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Scolding children to discipline them comes easily to parents. But is it the right thing to do? Read on to know the negative effects scolding has on children..
Compared to adults, children exhibit a different kind of energy. Most of the time, they are active and playful, noisy, and enjoy everything they do. Parents too enjoy watching their lively little ones express joyful emotions, play, talk, imagine, and so on.
But parents often overreact to a child's misbehaviors. Scolding the child is a parent's common reaction. Instead, we need to be patient and understand the reason behind a child's actions. But, understanding a child's emotions and feelings comes with knowing our limitations. It would help to remember the saying, "Handle with Care". Children are great imitators. For example, if you shout, they will shout back; if you scold them, they will do the same to someone else. Since your child will grow up to emulate your behaviors and actions, it would be wise to reflect upon the behaviors your child observes in you.
'A perfect child' or 'a perfect parent' does not really exist. So, there will be times when your child tries your patience. But scolding your child when you are upset with him can hurt him beyond comprehension. And, while some children may express their displeasure at being scolded, others may suppress the hurt.
Using harsh words is a form of emotional abuse. Experts believe that the psychological effects of being yelled at are as bad as, and sometimes even worse than, physical abuse. Therefore, as a parent, you must be aware of the harmful psychological effects of scolding.
Like adults, consistent scoldings make a child feel humiliated, fearful, guilty, ashamed, anxious, and stressed. All these could lead to developmental delays, sleep-related problems, behavioral problems, learning problems, and trouble in forming social relationships.
Larzelere and Kuhn published a study titled, 'Comparing child outcomes of physical punishment and alternative disciplinary tactics: a meta-analysis,' in the journal Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review (2005). The results of this study showed that conditional spanking was more effective in reducing child non-compliance and anti-social behavior in 10 of 13 studies. They added that overly severe or predominant use of physical punishment "compared unfavorably with alternative disciplinary tactics."
In short, there seems to be a threshold wherein a little scolding can be a beneficial tool in a parent's disciplining toolkit, while excessive scolding can be detrimental.
Myth: Parents never abuse their children.
Fact: Parents indulge in emotional abuse when they consistently scold or hit their children.
Myth: Scolding can help discipline your child.
Fact: It does not instill discipline. Instead, it could cause emotional distress and behavioral problems.
Myth: Scolding your child in public can make her listen to you.
Fact: It makes your child feel humiliated and embarrassed.
Myth: Scolding your child can make her tell the truth.
Fact: It may lead her to hide the truth and find ways to not get caught.
Myth: Scolding helps parents control their child's behavior.
Fact: It makes a child fearful, defiant, or aggressive.
Myth: Good parents don't get irritated or angry at their child's behavior.
Fact: At times, all parents feel annoyed by their child's behavior. It is okay to be angry, but it is wrong to hurt the child, in anger.
Myth: Scolding can ensure that your child always listens to what you say.
Fact: It is not the key to make your child listen to you. Instead, it may lead to uncooperative, violent, or withdrawn behavior.
Scolding is not a good weapon for parents or parenting. Be a positive parent and inculcate positive parenting techniques. Never abuse your children by not knowing the limits of scolding. Always keep this in your mind, yelling silences your message. Speak quietly so your children can hear your words instead of just your voice - L.R.Knost
A warm and trusting parent-child relationship helps a child choose positive behaviors. Here's how you can build connections with your child :
Watch your body language, tone of voice, and use of words when you are with your child. If you feel you are losing your temper, here are a few things you could do to regulate your emotions:
Use these simple techniques to reduce your anger and avoid scolding your child at the moment. Your child will feel safe and secure when you have calmed yourself. You could also set clear behavior expectations for your child. It will help you draw clear boundaries of behavior for your child.