What happens to our kids when we scream (and how to try to stop)

Yelling at children: that’s why you don’t have to do it and how to communicate positively with the little ones screams are often around the corner. Screaming children , is never a good idea , a psychologist explains why and what are the best alternatives for constructive communication with their children.

Sometimes screaming at children seems the most natural thing in the world, often tired and emotionally tested parents react badly to the provocations and whims of the little ones. Shouting may seem like the perfect tool to get the child’s attention and make him worry about the consequences of his actions.

In reality, screaming for the little ones is useless and counterproductive, this is not in fact a way of communicating and only creates harmful effects on the trust in the relationship and on the sense of stability of the children, with the risk of also generating long-term problems.

Supporting this is Dr. Laura Markham, psychologist and author of ” Peaceful parent, happy kids: how to stop yelling and start connecting “: or how to stop screaming and start connecting.

What happens when yelling at children?

The good news is that if this happens sporadically (and we know that with all the goodwill it happens to even the most experienced parents), the psychological and emotional damage to children is minimal, if instead it is constantly used this tool the risk is of finding themselves screaming children, a problem that will tend to increase even more in adolescence and later in adulthood.

In fact, the little ones see their parents, and more generally the reference adults, as models of self-regulation. Basically, in order for a child to behave as we want, we must set a good example first. If we don’t want him to shout or scream we must do this too.

Dr. Markham claims that parents who cry unconsciously are changing children’s brains. This is because brain neurotransmitters, which in calm situations respond by sending biochemicals that pass the message that we are safe, when screaming create contrary sensations. The child releases substances that transmit a sense of struggle, flight or paralysis.

It therefore happens that the child, in the long run, could react by beating, running away or feeling a sort of immobility with respect to the screams that are addressed to him. If the screaming action is repeated often, that behavior risks becoming rooted in him.

Why avoid screaming and how to do it

As the psychologist reminds us, ” screaming isn’t communicating “. It doesn’t matter where we are or who we do it with, when we raise our voice our words lose credibility. When the parents shout, the children forcibly accept the situation but the child is no longer open to trusting the relationship with the adult and will tend not to listen. It was therefore completely useless.

Avoiding yelling at children is also important because, otherwise, they are taught that adversity can only be met by using a loud, angry voice.

How to avoid doing it? Here are some tips to put into practice immediately to avoid screaming:

  • Use humor to make a child avoid wrong behavior. Laughing is better than screaming or crying and still allows you to maintain the authority and pulse of the situation.
  • Train yourself to raise your voice only in crucial situations , for example when the child may get hurt. In all other cases, to communicate, lower your voice.
  • Concentrate and commit to creating a calm dialogue . Screaming interrupts all forms of communication between you and your baby and often prevents lessons from being learned.

Let us remember therefore that the only times in which screaming is really useful and necessary are, as Dr. Markham reminds us:

When children hit each other or there is a real danger”

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