How To Deal With A Screaming Child
Perhaps you already know that giving in to deal with a screaming child is the worst strategy of all but every time the outburst erupts in public, it is still the first method you recall to put out the fire. However, quick fixes do not always save you from embarrassments but getting prepared to deal with a screaming child earlier on can save you much hassle in the long run.
Be Understanding While Maintaining Authority
To deal with a screaming child while maintaining sanity will require your understanding that young children especially those below 2 years-old have limited vocabulary, the level of difficulty in conveying their thoughts about their emotional needs and other daily requests often provoke their frustrations which lead to screaming, kicking, crying and flailing. While we as parents have an important job to improve their communication with patience, we should never overlook the importance to assert some rules to deal with a screaming child to avoid letting the transitional kids behavior developing into permanent kids behavior.
Good Foundation Starts From Home
On some days, they may scream out of excitement. On other days, they are pushing their limits to test parents’ patience and tolerance. Whatever the reason is, the way to deal with a screaming child is by preventing it in the first place. Hence, setting up a standard practice to deal with a screaming child will help you establish the much needed consistency.
By regulating your actions-consequences and rewards systems, your child will not leverage his/her privilege to threaten you when out in the public because he/she knows you want to quickly deal with a screaming child just to save the embarassment. If you don’t give him his favorite toy when he screams for it at home, you will not either when he throws his fits in the shopping mall. Perhaps you may need to withdraw from the scene to avoid public interruptions but your consistencies will pay off in the long run.
To deal with a screaming child effectively, exercise the consistencies beginning from home where you can withdraw yourself and let them vent their anger at the time-out chair or corner without worrying about unnecessary attention brought by your child shouting. When they begin to cool down, guide them to follow the proper way of making request.
An alternative method to deal with a screaming child below 2 is probably this – whenever he/she screams, hold them tight and touch their eyes corner while firmly saying “Please stop crying and yelling. Mommy can’t understand what you want from your stream of tears”. Then point to their lips and say “Use your mouth to tell Mommy what you want.” Help him/her to figure out and express what’s in their mind. On one hand, your gestures serve as a physical distraction. On the other, you are guiding them to a proper communication.
Watch Your Tone and Gesture
As it is normal for our emotions to be stirred up by wild screams, the responsive feelings we choose to deal with a screaming child may reduce or aggravate the chaos. Although your louder shouts may seize their squealing for the moment, raising your voice to shrink theirs will stimulate them to shout even louder to win over next time. To end the vicious cycle, try adapting a softer approach to deal with a screaming child such as:
As always, young children deal better with direct communication rather than plain scolding while dragging them to a corner. Hence, when out in the public and you are donned in another situation to deal with a screaming child, hold them tight within your arm’s length, place your finger on the lips and tell them that screaming makes everyone feel uncomfortable and that they should show or tell you what they want. Remember to maintain eye contact and let them know you are trying to understand rather than just punishing.
Winding Them Down
After your initial effort to talk your child out, give him/her some time to settle down. When the pandemonium begins to diffuse, hold them closer, tell them you love them more when they are being calm and that their shouting hurt your ears. Teach them to show or tell what they want or divert their attention to other things if you feel it’s inappropriate to oblige to their request. Remember, never rush into settling them down by threats as this is a counter-effective way to deal with a screaming child.
Validate Their Statement
While struggling to improve on their verbal skills, young toddlers may often be irritated by the challenge in expressing his/her needs where you will probably come to deal with a screaming child thereafter. To reduce this inclination, try deciphering what your child is trying to tell and help him/her phrase their statement. Saying “Are you telling that you want the blue shirt, not the yellow one?” while pointing at the blue shirt can be a good way in teaching him/her to organize demand.
What makes validation works to deal with a screaming child, according to pediatrician Dr. Harvey Karp of UCLA School of Medicine, is that reinforcing your child’s feelings will lift the stress from his/her immature verbal skills. Hence, Dr. Harvey recommends that parents guide toddlers by using Toddler-ese (toddler language) which should be short-phrased with soft tone, supported by body gestures and facial expressions.
Preventive Steps To Deal With A Screaming Child
Although we cannot estimate the coming of toddler meltdown, preparing ourselves to deal with a screaming child through active listening and physical environment can save us a great deal of stress and anxiety. With active listening, you need to read their cues attentively when the first sign of frustration arise.
If ever they demand for something you are not ready to oblige, present them with alternatives within your boundary. For instance, if your child wants to buy a toy you don’t intend to, suggest that they choose either to visit the bookstore or join the kids at the play land. Nonetheless, refraining from bringing your child to tempting or quiet places is the best preventive measure in being pressured to give in or risk having to deal with a screaming child.
Fortify Your Emotion
The freakiest thing about a screaming child is the unwanted attention brought on by their drama. But knowing that your main concern is to deal with a screaming child to put an end to the issue, you should not unnecessarily subject yourself to public pressure with those insensitive and unsympathetic glances as they will never know until they go through the situation personally.
It is rather superficial to say that all methods used to deal with a screaming child will work like magic the first time around. Your child has his/her own mind and willpower, thus you should hold on to what you belief will work and have it repeated to establish a pattern that your child will eventually submit to as the ground rule. And remember that personal belief, patience and repetition is the key to deal with a screaming child.