a little girl looking shocked
Some experts believe shouting at your kids is as good as spanking them, and this implies to them that i8t’s ok to use violence and verbal abuse to solve problems. (Photo: Pexels)

Think it does more good than harm because they need to be taught a lesson? Well, you’re more likely to affect their emotional development and strain your relationship when you shout at them. Yelling, as opposed to general loudness, is harmful because what is said is personal and affects the way your children feel about themselves and that wrecks their confidence to try new things and grow in areas where they are already confidant. When you should at them, it also makes them feel you no longer love them unconditionally or that they are safe and secure around you.

So, what can you do to control your temper?

Accept That Yelling Doesn’t Help
Shrieking at your little one might give you momentarily satisfaction, but it doesn’t have a long-term effect. It’s far better to speak in a quiet, but assertive voice that tells her you mean business, than to lose control and yell at her.

Don’t Deny You Don’t Do It
Nobody likes to think they frequently raise their voice at their baby. But think about the number of times you did so today. Maybe you could have ignored some of the instances, or spoken to her calmly.

Plan Short Breaks
Try to organise your day so you’re about to put your feet up for 10 minutes. This could be when your Energizer Bunny is happy playing with her toys or watching her favourite cartoon. You deserve the break!

Distract The Bad Behaviour
When you sense your blood boiling and temper rising because she’s so naughty, don’t wait till you explode. Try to change the situation by distracting her with another activity, taking her to the playground or watching a DVD together.

Emphasise Good Conduct
When she actually does what you say, make a big fuss. That makes her feel how pleased you are when she behaves like that so she knows there are good moments too.

More Rewards, Less Punishment
Count the number of times you reward her in a day (such as giving praise, a cuddle or a special treat) and compare it with how often you punish her (such as screaming at her, taking away her toys or sending her to the naughty corner). If you punish more than you reward her, it’s time to reverse the balance.

Recognise Your Button
One of the reasons you scream at her so much is because you feel you’ve lost control, and that frustrates you. But chances are you’re a more effective mum than you think. So, rather than focusing on the negatives, remind yourself about the parenting challenges you got right.

Be Proud Of Her Achievements
She may be annoyingly uncooperative at times, yet she’s also a fabulous princess who does new things every day. Whenever you feel this rage building up inside you, force yourself to think about those wonderful moments of progress to help you cool down.

Cuddle Her Every Day
No matter how strained your relationship with her is at times, make sure you give her lots of hugs and kisses. Loving, physical contact helps melt away the negatives and puts you both in a positive, caring frame of mind. A good cuddle cheers both of you up even though you’re fuming at that point.

Text: Dr Richard C. Woolfson, Young Parents, April 2014 / Additional reporting: Sylvia Ong

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