Does yelling harm kids? - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Does yelling harm kids?


You get frustrated and yell. So don't be surprised if your kid does the same.

A University of New Hampshire study found 90 percent of parents admitted to yelling at their children to 12 years old over a year.

Research suggests that yelling can have harmful effects on the kids, both yelling at them, and in front of them. The kids can be less empathetic, more aggressive, and perform worse in school.

Cathy Clark, a co-owner of A Small World Preschool in Cape Girardeau, said if a child does something wrong, they take a deep breath, and ask the child why he or she acted that way, instead of yelling.

Clark said it can be a cycle, kids learn yelling is okay, and then do the same to their children.

"If they're always yelled at by their parents, I think history's going to repeat itself, that's what they're going to think is normal in the family household, and they're going to yell at their kids," said Clark.

Clark stresses yelling isn't effective to get across your message.

"Nobody wants to be yelled at, whether you're a child, or you're an adult in a work situation, you know if somebody yells at you as an adult, it doesn't make you want to please them, so why would you want to yell at a child thinking that's going to make them turn around and do exactly what you think they should be doing, cause a lot of what they do, they just don't think it through," said Clark. "If you go to the negative always, they just tune you out."

Clark said they stress to the kids to use their words, calmly.

"We want to explain to them, and just try and work it out, I don't even like them in time out for more than a second or two, really just to slow them down, and let them think about it, you know they get frustrated, so we just want to take it from that point, and just say what can we do to help, how can we, use your words, our biggest thing that we want to say is let's just lose our words, rather than actions," said Clark.

She said they also try to teach a positive reinforcement.

"I think when you go to the negative side, you don't need to down talk a child, we always tell a child they're not bad, what they're doing, they're action may be bad, so we reinforce that, it's not you that's bad, it's what you're doing that's not appropriate," said Clark.

Some people say it can be a learning experience for kids. If you do yell, they say it can be just as important for child to see a parent recover quickly from getting angry.

Clark said kids can catch on to other social things around them, like learn from the way people act on TV.

"There's so many cartoons where you see so much of the wrestling and the fighting, that's what we see kind of come into it more so, I think they watch some of that at home, we talk to them about let's just use our words, it's going to get you a lot further, and we don't have to yell," said Clark.

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