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Yelling is not the best way to parent teens

Taron Masi, Online Editor

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Over the past 50 years, the way parents discipline their children has gone through some changes. Over time there has been one form of parenting that hasn’t changed at all—yelling. Its safe to say that almost every parent yells at their child from time to time, even if they know it doesn’t work.

According to a 2014 study in The Journal of Child Development, children growing up in households where regular yelling occurs, tend to have lower self-esteem and are seen with higher rates of depression, anxiety and stress; which lead to increased bad behavioral problems.

So what can a parent do instead? How can they put an end to the yelling that is so largely affecting kids?

Yelling is not a strategy, it is a release. Alan Kazdin, a professor of psychology and child psychiatry at Yale, said, “If the goal here is to change something in the child or develop a positive habit in the child, yelling is not the way to do that.”

Not yelling requires advance planning and discipline for the parents, that yelling does not require.

Dr. Kazdin recommends a program called “the ABCs,” standing for antecedents, behaviors and consequences. An antecedent is the process of setting up, telling the child what they want them to do. Behaviors are the actions modeled by the parent. Lastly, the consequences involve an expression of approval once the behavior is executed, followed by a physical gesture of approval.

As someone who lives with divorced parents in their two separate environments, I have compared and contrasted their two very different methods of discipline. Time and time again I’ve realized that when either of them introduces yelling into their discipline it doesn’t end on a positive note. It ends with tension. Me being angry at my parents reaction and my parents angry that they had not gotten their point across correctly. A learning experience never occurs when parents resort to yelling.

Parents need to be willing to help their children understand their frustrations and attempt to work with their child to move forward together. Yelling does nothing for families, it just creates a cycle of anger and release that causes long-lasting emotional and mental damage to everyone.

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