Nearly every parent loses control and screams at the children now and then. But what if you do it repeatedly?
Researchers suspect parents are yelling more. Parents have been conditioned to avoid spanking, so they vent their anger and frustration by shouting instead. Three out of four parents yell, scream or shout at their children or teens about once a month, on average, for misbehaving or making them angry, research shows. Increasingly, therapists and parenting experts are homing in on how it hurts a child, as well as how to stop it.
Raising your voice isn't always bad. Loudly describing a problem can call attention to it without hurting anyone, says Adele Faber, a parenting trainer in Roslyn Heights, N.Y., and co-author of 'How to Be the Parent You Always Wanted to Be.' For example: 'I just mopped the kitchen floor and now it is covered with muddy footprints.'
提高嗓门并不总是坏事。纽约州罗斯林海茨(Roslyn Heights)的育儿培训师、《怎样成为理想中的父母》(How to Be the Parent You Always Wanted to Be)一书作者之一阿黛尔・费伯(Adele Faber)称，大声描述一个问题能在不伤害任何人的情况下引起关注。例如：“我刚刚拖过厨房地板，现在又被踩得到处是泥。”
Yelling becomes damaging when it is a personal attack, belittling or blaming a child with statements such as 'Why can't you ever remember?' or, 'You always get this wrong!' Ms. Faber says.
Many parents lose control because they take children's misbehavior or rebellion personally, research shows: They feel attacked or think the child's actions reflect poorly on them. Parents who see a child's negative emotions as unexpected, overwhelming and upsetting tend to feel more threatened and frustrated with each new outburst, says a study published earlier this month in the Journal of Family Psychology. This pattern, called 'emotional flooding,' triggers a downward spiral in the relationship, disrupting the parent's problem-solving ability and fueling emotional reactions, such as yelling.
许多父母情绪失控是因为他们对孩子的错误或叛逆行为太较真。研究显示，他们会感觉自己受到攻击，或者认为孩子的行为让他们颜面尽失。《家庭心理学期刊》(Journal of Family Psychology)早些时候刊登的一项研究称，认为孩子的负面情绪出人意料、让人无所适从和令人沮丧的父母，往往会在孩子每次出现新的情绪爆发时产生更强烈的受威胁和挫败感。这种模式被称为“情绪崩溃”，会导致亲子关系陷入下行螺旋，扰乱父母解决问题的能力并催生吼叫等情绪反应。
Teens whose parents use 'harsh verbal discipline' such as shouting or insults are more likely to have behavior problems and depression symptoms, says a recent study of 976 middle-class adolescents and their parents, published online last September and led by Ming-Te Wang, an assistant professor of psychology and education at the University of Pittsburgh.
近期一项对976名中产阶层青少年和他们父母的调查显示，被父母用喊叫或辱骂等方式进行“严厉语言管教”的青少年更容易有行为问题和抑郁症状。该调查去年9月份刊登在网上，由匹兹堡大学(University of Pittsburgh)心理学和教育学助理教授王明德(音)领导。
Another study suggests yelling at children may have consequences that go beyond those of spanking. Eight-year-olds whose parents disciplined them by yelling have less satisfying relationships with romantic partners and spouses at age 23, according to a 15-year study led by Stephanie Parade, an assistant professor of psychiatry and human behavior at Brown University. 'Parents who yell may miss out on a chance to teach children to regulate their emotions,' she says.
另一项研究暗示，对孩子吼叫带来的后果可能比打屁股更严重。布朗大学(Brown University) 精神病学和人类行为学助理教授斯蒂芬妮・帕拉德(Stephanie Parade)领导的一项为期15年的研究显示，八岁时父母通过吼叫来管教的孩子到23岁时与恋爱伴侣和配偶之间的关系不太令人满意。她说：“大喊大叫的父母可能会错过教孩子如何管理情绪的机会。”
Spanking also predicted less satisfying adult relationships, but the negative effects were offset when parents praised their children at other times. The negative effects of yelling weren't erased by parental warmth, however. The negative problem-solving tactics that children learn when their parents yell may stick with them as adults, says the study, published in 2012 in Marriage & Family Review. Children also may expect others to treat them in a negative way, and unconsciously pick partners who fulfill that expectation.
打屁股也与成年后伴侣关系不尽人意有关联，但父母在其他时候表扬孩子会消除打屁股带来的负面影响。然而，吼叫带来的负面影响不会因父母的关爱而消除。《婚姻和家庭评论》(Marriage & Family Review) 2012年刊登的这项研究称，孩子会在父母吼叫时学到负面的问题解决策略，成年后他们可能仍会坚持使用这些策略。这些孩子可能还会期望别人以负面方式对待他们，并且无意识地选择满足他们期望的伴侣。
'Yelling is where 90% of us do the most damage,' says Julie Ann Barnhill, a speaker and author of 'She's Gonna Blow,' a book on parental anger that has sold 135,000 copies. Ms. Barnhill says she used to yell one to three times a week at her children when they were preschoolers. She got counseling, and learned to control her anger and discipline her kids in calmer, more positive ways, techniques she now teaches other parents in speeches and workshops.
