Shouting at the child: a point-by-point reading

Shouting at the child: a point-by-point reading

You want to be a model parent, but the sand that desperately pulls the baby into his mouth, a broken pot, or caprices at the checkout at the store make adjustments. This article will talk about why adults snapped at children, tell you what the dangers of constant yelling and give some tips to help cope with irritation and anger.

Why do we yell at our children?

According to Justin Coulson, doctor of psychology, parenting expert and popular speaker, there are several reasons why parents yell at their children. The most common is in response to a child’s acts of disobedience when they refuse to eat, go to bed, misbehave on a walk, and so on.

Reason #1 Adults yell just because they can

Parents use yelling as a way of showing strength. It takes a long time for the child to respond in the same way.

Reason #2 We think that children provoke parents on purpose

Adults tend to forget that babies are situational: they easily break inhibitions and forget rational explanations under the influence of immediate desires. But the child does not wake up thinking: “I want to bring Mom or Dad, and does something to spite you. Because of his age, he just can’t control his behavior yet.

Reason #3 Screaming gets quick results

Yes, unlike long conversations and explanations, an elevated tone can have an instant effect on your child and he will start to obey you. Very often adults start yelling when time is limited and calm reasonable words don’t achieve their effect. But if you do it all the time, screaming will become nothing to your baby.

Reason #4 We yell because we don’t know how to act

Screaming is not the only method of influencing a child. It’s good if moms and dads improve their parenting skills: read expert literature on parenting, watch videos from recognized educators and psychologists, listen to special podcasts. By the way, at this link is an article with our selection of podcasts for young parents.

Reason #5 We yell because they yelled at us

Many people tell themselves they will never be like their mother or father. But the problem is that a pattern of behavior learned as a child is very likely to resurface.

Why yelling at a child is dangerous

Some experts conclude that a child’s healthy development can suffer from constant yelling and neglect from family members. Children who are yelled at run the risk of developing psychological problems, and they may have difficulty learning to speak and socialize.

Tips for parents

Calm, only calm

Very often, when we say to the baby, “Calm down!”, inside us is not at all calm, but a real hurricane of emotions. The problem is that anxiety is contagious, and yelling only makes it worse. But if a parent can get a grip, there’s a better chance that the child will calm down, too.

Learn to mentally acknowledge your emotions. For example: “I’m out/out of control and angry because the child is getting into the cat litter box for the hundredth time. I need to calm down and calmly explain to the baby one more time why it shouldn’t be done that way. Better yet, I need to figure out how to make the litter box inaccessible to the baby, but comfortable for the cat.

Psychiatrist Debbie Pincus advises parents a technique for talking positively to yourself. If you feel yourself starting to “boil over,” say to yourself, “Stop,” “Okay, breathe,” “Slow down,” “The child did something. Does it really matter?” Think about what helps you cope with anger and anxiety.

Give yourself time to react.

Important: We’re not talking about situations that might threaten your baby’s safety here. We’re talking about common childhood pranks like painted wallpaper or your lipstick flushed down the toilet.

So, there are two scenarios.

First. The baby does something – you on autopilot, reflexively react.

The second. The baby does something – you take a deep breath and think about what to say to the child.

Speak softly – it is more effective.

A calm voice makes you listen, while a shout makes you want to close up and hide. Therefore, it is important to speak constructively – it will allow you to build a trusting relationship.

Your child does not react to quiet speech? Approach it, sit down next to it, look into its eyes and take it by the hands. Then kindly say, “I just asked you (to do something). This is important because (explain the reason).


It’s important for moms and dads to release accumulated tension. Choose what’s right for you. Here are some ideas:

How to stop yelling at kids (and if it’s even possible)

Yelling at kids is just as bad as hitting them. A related study was published in the journal Child Development back in 2014. According to the experts, yelling can negatively affect a child’s behavior and emotional development. We at CHIPS Journal oppose all child abuse and want to introduce you to an excerpt from Victoria Dmitrieva’s book “It’s a Child! The School of Adequate Parents,” dedicated to punishment. With Victoria’s permission we publish a chapter entitled “Beat, shout, punish.

I was the perfect mother. Until I had children. I thought I would never raise my voice, much less raise my hand against a child. After all, I had studied so much child psychology and knew exactly all the possible consequences. No way! Never!

But after a couple of years, my dreams came crashing down.

Day after day, I suffered a pedagogical fiasco. The kids wouldn’t listen. Not the first time, not the tenth. At first my screaming would bring them to their senses. Then it stopped working. I began to snapped at spankings. But after hitting the child a couple of times, I realized that it did not help at all. Soon it seemed that the children purposely pounce, anxiously waiting for my mother to turn into a tantrum.

The same thing was happening to my husband. At some point I noticed that he did not speak to the children in a calm voice. Only in a raised tone of voice and in a commanding tone of voice. And raising his hand…

“I feel not just a monster, but a monster, I become disgusted with myself, but here, honestly, I try to fight it, little by little it turns out, and I really hope that I can cope! By the way, the fight against myself was made frightened child’s eyes, in which I recognized myself as a child, when my mother used to punish me. And the reasons for my breakdowns are absolutely petty, and do not need to react to them so react! In general, I do not want to ruin a child’s psyche and feel like a monster! I want to live in absolute love and harmony.

