Some toddlers whine. Mine screams. You may have heard her—I’m pretty sure her voice can carry over several time zones. And though I’ve tried to get her to quiet down, many times I ended up grimly picking her up (so she starts screaming AND kicking) and carrying her away from the people who are glaring at us. But these parenting tips helped me manage the problem better.
Figure out the trigger
Was there a circumstance that is making your toddler more emotional or frustrated? Maybe he is overscheduled so that you end up coping with a too-tired toddler at night. Or maybe his body clock is shifting and he needs his nap earlier than usual. Read our article on how to help your toddler deal with frustration.
Give other ways to communicate
A toddler thinks that screaming is the only way to get what he wants. Don’t give in to screams, instead give words and ask him to use them. ‘I don’t understand you. Use your normal voice and say what you want.’ If he doesn’t know what to say, try supplying the sentence and asking him to repeat it. ‘Do you want juice? Say, ‘Mommy, I want juice please.’
Set an example
It’s illogical to scream at your toddler to stop screaming. Use a calm tone to quiet him down. Also don’t scream at other people or at him—if you or your partner tend to shout or bark orders, don’t be surprised when your child displays the same annoying behavior.
Tantrums need an audience. So if a child’s screaming escalates, step back and call a time out where he can calm down. End the time out with a hug and give words for what he feels: ‘I know you’re tired. It’s okay.’
Teach volume control
Talk about the indoor voice and the outdoor voice. For example, it’s okay to talk or shout in the playground but not inside a house or restaurant.
Photo from toddlertantrums.info