Is yelling at your children ok?

@nexis777 (134)
United States
January 28, 2007 1:41am CST
Do you think yelling at your children is ok? Why or why not? I tend to think yelling does more harm to a child than a properly given spanking, although it may depend on the personality of the child. As a child I far preferred being spanked to being yelled at. Yelling said to me that I was a failure and a horrible disappointment, and made me question whether my parents loved me at that moment. Spankings were simply a calm just reaction to something I did wrong. I knew they were upset at what I did, but I understood that they loved me enough to calmly discipline me and explain why what I did was wrong. I guess yelling just seems like loss of control to me. In some people's cases, perhaps spanking signifies loss of control to them. With my parents (and now myself) it was not. What do you think?
19 people like this
110 responses
@JC1969 (1226)
• United States
28 Jan 07
I think yelling, like spanking, teaches children how to handle themselves when they get into situations of conflict or disagreement. It teaches them to use the same non-constructive tools to battle for their way. If you teach your child that the way to handle anger, or frustration, or to get a desired behavior under control, is achieved by yelling, then that imprints to their young impressionable minds and they will mimick your behavior and adopt it for their own. As parents, we have to be more constructive in our means to handle discipline. We know today that our children learn from our own behaviors and actions, they learn what behaviors are acceptable from the environment they live in. We should never approach our children in the heat of the moment, when you are frustrated and more easily able to fly off the handle. Sometimes, you need to walk a way from the situation for a moment and re-group, so you can handle the discipline and situation with a level rational head. The last thing we want to teach our children is that violence and anger are good tools to use in their own lives.
@nexis777 (134)
• United States
28 Jan 07
I definitely agree with you. In fact, I've seen some of the fruits of that in my own children. I have a two year old and a 4 month old. I've been trying to convince the baby that she doesn't need to suck on her finger all the time by pulling her hand away from her mouth and saying "no" very quietly. It's absolutely beautiful to see my 2 year old walk over to her and pull her hand away gently and say "no baby" in the sweetest, kindest little voice. Thanks for your post!
1 person likes this
@JC1969 (1226)
• United States
28 Jan 07
You just proved my point about children learning their behaviors from their best teachers--their parents. When I debate with those that are 'pro-spanking', I like to use this scenario example: You spank your 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 year old for behaviors you do not like or feel need to be corrected. Then your child is in a social situation with either a younger or even older sibling or another child. The other child in the situation does something that your child doesn't agree with or likes, and your child uses the one way they know how to correct behaviors they don't like--they hit the other kid. Then you as the parent come back and discipline the child by spanking them again for hitting the other kid--hmmm see the cycle. The child learned how to deal with negative conflicts from their parents and yet they are going to get spanked for it--Parents that spank don't get that spanking sends mixed messages to the child and cause fear and anger to build up in the child.
1 person likes this
@nexis777 (134)
• United States
28 Jan 07
I can see where you are coming from, but I don't particularly agree, and here's why. When I, and probably most parents who spank, discipline, I don't use spanking as my only method of training. I do other things as well, such as removing privileges etc, so spanking isn't the only way my children know to handle a situation. Also, by your evaluation, if they go by what they know, why don't we see more kids taking away other kids' privileges and trying to make another kid take a time out etc? I also think it has a ton to do with how spankings are administered. When spankings are given in a kind loving manner, children understand it as a form of discipline and don't confuse it with the angry hitting that you see children doing. Hitting because someone took your toy or looked at you funny is not the same as spanking. I don't hit my child for doing something wrong, I spank him in a calm way, explaining why it's happening. That is certainly not what you would see in a frustrated child. I was spanked as a child and never ever struck another child. I knew well what the difference was. I didn't think because my parents disciplined me that I should hit other kids when they made me angry. I do think kids who have been raised in a home (or should I say house) where the parents beat them purely out of anger will strike out at other kids, but that's totally different.
