Hacking the Shout: 4 Ways to Lower Your Voice and Improve Relationships with Kids

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When you shout out of anger, not only does it impede problem solving, shouting, especially at children, can erode trust and lead to even more battles. Quoting the advice of psychologist Karen Young and expert teacher and author Jennifer Gonzalez, Mark Barnes shares several quick fixes for your yelling problem. This is Hacking the Shout.

What good really comes from yelling? Not much, according to Karen Young from HeySigmund.com.

As adults, we would be hard pressed to name one good thing that can come from an angry shout down. It doesn’t make us want to listen. It doesn’t sure up influence. It doesn’t strengthen the connection. It shames, it confuses and it expands the distance between two people. In the midst of an angry attack, there’s not a lot of energy or will left over for empathy, compromise or understanding. 

So, the best thing to do, before attempting to alter a child’s behavior, is to shift your approach to problem solving by eliminating the shout.

Hacking the Shout

Here are some suggestions from Hack Learning and the sources we quote in our podcast to stop shouting at kids:

  1. Create fair boundaries: Help kids understand how to behave, before incidents escalate to a shouting match.
  2. Guide without yelling: Create an environment founded on trust and calm, quiet guidance.
  3. Know your triggers: Anticipate what makes you want to shout, and stop yelling before you start.
  4. Pause and plan: Take a deep breath. Count to 5 or 10. Then, think of a better approach to the problem than yelling at a child.

Are you frustrated? Feel your blood boiling? Is your voice ready to burst and to shake the room? Tighten those lips, and keep it to a whisper. Your children, students, and anyone near you will be glad you did, and you’ll feel better in the end.

Resources to help with Hacking the Shout

Why This Common Discipline is Harmful for Teens

How to Stop Yelling at Your Students

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