Why Yelling at Your Children Affects Them at School

Published: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at 05:16 PM.

Why do parents yell at their children?  The answer to that question is that emotion is taking the parent’s brain away from rational control.

While there are a few exceptions, most children do not purposely do things wrong.  They forget, they are impulsive or they don’t understand the communication.  The parents become frustrated for the umpteenth time and start yelling. But, believe it or not, yelling at home can negatively affect the child’s performance in school.

The first way it affects children’s performance in school is that they tend to not listen well to the teachers. Why?  At home a parent says something and says it again and again. Finally the parent yells at the child, and the child does what the parents want. I have watched parents and often count how many times a parent says something to a child until there is yelling. It can often be ten times. A teacher usually says things a few times but then moves on and the child who has been waiting for the yelling is left behind in the lesson.

The second way parental yelling can become a problem is that it can be viewed by the child as a personal attack, and can be belittling. This affects the child’s self-esteem and self-confidence. Evidence indicates that the lack of these two important traits can make the child have difficulty learning. It is very difficult to change perceptions once they are formed in the child’s brain. 

The third way this affects the child at school is the fact that if yelling is common-place at home, the child mimics it at school. This affects the child’s ability to interact in a socially appropriate manner with other children and teachers in school. It affects the child’s ability to make friends at school. Children whose parents don’t yell at home are put off by kids that yell at them in school. 

In a recent book, "Brainstorms: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain"  by Daniel J. Siegle, the author states that when anger starts, the emotion spikes and it takes ninety seconds for the emotion to begin to get back into control. This is a valuable piece of information for anyone dealing with others, be it child or adult. 

If you are the one who is angry or frustrated, you need to turn away and look at your watch for ninety seconds (probably taking deep breaths). If your child is angry, you should do the same thing to give the child time to calm down. It is good to teach this to your child before you have a situation and to practice it yourself.

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