We are only human…ergo we are not perfect; we make mistakes, we are allowed to make mistakes, but it also good to know what kind of damage we can cause to others with our mistakes. Probably, if we know the consequences, we may not do that again and again.
My parents had strong personalities, who could shout even about little things, and they did not even recognize they’re doing so. The Hungarian equivalent of the “F word” was an adjective. I was born to be hypersensitive, emotionally… so eventually I just ran away, closed myself into my world, that those sentences did not affect me. And I promised to never ever talk like that to my children.
Since I have 2 amazing kids, from time to time I raise my voice. Since my son is a teenager, it is inevitable, but when they could still hardly walk, my sentences were always kind and nice, full of patience. And when I go see other parent-and-kid relationships around me, like in the kindergarten or ballet class, I get terrified how many parents (mainly mothers) do not understand what damage they are causing to their children with that type of communication.
I need to say, as founder of Sophie’s World, one of the main goals for me is to make people understand that how we face our children will influence them for the rest of their life.
Just because a child is a toddler and can’t talk, it does not mean he does not understand.
His communication is working in a different way. His understanding is going on a different level, more than translating words. Yelling can cause serious damages to them, which would come up later when they get bigger.
I know life is not easy, it has never been, and I also know that we can easily be in a situation when we think that we need to shout, shout to the world, to everybody, even with our little baby. Not that this would solve anything, but at that moment it may seem like a good solution. Of course it is not, if we use our own kid like a punching bag, especially when we easily forget…but the kid will remember for long time. Please try to decrease your tempers when you turn to your child. Also, this is one form of violence; verbal violence also hurts, sometimes even leaving a deeper damage than anything.
Yelling can’t be the form of communication to use especially with a toddler. After we see and notice the damages, we might think before we act that way next time.
The effects of yelling at toddlers
- Low self-respect and self-esteem: When shouting, parents also use bad words. Kids need to know they are respected, that their parents love them because of what they’re doing. But if the parents keep shouting at the baby, they will grow up with low self-esteem, and they won’t respect themselves.
- Aggression: if the parents yell at the baby, they will take this behavior and they will do the same, because they think this is the normal way of communicating. We will see this in 3- or 4-year-old child when they have a conflict, that they will shout at their friends, they won’t be able to handle their temper, and control their feelings.
- Fear: those babies who grew up in an environment with lots of shouting and yelling,they will be shy, nervous, and anxious. Later, they could turn into introverts, they won’t be able to stand up for their rights, they won’t deal with conflicts well, and they will be more unrelatable and uncommunicative.
- Concentration problems: very frequent problem with this kids. Later, when they go to school, they can’t concentrate.
- Reduction in risk perception: in the “normal family,” kids feel safe in the family, but if the parents are shouting at them, the situation will be different. Shouting blocks the child’s way of thinking, it elicits emotional reactions, therefore parents don’t go anywhere with yelling. They understand everything from the first moment, we can talk to them, and they will understand what we say, I mean, “speak,” not shout. Don’t think that just because they don’t speak, they don’t understand.
- If we can’t talk to them – because sometimes, there comes a point when we lose control – then turn away, go out, go far and shout there, let your anger out, then return to your toddler/kid/teen and tell them what you want to say.
- If you lose your temper every day, that means something needs to be changed in your life, but don’t push the responsibility to your child since it’s not their fault. Ask professional help for yourself.
- Also try to turn it to something funny when you feel like shouting. Laugh at yourself for almost losing your temper over a minor blunder.
- When it’s too late, tell your children that that was an ugly mistake from you, and you will try to not do it again. Say sorry even to a toddler.
There is no bad child.
Our children reflect our level of emotions, stress, or balance.
If you are unbalanced, a toddler will easily be the same; if you shout at your kids, you could get a hyperactive child or anti-social child in return. Think twice. Monitor yourself. If life gets the best of you, go out and solve it, but never ever take it out on that small beautiful creature.