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FOR PARENTS

Don't Yell at Your Kids? Duh!

A recent study reinforced what we think everyone already knows: that yelling at your kids is not a good thing to do and is associated with all kinds of bad things we as parents never want to do to our kids. The surprising finding was that harsh verbal exchanges were just as detrimental to the long-term outcomes of adolescents as physical punishment. You can read some of the dialog around the study here: https://commonhealth.wbur.org/2013/09/yelling-at-kids-comparable-physical-punishment-study

Of course, the most important question in our mind, however, is if we already know it is bad to yell at our kids then why don’t we stop? Because we adults struggle with our own skills related to frustration tolerance, flexibility and problem solving when faced with very challenging behavior from our kids. In other words, parents do well if they can too! No parent wants to yell at their child if they had a better way of handling it. We are often at a loss for another way to handle things though or we know what to do differently but have great difficulty applying it in the heat of the moment with our kids – something all staff here can attest to ourselves! If yelling often doesn’t “work” and usually causes bad outcome, and just dropping our expectations is problematic in other ways, what are we as parents to do? The answer: Plan B of course! There is a way to solve predictable problems durably and proactively without yelling, but it requires learning a whole different way of thinking and working with your kids. It’s worth the effort though – for your relationship with your child, your own peace of mind, and yes – your child’s longer term outcomes.

Chime in and let us know your thoughts about yelling.