2 people like this
@sbeauty (5871)
• United States
28 Jan 07
Yelling at children causes more adverse effects than it helps anything. Think about yourself. How do you feel when you're yelled at, and how do you react? Children have less-developed coping mechanisms than you do, so they are unable to handle being yelled at even less than adults are. My daughter and her husband yell at their children all the time. Then they complain about how badly their 3-year-old behaves. If parents don't model good behavior, they certainly aren't going to get it out of their children.
3 people like this
@nexis777 (134)
• United States
28 Jan 07
I fully agree. Yelling in the short term and long term has nothing but bad affects. The kids will begin to feel unloved and will begin to act out in response. This causes the parents to yell more.... bad downward spiral. Thanks for the post.
• United States
28 Jan 07
Yelling is never okay. Yelling at your kid won't let them listen to you. You'll only scare them and shut them down. That's why it's advised to calm down first before dealing with your kids when you're really upset.
@nexis777 (134)
• United States
28 Jan 07
That's the truth. I know I just shut down when I was yelled at (and now even as an adult). It breaks apart your intimacy with the child. Thanks for the post.
@bobmnu (8160)
• United States
28 Jan 07
Don't move to California, they are trying to pass a law making it illeagle to spank - but not to yelling yet. yelling is like any other form of discipline. Over use it and it is not effective. If you are correcting your child talk in a clam voice is better. I also find that some reassuring after the fact is good. Lets the child know that you are upset with them but you still love them.
@nexis777 (134)
• United States
28 Jan 07
Yep, I agree. I always speak to my children in a calm voice. I could count on one hand how many times I've raised my voice (not even yelling, just louder than I would normally) to my son. Because of that, I don't have to yell. If I yelled all the time, I would essentially be training him that I wasn't going to do anything about his behaviour until I was yelling, so I'd have to yell every time. Thanks for the post.
2 people like this
@Ravenladyj (22937)
• United States
28 Jan 07
"yelling is like any other form of discipline. Over use it and it is not effective" I agree bobmnu...but I'll admit I do snap at times and yell (and I have a BIG mouth and one hell of a set of lungs) I always apologize after I've cooled down, give the kids a hug and then talk to them calmly etc...its rare but it does happen...
1 person likes this
@00fear (3203)
• United States
29 Jan 07
wow i didnt know it is illegal now. i live in california and i never knew that. where you here this?
@minerc (1373)
• United States
28 Jan 07
I don't think yelling is a good thing, if you sit down and talk with your child and dicipline according to what is going on there is no need for raising your voice. I did'nt get hollared at as a child my mom always talked or diciplined.
@nexis777 (134)
• United States
28 Jan 07
Fully agreed. That's what I do with mine, and it works like a charm. Thanks for the post.
2 people like this
• United States
28 Jan 07
I agree with you, yelling at children does not accomplish anything except having kids that are scared of their parents. When I was child my mother always yelled at my siblings and me and it just me be afraid of her. I was always scared of saying or doing the wrong thing because I was scared of the yelling. I prefer to talk in a calm matter with my kids.
1 person likes this
• Australia
28 Jan 07
I dont like to yell at my children and besides it does nothing to change their behaviour. I rather change my tone of voice and they react to this more than yelling.
2 people like this
@nexis777 (134)
• United States
28 Jan 07
Yeah, our tones do certainly seem to make a difference, I know what you're talking about. Thanks for the response.
1 person likes this
• Canada
28 Jan 07
I don't think yelling is okay at all. Don't get me wrong, there are times when I yell at my kids, but I don't yell at them to punish them, or belittle them.. I yell at them to come inside for supper, and I yell at them about staying away from the road, and if they're climbing over our fence into the neighbor's yard to get their ball, I yell at them to get their attention.. but I don't yell at them when they do something wrong in a mean way. Yelling at them to get their attention when they're doing something that could be dangerous, and yelling at them because I'm mad are 2 different things. I know how I used to feel when I got yelled at in anger and I hated it. I never want my boys to ever feel that way.
@nexis777 (134)
• United States
28 Jan 07
For sure I can see yelling for them to get out of the street or to get their attention, that's a very good point. I didn't get yelled at much as a kid, but I remember how horrible it made me feel, and just as you said, I don't ever want my kids to feel that way. Thanks for the response.
