Most people have yelled at their kids—and doing so to keep them from running into traffic is perfectly understandable. (Tweet it!) But it’s ineffective if you’re doing it to correct a behavior like throwing clothes on the floor or procrastinating on homework. In fact, it “merely imprints the habit of yelling onto the children.”
So says Stephen Marche, author and parenting podcaster. Writing in The New York Times, Marche cites a 2014 study in The Journal of Child Development, which demonstrates that yelling produces results similar to physical punishment in children: increased levels of anxiety, stress and depression along with an increase in behavioral problems.
Since “yelling…is the response of a person who doesn’t know what else to do,” Marche recommends an alternative: the ABC technique of Alan Kazdin, professor of psychology and child psychiatry at Yale.
The purpose of Kazdin’s ABC’s is to build habits by actually changing the brain. And, as a positive side effect, family relations improve overall.
Have you ever been brought to yelling at your kids? How could you use the ABC’s instead? To join the conversation, click "comments" above.
If you would like to read more about creating a habit around masterful communication, check out our book: Be Quiet, Be Heard: The Paradox of Persuasion