While it may be difficult to control, parents would do well to know some things about yelling at adolescents.
Yes it is true that yelling can be a way to release emotion, command attention to what you are saying and also show your child that you are in deadly earnest, but it is also true that yelling is much like an adult throwing a tantrum.
Yelling is also a method of intimidation, which is not the way you want your child to comply with your wishes. Yelling is not a good idea for many reasons:
- Respect. A child can lose respect for a yelling adult. When you yell at your child as though you were yourself that child, the child may not see you in an adult light, and may lose respect.
- When yelling a parent is unable to listen; in the process the communication becomes one way. It is not a dialogue but a monologue that a parent is indulging in. Conflict resolution therefore becomes a lot more difficult and there is an inability to see another point of view even if it is reasonable.
- Quite simply yelling at an adolescent can hurt the feelings of an adolescent; they can be overly sensitive and thin skinned at this time. The parent child relationship itself may be at risk of being alienated.
- The child may feel resentment and fear at being yelled at; as a consequence the child could adopt furtive and dishonest behavior to escape another such tongue lashing in the future.
- If a parent yells, this could be a sign to the adolescent that this is OK behavior and he or she may yell right back. It’s a no brainier that this is not a way to resolve a conflict or even get your point across.
- Parents often lose control over the pitch of their voice and choice of words. Abusive or intemperate language cannot be recalled, and the hurt that they can cause may be incalculable. Even apologizing may be no use in the end.
- A parent may think they are being very firm and showing how serious they are about something by yelling. But the message that the child may also be getting is that the parent is experiencing helplessness and desperation at not getting their own way.
- It could actually be very satisfying for a young person to be able to provoke a parent into losing control. In effect, it is the parent who has lost control of the situation which the child has been responsible for bringing about.