Shouting at kids losing effectiveness, parenting expert says

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If you want your kids to have a bath, brush their teeth, do their chores, or go to bed, you might need to lower your voice.

According to parenting expert Te Karere Scarborough from The Parenting Place, shouting at your kids with the "caps lock on all the time" can become just as ineffective as smacking.

"Fear-based approaches don't always [work]... long term," he told Seven Sharp.

"What we're trying to build into our kids is to give them the sense of mana."

Research has also found that yelling at children can have the same negative effects as physical discipline.

So why do we resort to yelling in the first place?

Scarborough explained it has a lot to do with our personal internal agendas, and while it does result in immediate compliance, it does wear off.

"Often, there's a really busy agenda going on in our head," he explained. Instead of putting that pressure on the kids, we should be "taking some of the pressure away from them".

Instead, parents should focus on the type of communication they are having with their kids and lower their voice.


"Just parent more face-to-face, not parenting from the dinner table and shouting at them, but actually looking at them eye-to-eye and making sure that they're hearing you."

He also suggests lowering you voice so others have to "tune out" surrounding noise in order to listen to you.

While it is possible for parents to stop raising their voice and change their habits, Scarborough explained there is still a place for stern conversations or a sterner tone.