“I, honestly, and can yell and spank. Then I feel so ashamed and my heart sinks that I want to cry (and I do).

“I yell, yes… Then I feel ashamed and ask my daughter to forgive me – I don’t know if it’s right or wrong, but I want to and I ask, and she hugs me and says she forgives me. And so we live.

If it helped to bring up children – no problem! But the situation was becoming more and more unmanageable. Unmanageable parents and unmanageable children.

Imagine you and your husband and friends went to a restaurant, you’re having fun, you’re dancing… Your husband says, “You’ve had enough, let’s go home.” You don’t want to, you refuse, the fun is in full swing. The girlfriends still stay, no one leaves. And then, getting your refusal, your husband as a kick in the ass or face – for disobedience. In public. Shouting, “next time you’ll know!” Will that teach you to obey your husband? Bring you closer together? Will you respect him more? Love him?

When parents hit their children, they think they are teaching them discipline and obedience. But what they’re really teaching is:

  • to humiliate the weaker ones;
  • not to place the desires of others at any price;
  • to be afraid.

And they also create a huge gap between the child and the parent, into which all parental words and moral teachings fall, so it seems that “the child doesn’t hear me, he can’t be reached, only a whipping will help him, if I could just kick his ass once, so he knows”. But it almost never ends once, does it?

When you yell and raise your hand against a child, children:

  1. They get used to not looking for ways to solve the problem, but just wait out the scandal.
  2. Listen to you only when you speak in a raised tone.
  3. Do not feel safe with you and because of this they become nervous, disobedient, capricious.
  4. And you are getting more and more frustrated with the naughty and disobedient children.

When my husband and I realized that yelling and fighting didn’t work, we started looking for other ways to restore peace in the family.

I will say right away, everything got better very quickly when we realized the main reason – happy, rested, realized parents do not break down to yelling and even more so to spanking. So we have to start with the main thing.

No psychology will not help if your physical condition is close to critical. You can work as much as you want with the best psychologists in the country, but if you are very tired and sleep little – you somehow will break down into screaming and abuse.

If we regularly don’t get enough sleep, a lot of the stress hormone cortisol is released into the bloodstream. This hormone makes us aggressive and irritable. And it’s more powerful than any psychological lotion.

“It’s so right, I wish I had understood that a few months ago, the exhaustion was severe, vomiting every day. I didn’t even know it was possible to be so tired! The kids and my husband, of course, were the first to hit, and I honestly tried to control myself, and then I started crying all day long! My beloved husband took me away to rest without the kids! I miss my kids, but I’ll bring them a better mother.”

“My daughter asks me sometimes already: “Mom, did you get enough sleep?” Well, because I often say that I did not sleep, so angry.

Step 1 – first eliminate fatigue and lack of sleep. Throw all your energy, money, and time into that part of life. Instead of spending money on sedatives and psychologists, get a babysitter for two hours a day and get some sleep. If the baby won’t let you sleep, hire a sleep consultant. Do whatever it takes to save yourself.

Change the paradigm! Not “get things done first, and if there’s time left over, I’ll sleep in,” but “get some sleep first, and then I’ll get things done.”

The child will not remember how dirty your floors were at home. But he will remember the perpetually tired, screaming mother, who swings at him because of the spilled compote, and then cries and begs for forgiveness. Give your body a rest. Otherwise, it’s all useless.

It makes no sense to work with the consequences without eliminating the cause. If you forget about fatigue and lack of sleep, then you are the one who will later say:

“All these psychologists are rubbish, they didn’t help me.

  • Get at least eight hours of quality sleep in a row.
  • Naps should begin before midnight.
  • A change of picture and rest from the child at least a couple of hours a week.

If you have all of this, but frustration still occurs frequently, then we go in the direction of psychology. Then we start to talk about psychological problems.

But up to that point, it’s not the psyche, it’s hormones. It’s not the head that’s sick, but the body. And it needs help.

Well, dear ones, many have recognized themselves and… feel relieved.

After all, it seems that you are the only hysterical woman who yells at the child and beats him. Ashamed to talk about it. Ashamed, even to admit to myself: “I’m hard, I do not cope emotionally.

And there really are a lot of them! After all, most of you have knocked down the settings by default. In addition, many were beaten and humiliated in childhood, many were yelled at, and this is the reaction that pops up on automatic. Even though you don’t like it, you yourself are annoyed by it… These settings and no others come out anyway. It doesn’t mean that your parents are bad, they didn’t beat you up out of a good life either.

“I was brought up as a child (or rather, brought up by my dad) in such a strictness that my mother was not happy. I was afraid to say or ask for anything. In those moments I thought that I would never yell at my children or hit them. But I could yell like that, the older one, I remember, he got it a couple of times. After these “outbursts” feeling in the ina is just off the charts, but the child is all put off. I’m afraid that after a while they (especially my son – he gets the most out of me) will turn away. I even tried to tell them that when I yell, it doesn’t mean I don’t love them, just that I’m an unstable mom. It’s such a problem, how to get over myself. So many times I promised not to yell, but it doesn’t work.”

