New study finds that yelling at young children has long-term negative side affects

Little girl covering ears while mother scolding

“There are going to be times when every parent loses his or her temper, but the important factor is the frequency. Next time you turn around to find that your child has unloaded the entire laundry basket of clean clothes onto the floor or has used his spaghetti-o’s to finger paint the table and his face, take a deep breath and resist the urge to yell. ~Saturday, September 28, 2013 – Parenting The First Time Through by Brighid Moret”

According to an article published September 28th 2013,  a new study conducted at the University of Pittsburgh and published in the journal Child Development finds that yelling at children may be as harmful as hitting.” Articles like this ruffle my feathers, so to speak.

Another study citing the impact of negative input! “Who doesn’t already understand this?” is my initial reaction to reading the article–as a parent who has thus far raised a daughter to yet another “turning point” age of 13, and with a “decent” track record of keeping calm under pressure.

My daughter has had modeled for her many scenarios (smile): mom staying calm, mom losing it, mom really losing it, and always mom saying “I am sorry for that unfortunate outburst…can we talk this through a bit?”  (The older she grows, the more enlightening are these talks we share. I learn so much from her feedback. And it makes me a better parent year to year. :))

But, as good and patient a mother as I AM, I am no saint. Therefore, I consciously keep developing the skills to stay aware of my own moods and moments of “losing it” and I do my best to apologize as quickly as possible, hoping to neutralize, soothe and implement a strong sense of self–in my daughter and restore it in myself.

An angry outburst on my part is seldom entirely about the person I think I am upset with. Mostly, it is actually about my own feelings; feelings of being inconvenienced, afraid, and challenged–when I am not prepared for it.

It seems to come with being human! And it is in these moments I recall the ever popular and often quoted Golden Rule of my own childhood:

“Do unto others as you would have done to you.” This old fashioned solution that may have worked for others is easier said than done in stressful moments.

What though, if being yelled at (and worse) is what you know? What will you do as a parent, based on what you know? Here is where a Healthy Sense of Self comes into play.

From culture to culture and generation to generation, what is considered the norm, acceptable, and unacceptable changes. Change is part of living and growing and parenting.  For myself, it is by cultivating awareness and staying mindful– knowing that I can’t control every situation, that I manage to ground myself quickly enough–even after I too, have lost it.

Yelling is ultimately a sign of fear–the fear of losing control. Why do we need that control? That is the crucial question. “What is perceived to be at stake,  that makes us display unacceptable behavior to those who we love most.” ~Antoinetta Vogels, Author/HySoS Founder

This “commentary” has everything to do with Healthy Sense of Self and the mission of this organization that I am honored to be a part of.

If we want to live life the way we want to, we need to have a clear sense of who and what we are and above all, what we are not. In other words, we need a Healthy Sense of Self. And if your Sense of Self is not that strong or possibly lacking all together, I recommend reading Healthy Sense of Self – How to be true to your Self and make your world a better place.

And, if you are someone who learns best by doing (as I do :)), there is a self-guided online course that teaches the SoS Theory and the Sense of Self Method based on it.  I promise you that this material will make a positive difference in your parenting skills. Working with this core material daily, has been a game changer for me, making me even MORE aware of how much my motivations, words, and actions are important—as a person and the parent I am.

“I guarantee that yelling at your children becomes a thing you can control, thus implementing a very positive change toward your children’s well-being,” ~Antoinetta Vogels.


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