Shouting at your child may seem like the only option when he just doesn’t seem to be listening to you. However, regardless of how frustrated you feel it’s important to remain calm and collected as losing your temper can be damaging to him. One study by researchers at Harvard Medical School found that shouting at your child can significantly and permanently alter the structure of his brains.
Another study by psychologists at Plymouth University in Devon found that raising your voice at your child exposes him to the risk of developing cancer, heart disease and asthma. Even minor shouting causes children stress, found the researchers, which in turn can cause biological changes.
Use these strategies to improve your child’s listening skills and avoid shouting:
- When talking to your child, turn off any entertainment devices so there is less background noise. This will ensure that your child is not distracted when you’re trying to talk to him.
- Don’t expect your child to just listen to you. Younger children need cues, and respond better and learn more effectively when they are praised. Use your child’s name before talking to him or touch his shoulder to get his attention. Praise your child for being a good listener and for being engaged.
- Don’t repeat messages until your toddler decides to respond. Implement a process requesting, reminding and then taking action. Young children often need one or two reminders before they listen and respond to a request. Be consistent with this process and although you may need to be firm, and perhaps even take away toys, your toddler will start to listen.
Xanet is an award-winning journalist and Living and Loving’s digital editor. She has won numerous awards for her health and wellness articles and was a finalist for the Discovery Journalist of the Year in 2009 and again in 2011 for the Discovery Best Health Consumer Reporting and Feature Writing category. She is responsible for our online presence across social media channels and makes sure our moms have fresh and interesting articles to read every day. Learn more about Xanet Scheepers.