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When Yelling Is A Pattern | Blogging on Good Therapy

October 7, 2008

There seems to be only one thing to say about shouting at young children – don’t.

When Yelling Is A Pattern | Blogging on Good Therapy.

This is a topic that has meaning for everyone. All of us have raised our voices, probably more than once. No, I did not come from a home of screaming parents or siblings. However, I do see many families and couples who yell a lot at each other, and the short and long-term consequences of regular yelling/screaming are not pretty. Those of you who experience yelling know what I’m talking about.

Let’s start with the impact of yelling at children:

First, it teaches them how to yell, when to yell, and that yelling is an effective response to emotionally charged situations. By extension, it teaches them an ineffective way to process anger, as anger is usually associated with yelling.

Second, yelling scares most children—the younger the child, often the more fear they feel. In a state of fear it is next to impossible for a child to think about their mistake or misbehavior. If a child cannot think about their mistake, a child cannot learn from their mistake.

Third, regularly yelling at a child before the age of 3 or 4, or before they have an expansive developmental use of language, teaches them to replace useful language with yelling. In other words, a child will not learn useful, effective expression when yelling is their model. The short version is, ‘if mom and/or dad yell, then so can I.’ They are too young to know better.


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