We’ve Become a Nation of Yellers

Have you yelled at someone today? According to a story in USA Today, we’ve become a nation of yellers.

Apparently most of us yell in anger, in frustration, or simply to “vent.” It seems that for some Americans, they’re preferred mode of commutation may be yelling.

A few years ago, researchers asked a thousand families about yelling and found that 88 percent of parents admitted yelling, screaming or shouting at their children during the year. In families with 7-year-old kids, that number climbed to nearly 100 percent.

The USA Today article reports that raising our voices is exhausting. Especially if it becomes our reaction to stressors — or our way of relating. Not only does it take a physical and emotional toll on the yeller, but it deeply affects those on the receiving end of the angry communication.

Psychologist and Researcher Myra Shure, author of Raising a Thinking Child, says children’s brains are so sensitive to yelling that a child who is yelled at regularly can become “immune” and start to “tune it out.”

In her research, she found a troubling correlation between kindergartners whose parents disciplined through yelling and the children’s own expression of aggression.

Dr. Sure says that chronic yelling can create a kind of “relational erosion,” damaging trust and security between two people.

There are some key triggers that tend to drive our yelling: stress, impatience, needing to be heard and feeling anxious.

For some ideas on “quelling the yelling,” go to USAToday.com and enter “yelling” in the search engine.

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM

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