this via Yahoo Contributor Network
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