Can Yelling Be Harmful To Your Child?

It can be challenging to get your child to listen to you when you’re speaking to them, particularly if they’re acting out or having a minor meltdown.

As children learn to function in this world, things might not occur to them at the appropriate time. As a result, they might not pay attention when you speak to them or struggle to control their temper when they have a tantrum.

Naturally, this is frustrating for you, especially if you're trying to discipline your child. However, how you express your annoyance may have an impact on your child's development in the long run.

When you yell at your child they may quickly stop that specific behaviour, but you also run the risk of triggering underlying hurt and sadness. These feelings may disappear quickly or linger for a very long time.

You might not be aware of the hurt you've caused because kids can’t always verbally express their feelings. The effects of being yelled at can have a lifetime impact on some children.


The effects

Children usually imitate their parents' behaviours. If you constantly shout at them, they will almost certainly respond. To them, this is a normalised method of communication. As they are taught, they will probably express themselves in the same way. 

Short-term effects can include:

  • Aggression to others
  • Anxiety and nervousness around you
  • Withdrawal from family activities

Your child's response to your frustration may vary, depending on their personality. The signs of your child withdrawing from you may not be as obvious as an increase in aggression or talking back. This puts you and your child at odds with one another and creates an impression that you’re not on their side. As a result, they may turn to other family members, friends or teachers they trust rather than depending on you.

Long-term effects:

  • Anxiety and/or depression
  • Aggression with others 
  • Low self-esteem
  • Social problems
  • Behavioural problems
  • Bullying behaviour

Children often treat others in the same manner that they are treated. The habits and tendencies they develop through childhood relationships may follow them into adulthood unless you take steps to recognise and address the problem.


Talking the talk

Remove yourself from the situation before you gravitate to shouting. Leave the room for a few seconds, give yourself time to cool off, reevaluate the situation, and consider an alternative.

Being self-aware can help you make better parenting decisions even in tense moments. Yelling is typically a reaction to a particular behaviour or your level of stress. Make a clear distinction between the two and try not to vent your frustrations at your child.

When your child misbehaves, rather discuss their emotions with them and encourage them to express their feelings. In doing so, you're teaching your child to behave respectfully and to understand their own emotions.

When discussing acceptable and unacceptable behaviours with your child, keep eye contact; this helps strengthen the communication between you. Avoid using harsh language that might intimidate your child.

Punishment or consequences don’t have to be extreme. Consider your child’s age and developmental milestones. It’s easy for us to forget that children are still mentally growing. 


Good to know

When your child misbehaves, instead of yelling at them, use consequences to teach them a lesson. As you face new daily challenges, remember that your child is also navigating this world. The good news is that it’s never too late to change your parenting style or learn new techniques. There’s help available if you find yourself shouting constantly and losing your temper more frequently. Get help from a therapist or family counsellor. 


This article is for informational purposes only. Always check with your doctor or medical practitioner about any health concerns, before embarking on any fitness or nutrition programme, and usage of any medication.