No Need to Yell

No parent has ever not yelled.  It’s part of the experience of learning how to live and function with kids around, and it’s part of figuring out what works and what doesn’t work when it comes to giving guidance effectively.  But we need to settle on something right now.  Yelling doesn’t work.  Period.  It doesn’t.  You can keep doing it if you want.  But you’re wasting your breath.  And your energy.  And your time.  And your emotional health.  Yelling is very high up there (if not number 1) on the list of ineffective behavioral management strategies of all time.  It’s in the educational literature again and again (and I’m sure the same could be said about child development literature, psychological literature, and parenting literature)—yelling is counter-productive.  Do not use.  Learn a different way.  Harmful to everyone’s health and well-being.

You know how they make you watch/read/sign off on SIDS and sleep/car safety before you leave the hospital with your newborn?  They should absolutely include with that tutorial a quick primer on not yelling and why.  There are other strategies to use that do work—the problem is that so many of us haven’t been exposed to them.  All we might know is the world of yelling.  It worked on us (or so we thought), it worked when we were in school (or so we thought), and it has the potential to produce fast results (kind of like spanking—you can read what I wrote on that topic in Chapter 8: Why It’s Best NOT to Spank, Chapter 22: The First Random Hit on My Child-Friendly Parenting Blog Was on the Spanking Post (go figure), and Chapter 40: Spanking Is a No-No—all found in my book, Child-Friendly Parenting: Growing a Well-Functioning Family in a Home Environment That’s Good for Kids (No Matter What Your Home or Family Looks Like).).  But it absolutely does not produce truly effective results.

There’s a lot of emotional damage that is done in a yelling environment, and while the parent may be able to accomplish his or her objectives in the moment (Like what (you say)?  Achieving peace and quiet?  Getting messes to be cleaned up?  Getting all the annoying things to cease?  Dominating the situation?  Invalidating others?), if these objectives are accomplished through yelling, the wrong thing has been accomplished, taught, and perpetuated.  Yelling really and truly should only be reserved for emergency situations when there is danger or when there is a dire situation going on.  To be used sparingly (like fats and salts, per the now antiquated food pyramid).

What we will find (if we are serious about stopping the yelling) is that an entirely different approach is necessary to prevent the need for yelling and to completely remove yelling as a tool in our behavioral management toolbox when parenting our children.  We need to focus on internal motivators like acceptance of our children as the individuals they are; understanding of our children’s emotions and the situations they are in; thoughtfulness of our children’s interests, thoughts (not redundant), and feelings; generosity towards our children in deed, word, and spirit; and unconditional love that is independent of anything our children could ever say or do.  Yelling is completely unnecessary now because our focus is no longer on external efforts to control our children and more-so on internal factors to positively influence our children’s lives for the better.

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