Most modern-day parents understand that it not okay to use corporal punishment on children, yet they may still regularly verbally abuse their children either to vent their anger or to share their frustration. This is thought to be an improvement over past generations of parents who inflicted various kinds of physical punishment using their hand or an object like a belt.
Too much too often
According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, researchers are finding that parents are yelling more often. It adds that 75 percent of parents shout, scream or yell at their child on average of at least once a month. This is causing family experts to examine the issue with more than a little concern.
Loud reminders are different from yelling
As with so many elements of the parent-child relationship, the issue has to do with the kind of yelling and the context involved. Yelling loud reminders at kids to do their homework, shut the door or take off their shoes is less of an issue. The problems arise when the attacks become personal and consistently belittling kids with statements like:
- “How many times do I have to tell you?”
- “Why can’t you ever do anything right?”
- “Why can’t you be more like your sister/brother?”
Taking it personal
Many parents see a child’s misbehavior or disagreement and take it personally. They tend to feel that the child’s actions reflect poorly on them, or feel more and more frustrated and threatened with each succeeding outburst. The recurring nature of the cycle impedes the parent’s ability to problem solve, leaving them to respond with emotional reactions.
The impact upon the children
This kind of behavior can leave children with symptoms of depression and behavior problems. Hopefully, this is the exact opposite result of what the parents were hoping for. Other findings involving parental yelling include poor problem-solving skills and even difficulty in managing romantic relationships as an adult.
Putting an end to yelling
Some parents are self-aware enough to recognize the problem and seek help. By learning techniques to manage their anger and frustrations, they find that the home is a happier and healthier place. Apologizing is also a great way to diffuse an issue, repair the breach in trust and parent through example.
Unfortunately, not everyone can recognize the problems until it is too late. If a parent feels ostracized or isolated, this can lead to the breakdown of the marriage as well. With this in mind, it wise to consider one’s behavior during the divorce process, perhaps using it as a wakeup call to become a better parent.