Advertisement

Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Does Yelling at Your Teen Work?

mom teenWe’ve all done it. Many of us grew up with it. But should we?

Your teen walks in 30 minutes past curfew. You’ve been worried sick and have worked yourself up. The minute she comes through the door, you yell, “Where were you? It’s 30 minutes past curfew and we thought something terrible happened to you. You are in trouble now!”

The above example isn’t harsh , but is could be depending on the tone. And that is what you want to be careful to avoid–harsh, verbal discipline that involves yelling, screaming, insulting or name calling. Had the parent added, “You are an idiot” or something along that line, that would have been worse.

Advertisement

Why is this a big deal? Haven’t parents been yelling at kids for years? Yes, but yelling at anyone isn’t terribly effective as a discipline method. Now and then, yelling isn’t a problem, but when it becomes your discipline method, it is. Even when yelling is done “in love” to help the teen, it backfires.

Harsh verbal discipline can cause depression and will increase the risk of the teen misbehaving. So the very thing you are yelling and screaming about  could increase! Harsh verbal discipline does not work as an effective discipline tool.

A study published in the journal, Child development, found that over a two year period of study, parents who used harsh, verbal discipline had teens who were more depressed by age 14. They also showed problems like vandalism, misconduct , anger and aggression. Exposing kids to ongoing harsh discipline can fuel relationship difficulties and rebellion.  And physical discipline of teens is really problematic. It tears at the respect you need to develop for each other.

Advertisement

The better option?

Educate, don’t humiliate with constructive consequences. For example, curfew violation could require a grounding for a few weeks. Late homework could equal the removal of a tech device for a short period until the homework is in on-time again. The idea is to teach responsible behavior, not scream at the problems.

So stay on them, but also praise often. You have to build up the positives in the relationship in times of non conflict. When you do encounter a problem, use “I” statements, explain your concerns, problem-solve and negotiate and set consequences. Think about keeping the relationship positive so you can work on problems together, not humiliate the person. This is good advice for any relationship!

 

 

Source: “Longitudinal Links Between Fathers’ and Mothers’ Harsh Verbal Discipline and Adolescents’ Conduct Problems and Depressive Symptoms” Child Development is scheduled to appear in the March/April 2014 print issue of the journal

Previous Posts

Are Your Tweets Tied to Heart Disease?
#AngryInNYC Another stupid person runs in to me. Sorry doesn’t cut it. Look up from your phone you idiot. This is just one example of Sara’s tweets that regular fill her Twitter account. It doesn’t take much to anger Sara. If someone ...

posted 7:00:10am May. 22, 2015 | read full post »

What To Do When Anger is Triggered
Anger is triggered by expectations, perceptions, and things people say and do. These hot buttons are triggers that cause the feeling to rise. Knowing your hot buttons can prepare you for future conflicts. To deal with hot buttons, think ...

posted 7:00:22am May. 20, 2015 | read full post »

Why You Shouldn't Withhold Sex in a Marriage
Aaron and Jill feels distant in their relationship. Because of the lack of closeness, their sex life has suffered. Aaron came to therapy wondering how to change this dynamic in their relationship. Sex is so important to a man’s emotional ...

posted 7:00:16am May. 18, 2015 | read full post »

Parenting: The Cost of Too High Expectations
Rita, like so many daughters, came to therapy because of a tense relationship with her parents. Rita feels her parents' expectations are too high and she can never measure up. Expectations, when too high or out of line with a child's true ...

posted 6:00:52am May. 13, 2015 | read full post »

Turning A Child Against a Parent
Jerry has no relationship with his children now that he and his wife are divorced. Prior to the divorce, Jerry was very involved in their lives. But the relationships took dramatic turns due to something called Parent Alienation Syndrome ...

posted 6:00:07am May. 12, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.