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We’ve all seen toddlers lose their cool in public and screaming like there’s no tomorrow while one of their parents tries desperately to calm them down. We’ve all winced and pitied at the parent, while secretly being thankful it’s not us.
Well, what happens when your own toddler decides to throw a tantrum in the same way, at home or out in public? Or you end up having to deal with a toddler screaming at night? Now, you’re the one who needs to quickly calm the child down without too much drama or disturbance and at the same time, without hurting the child in any way. So how do we manage these toddler tantrums? This article will give you quick and effective ways to handle your toddler’s screaming tantrums and calm her down. Let’s get to it!
Why Do Toddlers Scream?
Rarely do you see a toddler screaming for no reason. Almost always, there is a reason, and it is up to the parents to quickly decipher what that reason is. Come to the root of the problem, if we can put it that way. Here are some reasons why a toddler might scream or throw a tantrum:
1. Attention Seeking
Sometimes your child may want your full attention and the only way they see that happening is by screaming, throwing things around, and crying. They will do anything they can to get attention.
Your toddler might be just having fun with her own voice. She might try making sounds with her mouth by yelling, screaming, or hollering to understand her voice and how to modulate it.
Toddlers are still practically babies, and sometimes they find it hard to communicate what they want through speaking. They might resort to shouting and screaming along with gestures to tell their parents what they want. After all, we all know how frustrating it is when someone doesn’t understand what you’re saying, don’t we?
4. Full of Energy
Your toddler is full of energy, and she might need an outlet to vent it out. Yelling, screaming, and throwing a tantrum might be the perfect outlet for her!
5. Angry Screamers
Your child might not be happy about something that may have happened or is happening. In fact, she could be furious about it. Maybe you have asked her to come inside when she wants to play, or you are not giving her your phone. In any case, she will shout and scream to show how angry she is.
Toddler Screaming Tantrums
Toddler tantrums is a term for the specific behaviour that toddlers exhibit. They are usually seen in kids between the ages of 1 and 3. These tantrums have certain characteristic identifiers along with a sudden change in attitude and temperament. Your child might be happy one minute, and the next minute could be screaming her lungs out. It mostly occurs when the child is at a stage when she cannot speak well to communicate her needs and hence resorts to shouting and yelling.
How to Handle a Screaming Toddler
How can we handle a child screaming at the top of her lungs? You never know, it might even be your toddler screaming in pain. There are different reasons for your child screaming and hence, different ways to tackle each one. Let us go through these ways, one by one:
1. Pat Them
If your toddler is screaming just to vent out additional energy, pick them up and pat them on their backs. This offers affection and helps divert their mind and regain their original behaviour. A little display of love goes a long way.
2. Give Them Attention
If your toddler is screaming to get attention, leave whatever you are doing and sit with her. Acknowledge her feelings, ask what help she needs and the reason why she has decided to scream or shout. Try to help her instead of yelling at her, and gently make her understand that she can’t have your attention at all times.
3. Save From Embarrassment
If your toddler is constantly screaming in public, instead of getting embarrassed each time, try to find crowded places where screaming can go unnoticed. Simply avoiding such instances will spare you the embarrassment. But work with your child slowly on reducing the tantrum behaviour. This tactic is a temporary solution, but make sure it doesn’t encourage your child to scream all the time.
4. Divert Them
If your toddler suddenly gets angry and screams to vent out her anger, don’t panic or get angry yourself. Divert her attention to something else or some other activity, which will make her forget why she was crying in the first place. A simple “dance for me” or “sing a song for us” can help in such situations. Try to play an active part in these activities, at least till the child gets back to her normal behaviour.
5. Keep Them Occupied
A good and effective practice is to keep your toddler occupied at all times. Quick games, playground sessions, and activities with other kids will reduce opportunities for temper tantrums.
6. Answer Softly
This is the tactic of ‘the louder she yells, the softer you respond’ whenever your toddler is throwing a tantrum. Your kid will end up matching your volume because she wants to engage. If it is in a public place, lead her away, and quietly speak to her. When she gradually stops her tantrum and displays her usual temperament, praise her. It is the positive behaviour you want to reinforce.
7. Make a Game Out of It
Now, this is a noisy tactic and works best when you are in a private place. When your toddler is having a screaming fit, try to indulge her need to be loud by saying, “Let’s both be as loud as we can” and join her in the screaming. Then say, “Now, let’s see who can whisper the best” and stick to a whisper. Play it like a Simon Says game, where you can also add movements like jumping around or moving your hands. Your child will be willing to play along and automatically will get distracted by her screaming.
8. Give Them Some Space
Sometimes, a child just needs to let it out. Do not engage in a yelling match or a battle of wills with your child. Give her space to let her feelings out, pull herself together, and regain control on her own. Just ensure that there is nothing in the tantrum’s way that could hurt her.
There will be many such instances when your toddler might randomly throw a tantrum. The key is to be calm and not lose it like your kid! So, stay firm, analyse the cause, and try to help your child through it. Show some love, check if everything is fine, and move onto the next steps to calm your child down.