1 person likes this
@jesi06 (279)
• United States
29 Jan 07
I AS WELL THINK THAT A SPANKING IS BETTER. MY MOTHER WOULD YELL AND SCREAM AT ME WHICH MADE ME FEEL LIKE LESS OF A PERSON. THE SPANKINGS I WOULD RECEIVE SEEMED TO GO AWAY FASTER THAN THE EMOTIONAL PAIN OF THE YELLING. ONE THING THAT REALLY ANGERS ME, IS WHEN I AM IN A STORE AND A PARENT WILL CUSS THEIR CHILD. SURE THE KID MAY BE A LITTLE WHAT I CALL "OFF THE HOOK", BUT THESE PARENTS AT TIMES COME OUT WITH QUITE FILTHY WORDS TO THEIR 5 & 6 YEAR OLD CHILDREN BECAUSE THEY ARE THROWING TANTRUMS. PEOPLE NEED TO STOP ALLOWING THE STRESS TO BUILD UP WHERE THEY ARE LASHING OUT ON THEIR KIDS. THIS SCARS CHILDREN MUCH WORSE THAN ANY SPANKING. I DON'T AGREE HOWEVER WITH FORCEFUL SPANKING. THIS AS WELL IS UNCALLED FOR. MY THING IS THIS...I WALK AWAY WHEN ITS REALLY BAD...COOL DOWN, THEN COME BACK AND TELL THEM WHY THEY ARE GETTING A SPANKING PRIOR.
1 person likes this
@nexis777 (134)
• United States
29 Jan 07
Well said. I find it very offensive and horrid when I see parents cussing at their children. And your comment about them allowing stress to build up until they are lashing out is so true. If you're letting it get to that point, then you wind up being so angry that you might do anything, yelling, name calling, hitting etc. This is where I say spank in a calm manner before it ever gets to that point. Nip it in the bud. Thanks for your post.
• United States
29 Jan 07
I agree with you Nexis. I was one of those where everytime I did something wrong as a child, yelling would always make me feel inferior and more of a disappointment.I think words are more dangerous than physical discipline. I would hate to hear my mother yell at me and tell me "I was good for nothing." I feel the spanking was more effective in straightening me out. Words just lowered my self esteem and belittle me.
1 person likes this
@nexis777 (134)
• United States
29 Jan 07
Thanks for your response. The words and even the yelling in general made me feel horrible. The spanking let me know what I did was wrong, but as soon as the spanking was over with, the whole deal was over with. Yelling leaves long lasting scars.
@ronita34 (3923)
• Canada
28 Jan 07
I think that yelling is never the answer and i well given licken can sometimes speak louder than words. I believe that a child should be disciplined though but this will never work with constant yelling!
@nexis777 (134)
• United States
29 Jan 07
I agree for sure. And I've definitely noticed that houses where the adults yell a lot are extremely out of control. Most of the homes I know of where spanking is done properly are calm happy households. Thanks for the response.
@Brooke3 (614)
28 Jan 07
No, I don't think it's okay. It's one thing to discipline your child and instruct them but it has to be done calmly. I tend to think of yelling as a sign of anger and you can't discipline anyone if you are angry, you are just acting on agression. I think that all people, including children, deserve tobe treated witha level of respect.
1 person likes this
@nexis777 (134)
• United States
29 Jan 07
I agree! Thanks for the post.
@nicolai (288)
• Philippines
28 Jan 07
Yes, it is very true that it depends on the child how to tolerate the spanking and yelling that they get from parents...on the part of ach parent, they you be observant of their child, because I'm one of the child who xperienced that yelling and spanking from my mother but later on I have realized that that hurting made me a better and disciplined person....Isn't that nice?=)
29 Jan 07
Hi Nicolai May I ask in what way you think you're a better and more disciplined person because of being yelled at and spanked?
