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  • 5 Things That Happen To Your Children When You Shout At Them

    Losing your temper inflicts wounds you don’t always see.
    by Kitty Elicay .
5 Things That Happen To Your Children When You Shout At Them
PHOTO BY iStock
  • We all want to be the best parent that we can be for our kids. But when you have young children who seem to love testing your patience, it’s impossible not to lose your temper. Parenting can be so exhausting that we end up shouting at our kids when we’ve reached our breaking point.

    5 ways harsh parenting affects children

    While it doesn’t automatically make you a mean mom, harsh discipline measures like yelling can have a lasting impact on your kids. It can also affect their personality and well-being. Here are some of the long-term effects.

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    1. Yelling can lead to aggressive behavior.

    A study made by the Universities of Michigan and Pennsylvania, and the Michigan State University found that children are treated more harshly and who were given less emotional warmth by his parents exhibited “callous-unemotional” traits, which included lack of empathy and moral compass. They were also more likely to show aggressive behavior.

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    Another study, supported by the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse and National Institute of Health, found 13-year-olds who experienced being shouted at by their parents responded increasing their levels of bad behavior over the following year. This means that shouting at your child in a bid to correct misbehavior has an opposite effect.

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    2. Shouting can make them depressed.

    Shouting at your child can lead to saying things you don’t mean in the heat of the moment. Using words to insult or humiliate causes emotional and psychological pain.

    Research published by the journal Child Development showed that adolescents who experienced harsh verbal discipline from their parents were more likely to foster anger, be irritable, show signs of depression, and misbehave in school. Other studies also found that harsh parenting can lead to emotional abuse, depression, and anxiety. These symptoms can trigger more destructive behaviors like drug abuse, self-harm, and other risky activities.

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    3. It can affect brain development.

    You know when they say, “in one ear and out the other?” It can happen when you constantly shout at your child. Yelling doesn’t damage your child’s brain, but at a young age, it can trigger your child’s fight-or-flight mode.

    Toddlers have an underdeveloped prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for making choices between conflicting thoughts, as well as suppressing emotional or physical urges. So, when parents yell at their kids, their body interprets their resulting fear as danger. “The kid releases biochemicals that say fight, flight, or freeze. They may hit  you. They may run away. Or they freeze and look like a deer in headlights. None of those are good for brain formation,” says Dr. Laura Markham, a child psychologist and parenting expert to Fatherly.

    4. It affects their physical health.

    Verbal abuse doesn’t just affect a child mentally — the stress it causes children can make them at risk for serious health problems when they grow up. According to Mayo Clinic, high levels of stress can contribute to illnesses like high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. It can also cause headaches, sleep problems, fatigue, and stomach upset.

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    5. It can cause chronic pain.

    Yelling doesn’t just inflict emotional wounds. A 2017 study found a connection between negative childhood experiences, including harsh discipline and abuse, to the later development of painful chronic conditions like arthritis, bad headaches, back and neck problems, and other chronic pain.

    Realistically speaking, parents will find themselves shouting at their child at some point. We are only human after all. Let this serve as a reminder that we have to be mindful of our actions because it will always have an effect on our kids. The next time you feel like yelling at your kids, take a deep breath and pause — this won’t only benefit you, but the little ones as well.

    How can you stop yourself from yelling at your kid? Click here for expert advice.

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