What Is Megaphone Parenting?

Yelling at children is never a good idea. Raising them as if they were always listening to us through a megaphone brings bad consequences. But thankfully, there are solutions and possibilities to fix it.
What Is Megaphone Parenting?
Pedro González Núñez

Written and verified by the child educator Pedro González Núñez.

Last update: 27 December, 2022

Although the name may sound comical, the consequences of megaphone parenting for children aren’t good at all. That’s why, in this article, we’re going to find out what it is and how we can avoid it.

Be that as it may, it’s true that many parents, out of frustration, lack of information, tiredness, anger, or lack of time, stop looking for optimal methods for bringing up their children.

Megaphone parenting

As we’ve mentioned, one of the negative ways of bringing up children is by so-called megaphone parenting. It gets its name from parents who make constant use of shouting to try to get their children to obey them.

Generally, megaphone parenting is often accompanied by other undesirable methods. These can include disproportionate punishment, systematic threats, or the famous “because I said so“, without any further explanations.

As you can imagine, parenting that includes constant yelling and punishment has a negative effect on the child’s development. Fortunately, it’s possible to redirect a conflictive situation like this if you know how to, especially during the early stages.

What Is Megaphone Parenting?

The consequences of megaphone parenting

The consequences of parenting based on shouting aren’t at all positive. Let’s have a look at the main ones, which are backed up by research and experts.

Fostering insecurity

The imprint caused by shouting can be seen even in the youngest children, even in babies. As a result, experts have observed that these children have serious problems when it comes to making confident decisions.

According to a study published by Professor Susan Woodhouse of Lehigh University, a child’s insecurity is increased with every shout, even if it’s only occasional.

Growth of irresponsible behavior

This type of parenting also results in a child becoming more irresponsible. Although it can be effective in the short term, in the long term the child will develop a bad attitude, focused, above all, on rebelliousness.

This is what educational expert and writer Whitney R. Cummings says, who, through her experience, demonstrates the development of inappropriate attitudes that cause children to seek continuous gratification while, at the same time, neglecting their responsibilities.

Limitation of autonomy

We return here to Cummings’ research – she affirms that yelling conditions children. Through her research, we can observe that children who are raised in the context of shouting don’t show a great capacity for thinking on their own. In this way, the child develops different types of reactions to discipline, either fighting, escaping, or withdrawing.

At a very young age, the child will show signs of inability to cope with adults. Therefore, with this lack of preparation, they aren’t ready to make the right decisions, especially when they feel under pressure, which is when they react the worst.

What Is Megaphone Parenting?

It reduces a child’s potential for growth

By “growth potential”, we’re not referring here to their physical development. We’re talking about their cognitive development and the exploitation of their talents and abilities. Children will also experience a reduction in these capacities, which will prevent them from having the tools to reach their own personal fulfillment.

In a UNICEF report called Hidden in Plain Sight, it was shown that children constantly exposed to toxic stress suffer alterations in their physiological brain development. Unfortunately, the cognitive, social and emotional consequences are tremendous. In addition, they even have a connection to physical growth problems.

How to work on children’s inappropriate behavior

As we can see, we must work on inappropriate behavior in children without resorting to shouting. To do so, we can make some interesting recommendations. You shouldn’t ignore these, as they’ll help to address the situation and quickly redirect it.

  • The first thing should be to analyze and assess the origin of the inappropriate behavior.
  • You should pay attention to these undesired acts, even if they’re minor.
  • If the child repeats these episodes, then you should interrupt immediately, decisively and firmly, but without threats or shouting.

So, now that you know what megaphone parenting is, and you’d like to make all efforts to avoid it, then it’s time to get to work so that your children can develop correctly, happily, and without any unwanted or negative attitudes and behavior.


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.