@Geminigirl (1909)
• United States
28 Jan 07
I was yelled and screamed at violently as a child. As an adult, I can clearly see now that i was constantly verbally abused. This type of negative treatment can scar a child for life. I would tell any parent out there from my experience, please, please do not yell at your children. sTay in control and discipline, but do not snap and act like a raving lunatic. This can damage a child.
1 person likes this
@nexis777 (134)
• United States
29 Jan 07
I think you are exactly right. Thanks for your response.
@carlaabt (3505)
• United States
28 Jan 07
My son is almost 1 year old. I have not yelled at him. I think there are very few circumstances were yellling is needed. And I agree with a lot of the other posters, that the reason you need to yell is to get their attention because they are doing something dangerous, or you need them to hear you because of something else. And to address the spanking issue, we do spank our son's hands, but only when he is doing something that could hurt him or someone else. For instance, if he pokes the dogs in the eyes, he gets his hands removed and we spank his fingers while telling him "no no, that hurts _____ (insert whichever dog it is here)" Or if he pulls on something that he is not supposed to, that could possibly fall on him (no, not at our house, if we are visiting somewhere else). We tell him no and move his fingers. If we have to tell him no again, they get spanked. We have never spanked him, though, for doing something like making a mess, or tearing something up that we left out. There are other ways to deal with that when the time comes.
@nexis777 (134)
• United States
29 Jan 07
Yep, I know where you are coming from. I didn't spank my son, other than flicking him on the hand until he was older than 1. I did flick him for touching things I didn't want him to touch. It wasn't super hard, and not really intended to inflict pain, it was just designed to get his attention and teach him what no means. Because of that I've never had to child proof my home, other than putting away harmful things, such as chemicals, because he doesn't touch what he's told not to touch. Teach them early that a slight pain is inflicted with the word no, and they'll be quick to respond when you tell them not to touch an electrical outlet or run in the street.
@WebMann (4732)
• Canada
28 Jan 07
I personally tend to yell out of angry and trying to get through to child while your angry isn't great parenting. I don't claim to be better than any one this is my opinion and when my son was going through his teens I yelled many times out frustration at just how clueless he could be. :) I believe that yelling should only take place when their is danger and you need to get the attention of your child. If you yell all the time the child's reaction time to your screams are going to be much slower and keep them in danger's way longer. So 22 years of experience tells me that it is wrong.
@nexis777 (134)
• United States
29 Jan 07
I completely agree with you, in fact I wrote something very similar in response to another poster further back. Thanks for responding.
• Canada
28 Jan 07
I think that both yelling and spanking a lose of control. There are far better ways of disciplining your children. Spanking teaches that violence is acceptable, and yelling instills fear. I choose to have my child respect me rather than fear me, I parent without spanking or yelling. I was hit as a child and to this very day if some raises their hand I flinch, I refuse to have my child afraid of me. There are plenty of ways to get your children to do as you ask without hitting them. Really spanking is hypocritical, because you are hitting them to get them to do as you wish, but them you tell them that hitting is wrong and not to do it. you can not really teach a child by " do as I say not as I do" You are your child's greatest role model. Children learn by repetition, just as adults. by using calm rational thinking, you can devise ways that work for you as a parent and for your lifestyle. My daughter is 1 and when she is misbehaving i make sure to come down to her level and use a firm voice... not loud, but firm i tell her no and remove her form what she is doing. I f she goes back I simply repeat what I did. Although it takes awhile eventually she realizes that i am only going to continue to remove her if she is insistent upon not listening. I am finding that since implementing this method of discipline I have to ask her less to stop, and never do I resort to yelling at her or spanking her. I do not claim to have all the answers but i do know that hitting is just plain wrong no matter how you look it. Children are a blessing and should be treated as such, they do not ask to be here, and all they really want is to make us happy. So I know for me at the end of the day i feel good about myself, and my abilities as a mom. I don't think i could say the same if i was yelling or spanking her.
