Yelling is just as harmful as hitting when it comes to disciplining teens

Yelling at your teen won't get him or her to listen.
Yelling at your teen won’t get him or her to listen.

When a teen acts out, a dose of harsh verbal discipline may seem like the best way to get his or her attention. But a new study published in the Journal of Child Development reports that raising your voice is just as detrimental as raising your hand.

This is the first time a study on the effects of verbal discipline on teens has been done. Researchers followed 967 middle-class families with teens for two years and compared the ways the various parents disciplined their kids. “There was nothing extreme or broken about these homes,” Ming-Te Wang, the lead researcher of the study tells the University of Pittsburgh News, where he is a professor of psychology in education. “These are not ‘high risk’ families. We can assume there are a lot of families like this – there’s an OK relationship between parents and kids, and parents care about their kids and don’t want them to engage in problem behaviors.”

It turns out, yelling at your teen leads to a vicious cycle: A teen acts out and gets yelled at, which can lead to depression and an increase in bad behavior. And it isn’t just limited to yelling. Swearing or insulting your teen has the same effect. Wang found that 13-year-olds whose parents used verbal discipline were more likely to be depressed the next year. They were also more likely to get in trouble at school and in the community.

So, if you can’t spank or yell at your teen, what can you do? The study found the most successful way to raise a respectful teen who stays out of trouble is to simply talk and reason with them like you would an adult. Instead of berating your teen or trying to make them feel embarrassed, explain why what they did was wrong and its potential negative consequences.

Of course, sometimes talking isn’t enough. Create rules together so your teen knows what they are in advance and the consequences if they are broken. If your teen knows that staying out past curfew means no texting the next day, they won’t be surprised when you lay down the law and put their phone on lockdown. Another parenting tactic that the study found successful is giving praise when a teen does something positive, like finishing their homework before dinner or cleaning their room.

This may all sound good in theory, but keeping your emotions in check is easier said than done. To avoid the occasional outburst, wait until you aren’t ticked off to talk to your teen. Waiting a day to discipline your teen will not take away from the punishment. Then, you’ll be better mentally prepared for whatever hurtful comments may be hurled your way. Or if you slip up and find yourself in a screaming match, it’s still not too late to stop. Put the conversation on hold until you and your child have both cooled down.

The most important part of raising a teenager is making them feel loved – even when you’re about to take away their cell phone.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

FDNY debuts new fire simulator for blazes at…

The New York City Fire Department christened its newest, state-of-the-art, custom-built simulator at its training academy on Randall's Island Tuesday.

Local

Bronx cop saves baby who stopped breathing

A Bronx police officer is credited with saving the life of a 2-month-old baby who stopped breathing Tuesday morning. Police Officer Johnny Castillo, 38, was…

Local

Brewer celebrates Women's Equality Day with voter pledge

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer celebrated Women’s Equality Day Tuesday by pledging to register at least five women voters before the Oct. 10 deadline. Brewer…

Local

NYPD looking for lewd D train rider

The NYPD is enlisting the public’s help to find a man they say performed a lewd act on the D train Saturday evening. The incident…

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 12,…

If you've wondered whether Ali and Bethany knew each other, you got an answer tonight: Yes, and in a very tangled way. But many lingering…

Entertainment

Cymbals Eat Guitars Have Everything to 'LOSE'

At its most basic level, a rock band can be thought of as a family, a group of people selflessly devoted to a cause. When…

Entertainment

"Bachelor in Paradise" recap: Episode 4, 'Week Four'

Some things are hard to watch in a “Human Centipede” sort of way. Other things in an “American History X” sort of way. Does “Bachelor…

Movies

Fall Movie Preview: 10 films to see this…

Despite being awards season, the next four months bring a glut of remakes, rehashes and sequels. Here are 10 that should be better worth your time.

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

NFL

Dimitri Patterson suspended only for rest of preseason…

Dimitri Patterson ended up getting just a slap on the wrist.

Sports

Eugenie Bouchard excited for 'rowdy' fans at US…

Eugenie Bouchard is sure to endear herself to New York's tennis faithful as she tries to win her first grand slam title across the next two weeks.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at…

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at top, Nationals climb

Wellbeing

Who is having the most orgasms?

  Single lesbians report having orgasms more often than heterosexual women but both gay and straight men still come out on top of the climax…

Home

Jonathan Adler shares his tips for a great…

Jonathan Adler took a break from boogie boarding at his beach house to tell us how to keep that Labor Day party festive.

Travel

Most popular Labor Day weekend destinations

Priceline.com released its Top 20 destinations for the end of summer, including Labor Day weekend. If you’re heading to any of these spots, expect a…

Wellbeing

Working your way to type 2 diabetes: Job…

When it comes to type 2 diabetes, a stressful job can be as risky for your health as a bad diet and no exercise. A…

Comments

1

  1. We agree, losing your patience as a parent doesn’t provide much stability or the ‘safe haven’ environment in the home that a child needs while growing up. Talking to Dr. Susan Rutherford (clinical psychologist for over 30 years) we came to the realization that using damaging words like “bad” or “wrong” in addition to yelling at or shaming children can cause self-esteem and social anxiety issues when the kids are older: http://ConversationsWithMyMother.com/is-it-damaging-to-call-your-kid-bad/