I understand why some mums yell at their children, but that doesn’t make it okay.
Yelling at our kids is just one of those things. It’s a result of the stress and hardship of parenting. Who doesn’t yell at their kids, right?
Except we don’t often stop to really think about the impact it is having on our children.
When I say ‘yelling’, I’m not talking about raising your voice to tell them to hurry up and brush their teeth or get their school bags or stop throwing food. I’m talking about when we really lose it and scream and yell in their faces, startling them, scaring them, making them cry.
The debate surrounding yelling at kids has continued this week when blogger and mum-of-three, Maxabella wrote about her tendency to 'roar' at her children, a level that goes beyond yelling. She braced herself for criticism but says, "instead I was supported and soothed and made to feel normal".
So yelling is normal now?
Then, she touched on something that goes to the heart of the reason why I'm not comfortable with yelling:
One thing that I did notice, however, was a general theme of mums feeling ashamed whenever they yell at their kids. They feel guilty and like a ‘bad parent’ when they yell. Even though we all do it. Even though, despite knowing we have other options (although with time outs also being questioned, those options are frankly getting slimmer and slimmer), sometimes a yell is all we really want to do. Yelling might not ‘work’ necessarily, but man does it ever feel good. Sometimes, just sometimes, it’s about the mum, not the kids. Surely?
Despite her admission that yelling isn't something most mums feel good about, she goes on to mock so-called 'experts' who explain that yelling at your children causes damage and is just as bad as physical abuse. She then ridicules techniques like gently chastising your children by pulling them close and really communicating with them, without raising your voice.
I understand where she is coming from. The guilt and shame that mums feel after they yell, causes them to try and make light of it and refuse to believe it can have lasting negative consequences for their children. None of us start yelling at our kids with the intention of doing damage. We're just mad and stressed and angry and frustrated.
Research shows that yelling at children can be more harmful than smacking them. Watch the video below to hear more. Post continues after video...
I'm really sorry to be the one to tell you this, but I believe it is damaging to yell at your children, because I was raised in a home where yelling was a daily event. The terror and fear I felt as I watched my mum's face contort with rage - the same face I was meant to turn to for love and trust and support and assurance - had a horrific impact.