There isn’t a parent around who hasn’t lost it with his or her teen, gotten frustrated and screamed and yelled, and later regretted it. It’s normal. Parents are human and sometimes lose their cool. If this happens occasionally there is nothing to worry about. We are here to help you to find ways to stop yelling at your teen.
But frequent and constant use of harsh and critical verbal discipline — and aggression — toward teens is not only ineffective but may lead to the opposite of the desired effects, including increased behavioral problems
Is Yelling at My Teen As a Parent Bad?
Experts say that yelling is a normal response in instances where human beings are protecting themselves. However, many human beings misuse yelling, especially parents who are frustrated by the actions of their teens. So what are the psychological effects of yelling at a teen? Is yelling at your teen bad? Experts agree that parents yelling at teens is not an appropriate reaction to the teenager’s behaviors, and should only be used in extreme scenarios, if ever. Yelling at your teenager will often make your teenagers shun you, and become further reluctant to respect your parental authority.
Here are five steps toward a more effective approach:
1. Develop a clear set of rules and consequences for your teen.
Have your child involved in the process of developing these expectations. Teens are more likely to follow a plan that they literally had a hand in developing.
2. Model positive behaviors for your teens.
Although this is not technically a form of discipline, observational learning is the most effective method of teaching positive behaviors. You are your teens’ best teachers. If you act calmly and model pro-social rather than aggressive and rule-breaking behaviors, your teens are likely to follow suit.
3. Make sure that the consequence fits the crime.
Specifically, tie the consequence to the type of behavior that was problematic so that your teen understands the connection. So if your teen comes home late you may want to ground her/him for a weekend but not for six months.
4. Give your teens the opportunity to do “repair work.”
If they do something wrong give them a chance to set things right. If they are mean to someone then perhaps the consequence should be writing an apology letter and following up by doing something nice for that person.
5. Praise your kids for good behavior.
Discipline involves not only consequences for problematic behavior. We all want to be praised. Love, nurturing, and positive feedback go a long way.
The takeaway message here is that verbal abuse is as harmful as physical abuse and that the old adage “sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never harm me ” is simply not true and has never been backed up anecdotally or by any solid research. Verbal abuse should not be used as a regular form of discipline and your teens should learn effective ways of dealing with it when their peers are engaging in it. Good luck!
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