What happens when I yell at my child?

It's just so frustrating!!!😤
Based on a social media poll, 90% of parents have yelled at their child. So sometimes, despite good intentions, almost every parent has yelled some time. 


Frustration, sadness, disgust, fear. These are probably among the primary reasons why any person yells. Anthropologists say we yell to establish dominance, to drown out other sounds, discharge energy when we feel anger, and many other theories. So this post is in no way saying that we can turn this off in ourselves, but maybe to give us something to think about when we might raise our voices to young children to help us become more mindful when it happens.


Doc, most of the time, yelling has actually not been effective, but I can't help it... 
It makes me wonder if it might actually have worked the first few times because it got their attention. But then it becomes ineffective for many reasons. Some of them can be because...


1. It can make behaviors worse. Yelling can unintentionally trigger the body's stress response and when children are stressed they become: hyperaroused (meaning they show more of the behavior or it triggers even worse behaviors) or they dissociate (meaning they cannot hear or understand you). 
2. It increases your frustrations. You might already feel frustrated and yelling increases your stress levels too. Your irritation can turn to outright anger. (Is it possible that some of the things we yell are already irrational?)
3. It does not teach. "Stop it!" -- this does not help children learn what they need to do instead of what you want them to stop. Young children need help managing their behaviors and emotions and concrete steps on how to do it will help. 


What can I do? I feel so guilty.
First, your yelling has not broken your child. To paraphrase from Dr. Daniel Siegel:
"What is important is not that ruptures in your connection do not occur, but that ruptures are repaired."


Repair the rupture by being calm and reassuring until you and your child return to a calm state. This actually helps build their resilience. 
Something to wonder when you yell... was it effective and useful? Please feel free to share your thoughts below.



**Disclaimer: The information shared here is not exhaustive. Keep in mind that there might be several other factors to consider that relates to your individual child - temperament, child’s developmental skills, family culture and values, etc.

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