How can Yelling Affect Kids?

1,789 Views Updated: 18 Sep 2017
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How can Yelling Affect Kids?

‘Shouting at your children to obey is like using the horn to steer your car’ is a popular American saying which suggests that yelling is not an effective strategy to control your kids. It might yield you the desired results, but parents usually yell at their kids because they lose their rag.

Spending time with the kids leave their mothers drained and exhausted, therefore any more bickering and criticism is just unwelcomed. Fay Weldon once said that "The greatest advantage of not having children must be that you can go on to believe that you are a nice person: once you have children, you realize how wars begin ." We are sure it holds true for most of the parents. 

Every parent tries to teach their kids moral and social values because they want them to grow into nice human beings. But kids are kids for a reason. They do not understand the importance of education or etiquettes which make the parents yell at them. Yelling has somehow become a part of parenting these days, but it should be avoided.

Yelling at kids can affect your kids badly. Read the article to get an insight.

Effects Of Yelling At Child

If you’ve ever been yelled at, you are very well aware that a loud voice cannot make the message clear. Your children feel the same way. Shouting will only make them tune out, which will make things difficult for you. Each time you raise your voice, it will lower the receptivity of your children.

Studies prove that yelling makes kids more aggressive, both verbally and physically. Yelling, irrespective of its context is an expression of anger. It is done to scare the kids and get things done as per your requirements. It may help you in getting things done rightly, but it surely makes your kid feel insecure.

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Yelling is not considered a good thing because it generally accompanies verbal putdowns and insults and hence qualifies as emotional abuses. Anxiety, low self-esteem, and aggression are said to be the long-term effects of yelling. It makes the kids more susceptible to bullying because their understanding of self-respect and boundaries is skewed.

Psychological Effects Of Yelling At Children


Shouting or yelling at kids is often used interchangeably with smacking them but a majority of parents use it as an alternative. But unfortunately, they do not realize when that yelling turns into bullying and verbal abuse. It is a matter of degree and ratio. While yelling or shouting at your kids, you should be very well aware of their age and the cause of your outburst.

Yelling can affect children in many ways. Here are some of them.

#1. Shouting Can Confuse Your Children

For children, yelling is often considered a threat to their sense of security, safety, and confidence. Children feel responsible for their parent’s anger. They are innately egocentric, and therefore think that they’ll be rewarded with a smile whenever they do something good and would get yelled at for all the wrong-doings. They do not understand that anger could be because of some bad news at work or a fight with the neighbor.

Excessive and regular yelling can make your kid live in fear, stress, anxiety, insomnia, developmental delays, behavioral problems, academic problems, social difficulties, and emotional issues.

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#2. Shouting Can Turn Into Emotional Abuse 

Yelling or raising your voice on your kids may not seem like one, but psychologist suggests that yelling can turn into verbal abuse which is bad, even worse than physical abuse. When you yell at your kids, it is not just the loud voice which does all the destruction, but the body language that you adapt to makes things worse. Whether you are critical, insulting or sarcastic, your body language plays an important role in creating fear in your kid’s mind.

#3. Regular Shouting Isn’t Always Effective

Shouting is just a way to express your opinion or broadcast your message in a loud voice accompanied with some anger or frustration. But are you sure that it is always successful? NO. Shouting does not get your message pass on to children, young or even old because they are too occupied in defending themselves that they do not bother to focus on what you said. In fact, some kids are yelled at frequently by their parents just as a way of venting out their emotional frustration.

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Is Yelling At Your Child Bad?


Everyone has bad days, and things only get worse when you become parents. Don’t be too hard on yourself, if you yell at your kids at times, parenting is a challenging role, and most of us take it up without any prior experience.

The good news is that you can fix it. Occasional shouting does not have long-term effects on your children especially when you later apologize or justify your point. Shouting from time to time can actually help your children in developing a thick skin against the difficult situations they might have to face in the future.

Here are some alternatives to deal with the situation.

#1. Call For A Timeout

Catch yourself before going crazy with anger. Just think for a minute before you finally string your bow of yelling and aim at your sweet little angel. Step away from the conflicting zone to give yourself a chance to reassess and eventually calm down. It helps you in managing your emotions better.

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#2. Talk It Out

Anger is a normal feeling which can teach you a lot of things if managed properly. By acknowledging your anger, you acknowledge your emotions which include joy, excitement, sadness, anger, jealousy, and frustration. Talking to your kids about their emotions and your expectations will not only help you in controlling the situation but will also help your kids in understanding your reasons for yelling at them.

#3. Be Calm, Yet Firm

Children will misbehave because it’s a part of growing up. You cannot yell at them to teach them everything. If they did something wrong, just sit with them and make them understand their mistakes. As a parent, it is your responsibility to teach them to follow the right path. Maintain an eye contact while talking to hold their attention. Understand their point of view as well but stay firm about your choices.

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#4. Define The Consequences Without Threatening Them

Using threats and punishment to teach them will only lead to more anger, resentment, and conflict. In the longer run, it will prevent your child from developing inner discipline. Threats and punishment often humiliate your children which make them feel insecure.

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On the other hand, consequences address a particular behavior and come with a fair warning signal. It helps the children in making better choices. Warnings work best when you wish to make your kids understand the right way of doing things. Threats and yelling will only scare them and is a short-term method to get things done. Consequences have long-term effects.

#5. Look After Yourself

As adults, we all are aware of the consequences of leading an unhealthy lifestyle. When you become a parent, you have to be more careful. Sleep or hunger deprivation can make you feel cranky and lead to unnecessary shouting and yelling. Keep a check on your diet and sleeping schedules.

Shouting is nothing more of a human fire alarm, which should be used with caution and in cases of emergencies. You might get tempted to shout at times, but it is better that you restrain from it.

If you want to develop strength and vigilance in your child, you need to be firm, calm and compassionate. It will allow your kid’s brain to remain open for learning and absorbing new things. An adrenaline rush caused by fear limits your child’s capacity to think and understand. Do not limit their thinking capacities by yelling or shouting at them. Be patient and make them understand your point of view.

Do you think you can avoid yelling at your kids using these alternatives? Let us know in the comment section below.  

(Featured Image Courtesy: KevinMD)

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