Yelling is the most common thing a parent or teacher can do when attempting to discipline children. YET, it is the Least Effective.

Why? Children tune out when adults yell. Or, they feel entitled to argue back, yell back or at the very least feel angry or hurt about the way the adult is acting.

Just the other day, I was very upset about my child not completing her chores so that we could go do something. At first, I reacted. I yelled and pleaded. She argued back, and whined about how hard things were, and how many physical pains she had, and how she really wanted to go do this special something.

It was only when I empathized with her, and stated out loud my sadness that she quickly turned around her attitude and started helping with the numerous chores that had to be done.

It dawned on me that I have taught her well: When I start feeling sad for her, and using empathy, she knows that a consequence for her behavior is coming: either a good consequence or a bad one. It really was her choice. And, she had nothing to rebel against, except herself. So she chose wisely. She worked hard, and we got to attend the special event.

My lesson: Yelling doesn’t work. It focuses the child’s attention on how upset she is at the adult, and doesn’t let the natural consequences be the teacher.

parenting resources

helpful websites

  • Love and Logic
    Bestselling author Jim Fay, founder of the "Love and Logic" process.
  • Focus on The Family
    Provides parenting advice and other family issues from a Christian perspective. Founded by Dr. James Dobson.
  • TroubledWith: Parenting Children
    Resources dealing with various common childhood issues and what a parent can do.