Scream Free Parenting
Scream Free Parenting.
To be a parent is a tough job, young children can be a lot of work. You run behind them the whole day, making them eat food, bath, study etc. They would need your continues attention, you will always have to say them what to do and what not to do. Sometimes you may reach to the peak of parental frustration and shout. You shout from the top of your lungs, to subconsciously release your frustration. If you are one of those parents who shout and scream on your children when they make a mistake or don’t obey, then you will have to stop, as screaming, shouting, yelling has more harmful, adverse and long lasting effects than you can think of.
Why screaming at your child is a bad idea.
Screaming at little children is frightening and violent for them. Screaming can be just as bad as physical punishment, and it could cause behaviour, emotional and mental development issues.
- It is an emotional abuse
To an adult it might not seem like a real abuse, but it is. Screaming is sometimes worse than physical abuse. Your children are deeply scared and frightened with your overall body language when you scream at them. It’s also the words you use while screaming are mostly sarcastic, and humiliating for your children. It not just the loud voice, yelling becomes abuse when it is a personal attack, judging or blaming a child.
- Screaming doesn’t work.
If you feel that shouting at your children is an effective way to discipline them, you’re wrong. When you shout at children, they are scared and they see you as a danger. Their brain becomes busy in finding ways to defend themselves from this new danger and THEY MISS THE POINT. Yes! the message never gets across their mind.
- They will instead become mischievous.
With screaming children never understand that what their mistakes were and they slowly began to tune out (ignore). This yelling will slowly habituate them and it will be harder for you to discipline them. They will talk back, and even yell at you. They will lose respect for you and their brain’s receptiveness of acquiring knowledge at the same time.
- They will loose their Self Confidence.
Self-confidence largely depends on the feeling of being valued, respected and loved. It is impossible for children to have their self-confidence intact if they are yelled at, as they stop seeing themselves as worthy of anything. They feel their existence is insignificant to you and the society and they will never have any skills required to be successful.
- You will set a wrong example.
According to studies, when children who have been shouted at will catch the behaviour from what they see, and are likely to display aggressive behaviours themselves. They will never learn to control the anger and will take it out in a more aggressive way than you do. Children will take a cue from your shouting, that it is ok to display such aggressive behaviour. Children will start yelling to get their messages across to each other. Your relationship with your children may become so unstable and unpredictable that you will not be able to communicate with them in a healthy way.
- Shouting creates confusion.
Children always feel responsible for parent’s anger, even if you are not angry with them and screaming at a flat tyre. They take shouting as a threat to their sense of security and safety. Even if you are yelling at your spouse your children may think it’s their fault. Children simply believe “when mom smiles, i did something good and when mom screams, i did something bad”.
- It will make your children fearful.
Studies have found that children who are screamed at, become fearful. Young children, even infants are frightened by loud voice and they cry, shake or hide when you scream. Fear have many harmful effects on children’s development, click here to know more.
- They will lose focus.
Verbal abuse is one of the major reasons for the lack of concentration in children. When going through the frequent verbal abuses they learn to ‘Ignore’. They use ignoring as their defence mechanism, while ignoring they force their mind to think about something else and slide in the state of ‘Day dreaming’. This ‘ignoring’ kicks in when ever they feel bored and day dreaming starts, resulting them being absent minded and loosing focus.
- It increases stress level for both parents and children.
Yelling causes a physiological reaction in both the parents and the Children. When we get frustrated and scream, the brain releases stress hormones, the sane part of the brain stops and the emotional part takes over. Same goes for children, when they are screamed at, their emotions take over, and they both freeze and tune out, or respond by screaming back and throwing tantrum. If such stress continues in the developing years, it can affect children’s emotional functioning horridly.
What parents should do instead.
Know the fact that, children who have a good emotional relationship with parents are easier to discipline. When children are loved unconditionally, they are more receptive to what you have to say. If you use screaming as a tool to discipline your children, your children will see you as an enemy and will never listen to you. Read below to know how to positively discipline your children without yelling.
- Apologize when you scream.
No matter how calm of a person you are, for once in a while you will get frustrated and yell at the top of your voice. When you scream, apologise to your children, explain them which of your their behaviour prompted your action. Explain them what you did was also wrong and you are ashamed that you screamed at them. It will send a clear message that misbehaving and screaming both are not accepted. This will create a lifelong habit that makes conflict management easier.
- Step Away.
If your children are being mischievous and you feel the anger developing in you, step away. Leave the conflict zone for some time and think about the after effects of your display of anger. It will calm you down; give you clarity and the chance to reflect. It will also teach your children to manage anger, frustration and other such strong emotions.
- Let your children know what makes you angry.
A normal human being can feel angry, so does any parent. Instead of screaming and showing your anger, talk to your children about what are the things that makes you angry. This will also teach children to handle their emotions in a calm way. It will make them respectful towards other and themselves.
- Get children in a daily routine.
Making children sleep, eat and play etc at a same time everyday keeps them happy and makes them feel safe and behave better. Establishing routines help them to be less anxious and aggressive.
- Make your house a cool one.
Children do what they see, so make sure that everyone in your house communicate with respect and acknowledge each other’s feelings without arguing, shaming, or judging. A house where everyone apologise for their own mistakes and are ready to help each other every time.
- When children are mischievous, be firm, not loud.
Children will misbehave from time to time, talk to them in a firm and authoritative way without raising your voice. Do not use insulting words, be calm and make sure your message is clear to them without damaging their integrity. Praise good behaviour too; don’t just react on the bad things.
- See a therapist.
In today’s competitive world, parents are under a tremendous stress, such continuous stress makes the anger inside you unmanageable. This will make you take that anger out on children on regular basis. A therapist can help you with the ways to keep your calm and prevent such outbursts. Such professional help will also help you repair the previous effects of your anger outburst on your children. Realising that you have an anger problem is the first step towards managing it.
In a loud and angry household, children have no choice but to hear you scream, because they have no escape. They cannot call a cab or get a bus and go away from the house. They are stuck with this behaviour and it stays with them for years as a result of the long-term effects of screaming and what it has done to their mind.