Creative Child

Gain Cooperation and End Yelling for Good

by Rebecca Eanes

It’s normal to get frustrated with your children, but the way you express that frustration could affect your child’s health and will certainly affect your relationship. Research has found that yelling at children has an even bigger impact than we previously thought. One study on parent-child relationships showed that 13 year olds who were shouted at by their parents had increased levels of bad behavior over the following year. Yelling also has negative effects on brain development. Data shows that children who have received parental verbal abuse have a physical difference in the parts of the brain responsible for processing language and sounds. There is also a link between being yelled at and depression for years to come.


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As if those aren’t reasons enough, we know that children are mirrors, and they reflect the care they receive and the behaviors they witness. Furthermore, it’s not exactly healthy for us to be losing our cool and shouting frequently either. So why are parents yelling? Likely, it’s because your normal speaking voice doesn’t get a response, right? You’ve asked nicely several times and you’re being ignored, but when you yell, they move! So you get to release the built up frustration which makes you temporarily feel better and you get the positive reinforcement of the desired outcome – they finally listened! Together, these make it more likely for you to yell again. So, here are a few ways to gain your child’s cooperation so that you don’t feel you have to resort to yelling.

1. Put your focus on the relationship. Everyone is busy these days, and sometimes we operate on autopilot and check off the boxes for the day without much intention. Days can go by without any meaningful connection points or conversation. It’s also easy to get trapped in the cycle of dwindling your interactions down to little more than demanding and directing. “Get your shoes on.” “Do your homework.” “Brush your teeth.” “Go to bed.” Stuff gets done, but there’s not a lot of warmth! This can lead to a disconnection in the parent-child relationship. When children feel disconnected, they are less cooperative. If you want increased cooperation with your kid, spend some quality time with him or her and offer positive, affirming words and a good listening ear.

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