Sticks and Stones Hurt More Than Words? Better Think Again

“Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me,” is right up there with “Johnny and Julie siting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G….” and “I’m rubber, you’re glue, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you” on the list of top annoying (yet endlessly repeated) childhood sayings. It also happens to be completely wrong. In one of his weekly “Ask Mr. Dad” columns, MHN advisor Armin Brott explains that screaming is plenty bad for kids. In fact, a new study has found that yelling at teens may do at least as much long-term damage as hitting.

Ming-Te Wang, a psychology professor at the University of Pittsburgh, led a team of researchers that tracked 976 13-year olds from two-parent families for two years. Among the findings was that the negative effects of “harsh verbal discipline” on the teens were comparable to the negative effects seen in children who had physically disciplined. And by “harsh verbal discipline,” I mean yelling, screaming, swearing, humiliating, verbally intimidating, and/or calling the child dumb or stupid. Read the rest of this article here.

Armin Brott

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Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men's health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, You can also connect via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,  and Linkedin.

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