《她要发火了》(She's Gonna Blow)一书作者、演说家朱莉・安・巴恩希尔(Julie Ann Barnhill)表示：“吼叫是90%的人犯的危害最大的错误。”《她要发火了》是一本有关父母愤怒情绪的书，销量高达135,000册。巴恩希尔说，孩子上学之前，她曾经一周对他们吼叫一到三次。后来她做了咨询，并学会控制自己的愤怒情绪，以更冷静、更积极的方式管教孩子。现在她通过演讲和工作室向其他父母教授这些技巧。
Parents can learn to notice signs that a blowup is brewing and dial down their own tension. Warning signs can include: tightness in the throat or chest, shallow or rapid breathing, a clenching of the teeth or jaw, negative thoughts about oneself or feelings of being overwhelmed.
Deep breathing, envisioning a pleasant scene, counting to 10 or leaving the room can help. Ms. Barnhill advises practicing calming thoughts, such as 'I'm having a miserable day, but getting angry will just make things worse.'
Build a margin of spare time into daily routines to allow time for minor mishaps, such as spilled milk or lost jackets, says Jill Savage, author of 'No More Perfect Moms.' She adds, 'If I have 20 minutes to clean up after dinner, I'm more likely to handle that spilled milk well.'
《不再当完美妈妈》(No More Perfect Moms)一书作者吉尔・萨维奇(Jill Savage)说，可在每日例行安排中留出一点富余时间处理小意外，比如孩子把牛奶弄 了或者上衣弄丢。她补充称：“如果饭后我有20分钟时间进行清理，我就更有可能把牛奶弄 的事处理好。”
Learning to start sentences with 'I' rather than 'you' can help parents shift from an angry attack to a teaching moment, Ms. Faber says. 'Say what you don't like, then add what you would like or expect.'
Leigh Fransen felt like yelling when her daughters, 10-year-old Alona and 8-year-old Elisha, forgot to feed the family dog, Balto, on two evenings in the same week. 'This is a really important responsibility, and they're always asking me for more pets,' says Ms. Fransen, of Fort Mill, S.C. 'I wanted to yell, 'You're not getting any dinner tonight, because you didn't feed the dog, and you're going to know how it feels'-which would lead to nothing but tears and misery, and probably to me backing down.'
南卡罗来纳州米尔堡(Fort Mill)的利・弗朗桑(Leigh Fransen)的女儿阿洛纳(Alona)和伊莱沙(Elisha)一个10岁，一个8岁。有一次，她俩一周有两个晚上忘记给家里的狗巴尔托(Balto)喂食，弗朗桑很想发脾气。弗朗桑说：“这是个非常重要的责任，她们总问我要更多的宠物。我想冲她们吼：‘你们没有喂狗，今天晚上不给你们吃饭了，这样你们才知道狗是什么感觉’──但这么做只会让她们掉眼泪，让她们感到痛苦，而我很可能会心软让步。”
Instead, she started her response with 'I,' saying, 'I don't like seeing the dog not fed. Look at him: He is miserable. I expect him to be fed before you eat your own dinner,' Ms. Fransen says. Alona and Elisha needed to be reminded of the deadline twice, but soon learned to remember on their own. Ms. Fransen praised them for taking responsibility and encouraged them to see that 'Balto seems much happier now that he's getting dinner on time.'
Many parents blow up because they have unrealistic expectations-such as assuming a two-year-old shouldn't push parental limits, says Ms. Savage, chief executive of Hearts at Home, a Normal, Ill., nonprofit that runs conferences on parenting issues, including discipline. 'We say to our children, 'Act your age,' and in reality, they are,' she says. Not expecting children to be perfect, or nearly so, can calm parents' frustrations, Ms. Savage says. So can seeing a child's failure as an opportunity for him to learn.
Hearts at Home的首席执行长萨维奇说，许多父母发脾气是因为他们抱有不切实际的期望──比如认为两岁的孩子不应该违反父母的规定。她说：“我们对自己的孩子说：‘别像小孩那样。’但事实上他们就是小孩子。”萨维奇说，不要期望孩子十全十美或者接近完美，这样就能平复挫败感。所以我们可以把孩子的失败视为他学习的机会。Hearts at Home是伊利诺伊州诺默尔(Normal)一家就家庭教育问题(包括管教在内)组织会议的非营利组织。
Parents can turn a meltdown into a teaching moment by involving kids in finding solutions, Ms. Faber says. She suggests waiting for a calm moment and stating the rule the child violated. Then give the child a choice about how to prevent the misbehavior from happening again. Inviting a child to suggest solutions teaches problem-solving skills.
Sara Weingot of Baltimore used the technique after her 6-year-old son misbehaved during an outing in her minivan, kicking and pushing two other kids' booster seats. She later told him she never wanted it to happen again, then listened sympathetically as he explained that he had been squeezed too tightly between two other kids' car seats.
Ms. Weingot gave him a choice between staying home with a babysitter next time and finding another solution. He made a list from 'get a better car' to taking turns with his siblings in more comfortable seats, an idea that worked, Ms. Weingot says.
Apologizing can help repair a relationship after an outburst, says Ms. Barnhill, the author. She took her daughter aside in her teens and apologized for an explosive incident a few years earlier. 'I have this memory of being in your face and yelling at you. I am so sorry, sweet girl,' Ms. Barnhill says she told her.
Her daughter Kristen Draughan, who is now 25, married and studying for a master's degree in social work, says she doesn't remember her mother yelling much when she was a child. But Ms. Draughan does recall that her mother's remorse made her burst into tears. 'It showed that she cared about my feelings,' she says.