@nexis777 (134)
• United States
29 Jan 07
Thanks for your response. Though we differ in opinions, I can respect yours. I think that a calmly given spanking is much, much different from hitting. Hitting that a child would do would be done in anger, because another child took a toy from them, or something of that nature. If you're not spanking your child in anger, then they are not going to hit others in anger either, unless they just see another child doing it and are imitating it. I was spanked as a child and never, NEVER hit another child. I never even thought to do that because of my parents spanking me, those were two very different things. I was not hit, I was spanked calmly on my bottom after being told exactly what I did wrong. I felt an incredible amount of guilt if I was not spanked and knew I did something wrong. What are you going to do with your little one when she's throwing a tantrum? There's no way to remove her from the object over and over and tell her no. You can train her to physically respond by removing her, but what about emotionally?
• United States
28 Jan 07
I agree with you. I don't think yelling @ your children is okay & I do look at it as a sign of being out of control. What is that really teaching them? That yelling is okay. My husband's Mom always yelled at him & to this day he has never forgot it or really forgiven her for that. He said it was horrible-- because he always felt like he couldn't do anything right & that she was always mad. I don't think that type of situation is good for anyone to grow up in--do we really want to make our children feel taht way. I think that some people get out of control with spanking & I don't agree with that. I tend to more go towards the (Time-out) scenero just because no yelling or spanking is involved--& they still get the point that they are in trouble & can't have fun or play until they are done thinking about what they did.
1 person likes this
@nexis777 (134)
• United States
29 Jan 07
I appreciate your response. I definitely think some people really get out of control with both spanking and yelling. I've often wondered how people give a child that's having a tantrum a time out. If the child won't obey what you're telling them to do, such as stand in the corner or go wherever it is you're wanting them to go, how do you give them a time out? Just curious? Thanks for the response.
@kataztrophy (1839)
• United States
28 Jan 07
Yelling at anyone won't always get you the best results. Yelling will just let someone know that you are angry, but you must articulate your feeling without losing your temper to let people understand WHY you are angry.
1 person likes this
@nexis777 (134)
• United States
29 Jan 07
Well put!
@webduck (238)
• United States
28 Jan 07
Keeping calm when you want to yell is probably the hardest thing a parent has to do. If you are yelling, kids probably don't hear what you say as much as the tone you are saying it in. The only time I can say it might be good to yell at a child is when they are in danger and you need to get their attention "right now". I think you are right. Yelling is just a loss of control. I have been guilty of it myself.
@nexis777 (134)
• United States
29 Jan 07
Yeah, yelling when they are in danger is a good and proper response, and it will get the childs attention immediately if you don't yell all the time. Imagine the difference it would make just in that. If your children are accustomed to being yelled at all the time, you yelling at them because they are in danger is not going to get an immediate reaction I wouldn't imagine. But, if you never yell at your kids unless they are in danger, they will know something serious is going down and respond much more quickly! Thanks for the response.
@XxAngelxX (2833)
• Canada
28 Jan 07
I was spanked as a child too. Although it didn't happen very often and when it did, I knew I had definitely done something wrong. I try not to spank my children, although they've all had them. I try to go by the rule that they learn from us and if we are hitting them, they are going to think this is ok. That is not to say I disagree with spankings, there are definitely times when one is warranted. I guess I tend to speak loudly at times, but it is mostly to be heard above them I guess. It's not a good habit to have either, but sometimes I just get so frustrated. I don't think you can really reason with a two year old either and there are times when I feel I can't reason with my 12 year old either, lol.
1 person likes this
@nexis777 (134)
• United States
29 Jan 07
I definitely understand what you are saying. I can reason to a certain point with my two year old, but at that age I honestly think they need discipline which often comes with a little spanking to be reasoned with. They understand lightly inflicted pain where they might not understand the reasoning behind why you would tell them not to put a screwdriver in an electrical outlet. All humans learn through pain. We learn not to touch hot things because they hurt us, etc. The whole idea is to prepare children for the real world. They aren't going to be able to touch everything they see when they're adults, so it's important not to give them the impression as children that they can touch anything and everything. It's much harder to re-learn things as an adult than to have your parents teach it to you as a child. Thanks for the post!