Sunday, June 10, 2018

What To Do With a Screaming Child

Is it normal for your toddler to have a shrieking phase, such as when they don’t like putting those shoes or when it’s time for playtime to end? Should a parent be concerned when small kids scream whenever they want to capture their parent’s attention? There are several things to consider when dealing with a screaming child – here are some of them. 

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Know when the child's happy 

It could be a squeal of joy they are letting out, so offer a calming presence and pick the child up in your arms. It will also help to model proper voices inside and outside of the house and school, such as teaching the child that there’s freedom to shriek in joy at the school playground or at the vast Central Park in New York City. Ask them to use their “inside voice” if necessary. 

Acknowledge feelings 

Know that when a child screams to get attention, they could be uncomfortable, overwhelmed, or in pain. The environment could be too much, or they are getting a little cranky. Acknowledge those different feelings and calmly note that things will be better. This will help cultivate their ability to put feelings into words instead of loud screams. 

Be firm but not mean 

Use a firm, soft, but matter-of-factly tone when directing behavior during screaming fits. This will give your words better clarity and impact, and the child will be better able to grasp the important information being provided. Speak softly and without sounding angry or scary. 

Keep the child busy and engaged 

Keep the child busy with various activities to avoid boredom, crankiness, or other emotions triggering screaming. Ask for the toddler’s help in arranging the groceries at home, and keep them busy with a puzzle, favorite snack, or learning activity that can be done alone. 

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Joseph Cianciotto most recently served as executive creative director at Translation, overseeing content related matters within the agency. He resides in Long Island, New York, with his wife Jen and daughters Hannah and Sophie. More articles like this on this page.

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