“It’s hard to remember my father’s aggressive swearing and loose hands. I still feel nauseous from the hurtful and unfair accusations, from the painful and humiliating slaps. He still pulls strings to this day – he will insult my husband in passing, or say nasty things about my children (his grandchildren)… We rarely see each other, and I learned how to defend myself, but he masterfully finds places to kick, and more painfully”.

“I see my father in front of me at such moments, yelling and hitting. He was exactly the same. I even say the same phrases. Even though my little one is only three years old.

If you were taught your whole life to crawl on all fours, then it would be hard for you to get on your feet. So consider that you are now in the process of learning to walk fully on two legs.

Just accept this fact – there is such a peculiarity of your character. But you work with it, you fight it. You care!

Look, there are people who weren’t beaten as children. They don’t have this problem at all. They do not yell at their children and do not beat them, not because they are so kind and patient, but because it is not sewn into their subconscious.

And on your part, it will be a tremendous progress, a tremendous work on yourself, an important step forward, even if you beat your child a little less or yell at him a little less than your parents did.

So you are already doing a great job of trying to behave differently. To change the situation is quite real!

Why am I writing this? Because step 2 is to get out of guilt completely. No, you are not taking responsibility for what is going on. But in order to work on yourself successfully, you need to get rid of the guilt. It’s going to get in your way. So right now, just stop! Life is already so worked out that you have certain mental reactions to certain events. You are in the process of change. It’s going to take time. That’s what should be on your mind, not “I’m a horrible mother, hysterical, my poor baby.”

If you’ve been breaking down for a long time and often, that’s a pattern of behavior you’ve already established. You can’t quickly learn to live your life in a new way. You will be learning, trying new things and gaining experience for some time. Most likely, during this time you will snap again several times. This is normal, because absolutely no one can “get up and go” right away, you have to fall and stumble a few times.

Step 3 – announce to everyone at home that you are going to stop screaming. It probably won’t work right away, but you will sincerely try.

Give the kids permission to interrupt you or leave the room when you start crossing the line.

Yes, it may violate the hierarchy and generally against the rules of decency, but after all, your yelling doesn’t fit into them either. So give your kids the opportunity to not just be the victim, but to be in a position to stop the situation.

You can come up with some kind of signal that everyone in the family can use. For example, raise your hand up or jump in one place. That is, as soon as any member of the family starts to lose their temper, the others have the right to point this out, not with the phrase “well dad, we agreed not to yell,” but with a jump or a song. The tension will be relieved.

Step 4 – lie down.

Yes, yes, lie down on the couch or bed and try to scream lying down. I bet that doesn’t work, does it?

In order to scream, a person needs to be under enough muscular tension. To kick, even more so. Relaxed lying down, it will be very difficult for you to do it.

But then how do you bring up children? If shouting and hitting is ineffective? Sometimes you have to punish the child.

Here I have to remind you that preschoolers have a very poorly developed area of the brain responsible for self-control. They sincerely want to behave better, but at the very moment of events, if they want to, they cannot control themselves. Not because they do harm, not because they want to spite you, but simply because of the features of their physiology.

So your words will not help.

A child is not brought up by words, but the consequences!

Step 5 – On the negative behavior of the child, give the calmest possible reaction.

A child doesn’t care which way he gets attention from a parent – good or bad. If you react to good behavior with an unemotional “well done,” and to bad behavior you react with emotion, yelling, waving your hands, then what option will the child choose?

Completely reverse your reactions. When a child is calmly playing or helping you clear the table, jump for joy, and when she scatters toys or does not obey, stay calm. You will see changes very quickly.

Step 6 – sometimes the only consequences for the child are mom’s yell and dad’s smack. But the real consequences of bad behavior are never faced by the child.

For example, a mother and her child are going to the circus. Right before they leave, the child starts yelling, refuses to get dressed or gets dressed very slowly, as if by chance. The mother is long indignant that they are late, shouts, demands to hurry up, and in the end puts the child on herself. And the child still gets to the show.

The scheme “bad-tempered – mom yelled, paid attention – also went to the circus” remains in his head.

That is, he is not faced with the real consequences of his actions. Mom, even though she yelled, but she kept the child from them. After all, I felt sorry for the money for the tickets. But don’t you feel sorry for your own nerves?

And option two. The child does not want to get dressed, my mother calmly warns that then they will be late. And they really are late. Do not get to the show. This is the consequence the child is facing. Yes, he will cry, suffer, and a calm mother will comfort him. But the scheme will remain in his head: “he was naughty – no attention from his mother – we didn’t go to the circus.”

All that the child needs to remember is that if you do something bad, it will be bad.

If you don’t do it badly – his mom yells, his dad beats him – it will be good.

And here’s what a parent should remember: they’re just children. Little people who don’t yet understand how things work in our world and what to expect. They will definitely test your boundaries to see what they can lean on. They will break rules at any age and learn responsibility that way. Their brains are still underdeveloped, their life experiences are lacking, their emotions often take over, and they can’t think and react adequately.

Still, they need our love. Especially in those moments when they least deserve it.

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