Are You Yelling At Your Kids? Here’s Why It Will Only Make Things Worse

Val Mullally

August 29, 2019

Mother yelling at son

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Do you find yourself in the cycle of yelling at your kids to get them to do something, seeing things escalate further, it all ending in drama and tears, and then you feel guilty? You’re not alone – here’s expert advice on why yelling at the kids just won’t work, and what to do about it.

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Have you ever stopped to think why yelling at your kids isn’t okay? There has only been one incident in my life that makes me feel glad and proud that I yelled.

I was walking to my car from the supermarket in an underground parking lot, when some youngsters sped past in a Microbus. Then braked. They had overshot an empty parking space – they started reversing at speed.

I spotted the child, head down pushing a trolley. He’d be in the direct path of the reversing Microbus in a matter of seconds!

“STOP!” I yelled.

Amazingly, the driver heard me above the noise of his vehicle, and slammed on brakes.

The child froze in his tracks. There were centimetres between the vehicle and the child. The reaction of my yelling saved a disastrous situation from unfolding.

Yelling is a deeply ingrained human reaction that alerts us to danger – a signal to “Watch out!” But somehow yelling has often become a parenting habit, in everyday, non-life-threatening interactions.

That is the only time I remember yelling that I am proud I did. There are other occasions when I yelled at my kids that I still remember with an uncomfortable twitch because I had stepped out of being the parent I wanted to be.

I don’t think any of us as parents deliberately set out to yell at our kids. But somehow we get wound up with our kids’ behaviour and the frustration comes out as a roar.

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6 Reasons Why Yelling At Your Kids Isn’t Okay:

1. The more we yell, the more it becomes a habit.

And, like any habit, the more we do it, the harder the habit is to break.

2. The more we yell, the less children will take notice.

When yelling becomes a habit, children learn to ignore directions given to them. So, in the long run, parents who yell at their kids are likely to experience more challenging behaviour!

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3. “Yelled at” children are less likely to heed a cry of caution.

Children are likely to ignore a genuine “Watch out – you’re in danger” yell if yelling has become the status quo. As in the parking-lot incident I’ve shared, this could mean the difference between life and death.

4. Yelling undermines our children’s sense of self worth.

Yelling undermines respect for our children, and their respect for themselves. And self-worth is an essential element for developing into successful, happy and compassionate people.

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5. The more we yell, the more we lessen the connection between ourselves and our children.

When we yell at our kids we damage the sense of mutual respect, and our children are likely to copy the behaviour. This will cause a disconnection between parent and child. The older our children get, the more this chasm is likely to widen and deepen.

6. Children who are treated disrespectfully are more likely to grow up to to treat others disrespectfully.

Children who are raised in homes where love, harmony and mutual respect are valued will find it much easier to engender those qualities in their own lives and relationships. How we interact with our children is likely to impact their future happiness.

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Finding a Way Forward

If this blog has encouraged you to stop and reflect on why yelling at your kids isn’t okay you might ask yourself:

“When I look back on my parenting will I feel proud of the way I interacted with my child?”

“What sort of relationship do I want with my child?”

“What sort of relationship do I desire to have with my child in future years?”

“How might my interactions impact the person my child becomes?” 

If these thoughts have challenged you, and you’re serious about creating a more harmonious and co-operative atmosphere in your home, I recommend reading my e-book: Stop Yelling – Nine Steps to Calmer Happier Parenting for practical steps and tips.

If you’d like practical tips to on how to stop the yelling habit, try this article on how to set limits with a strong-willed child which shows how sometimes our behaviour towards our children can be hurtful rather than helpful.

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Do you find yourself yelling at your kids? What gets in the way of you being the parent you’d love to be? Leave a comment below and let us know – we’d love to hear from you!

Are You Yelling At Your Kids_ Here's Why it Will Only Make Things Worse - Mykidstime

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Published On: August 29th, 2019 / Categories: For Parents / Last Updated: March 30th, 2021 / Tags: , /

About the Author: Val Mullally

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Val Mullally focuses on activating your inner wisdom in work, parenthood and life. She is an accredited Parenting Coach, Professional Reflective Practice Facilitator and founder of Koemba Parenting. She offers Parenting courses (both face-to-face and online), and is available as a workshop facilitator and a keynote speaker. Val is author of: 'BEHAVE - What to Do When Your Child Won’t’, ‘Stop Yelling – 9 Steps to Calmer, Happier Parenting’ ‘Baby and Toddler on Board – Mindful Parenting When a New Baby Joins the Family’ and ‘Ancient Wisdom for Business Success – How to Lead with Courage, Clarity and Confidence’ She is currently co-authoring ‘In Defence of the Naughty Child - Understanding Sensory Sensitivity’ and will be speaking on this topic at TEDx Wexford on 11 August 2022. Val spent many years in Southern Africa, where she worked as a teacher, principal and trainer in Education. She and her husband now live in the place her heart calls home, in their traditional Irish cottage in North County Cork, Ireland.

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