12 answers

My Kid Is a Screamer!

first of all,my son just turned 1 and around the same time he has started screaming the loudest scream he is capable of,this happens when he is mad,sad,in the store (for no apparent reason)and when he is tired.he cried/screamed befor but its gone way up in volume!i am hopeing this is a stage,i would like some advice on how to properly tell or get him to stop,i try to tell him calmly no screaming and sometimes i raise my voice so he knows im serious but nothing works,he is very strong willed and ignoring him does not work!thanks:)

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My daughter is 13 months. She started screaming around 1 as well. She seemed to be frustrated with trying to tell me something or get my attention. I have found that teaching her sign language helps. She had trouble learning the signs when she was younger but around 1, she took off with the concept! Her screaming has not entirely stopped but as she gains more language skills, I am confident it will go away as long as I insist she use her signs or actual words. Hope that helps! Good Luck!

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Okay so you are doing the right thing but trying to keep calm. Keep the low voice and just tell him that you dont talk to him when he does that and then mean it. If he is at home either walk away from him or lift him up and put him in a time out until he quits. As soon as he stops, then give him your attention. I know about strong willed my son was like that too. It may turn out that you may have to have him follow you around if he doesnt stay in the area that you put him in. It may mean that you leave the room and shut the door. ( make sure it is safe first) But by all means dont give him the attention he is seeking. That is the key, as soon as he realizes that you wont give him the attention, it wont be fun anymore. About when he is out in public I have been known to stop whatever I was doing ( shopping, waiting in line, etc.) and just leave. I let him know that I am not happy with him and again give him as little attention when doing that as you can.
My sons now are 12 and 14. So the screaming does stop eventually!

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read Indigo Children

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I can completely relate to your situation. My daughter started doing that so bad that I actually LOST hearing in my left ear for a day. The ringing in it was so bad. I went to Walmart, picked up a small spray bottle (one that looks like a small hairspray bottle) for $.49 and filled it with white vinegar. I carry it around in my purse and whenever the screaming starts, a squirt of vinegar goes in the mouth. I know some people may not agree with it but it was the ONLY thing that worked and besides...vinegar is good for you. My daughter now does not scream excessively. In fact, the screaming has stopped almost 99%. She will actually try to look to see if I have it in my purse...like she is trying to weigh the pro's and con's of pitching a fit. GOOD LUCK!!

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My daughter is 13 months. She started screaming around 1 as well. She seemed to be frustrated with trying to tell me something or get my attention. I have found that teaching her sign language helps. She had trouble learning the signs when she was younger but around 1, she took off with the concept! Her screaming has not entirely stopped but as she gains more language skills, I am confident it will go away as long as I insist she use her signs or actual words. Hope that helps! Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Your son is quite young and it sounds like he is screaming as a way to express his feelings. Children who don't yet have the words to tell their parents how they feel often express themselves in this way. When my 3 year old son uses a loud scream to express his feelings I try to give him alternative ways to let those feelings out. When we are at home I talk to him about how he is feeling and why he is feeling this way and instead of saying, "be quiet" I will say something like "it sounds like you are feeling really mad about [insert cause] instead of screaming with your 'outside voice', this voice hurts my ears, you can scream in your pillow or stomp your feet to let your mad feelings out". I will also solicit him for ideas on how he can let his feelings out and I always ask if he needs a hug or wants me to help. I try to think about how it feels when I get mad. For example, if I am talking to my husband about something that made me mad I don't want him saying, "stop complaining or I don't want to hear it".

The other thing I do when my son is having some sort of meltdown is use a soft relaxed voice when i am talking to him. If I am yelling or am also upset it does not help the situation. This takes a ton of practice...because we are human too and when our kid is screaming for the 10th time in one day it is almost impossible to be patient and relaxed!

Sometimes I too will scream in a pillow with him and he thinks this is quite funny:) If we are in a more public space I will explain that when he screams it scares other people and hurts their ears, but that he can make a tight fist with his hands or stomp his feet if he really needs a release.

Of course, our kids are not machines and there is no tried and true way we can prevent that embarrassing scene of our kids 'freaking-out' in public. Just remember it happens to us all and try to keep in mind how frustrating it is for our young children; who depend on us for so much, but who are also trying to navigate and understand this very confusing world that we live in.

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wow, you got some varied advice....I read them thinking I could get a few tips...my son was a screamer but my daughter tops him. I have tried many things, ignoring doesnt work because she isnt usually doing it for attention (although maybe I just cant hold out long enough LOL) but out of frustration, anger, or tiredness. I have found that patting her mouth to make the wahwahwah sound breaks it down to funny and lightens both our moods but imagin it would become a way to get attention if used alot. Good luck, they do out grow it. AND sign language is a great idea. It was really easy to teach. Just do the sign while asking if they want ___ and them help them sign it as you give it to them. I taught both my children eat, drink, milk (for bottle), diaperchange, tired, please and thankyou. The eat,drink and milk caught on really fast for both of them (son at 9m and daugher at 12) because its an instant reward thing. That way you can know what they need instead of them fussing. They love to be able to tell me and get what they want and I love not hearing them scream while I try and figure it out. and fyi my son was hungry ALOT more then I would have thought, eating every 2 hours all day during a growth spurt. Jen

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My oldest started out as a screamer AND he is very strong willed, but I ignored the screams anyway. (It actually works great in the grocery store. People get the heck out of your way; let you cut in front of them in line, etc.) I just did whatever I needed to do. I held my head up. Smiled pleasantly at people (who ranged from sympathetic, grateful they were not ME, or shocked that I was pushing a shopping cart containing a shrieking kid!) and assured them we were fine and didn't need help. I completely, totally and thoroughly ignored the behavior.

It took about three months (Three very long, very loud months!) before the screaming stopped, but it did.

I just decided that no kid of mine would be allowed to out-stubborn me and get attention for negative behavior. I do not reward him for acting out. If he wants attention he earns it through positive behavior!

LOL, Ahhh the amazing silence that follows that scream. It happened to me just the other day in Burlingame Fred Meyer. It actually hushed all 10 checkout lines; as well as produce a few vacant stares accompanied unknowingly by a silent 'O' mouth formation.

What did I do? I marched toward my young son and immediately took him over to the housewares section and disciplined him. Now is the time that you have to set the standard and nip this habit that is about to form. My son started about the same age. One swat to the diapered fanny is alarming (not painful)to them, but you need to immediately follow it up with lots of love and a gentle explanation. Hold and rock him for a bit with lots of 'I love you's'. The key is consistency and follow-through!

After the first couple of times all I had to do was produce a wooden spoon when I could see a meltdown coming. We have wooden spoons EVERYWHERE. I would carry one in my backpack purse with the handle sticking out as a gentle visual reminder.

This is an effective reminder and a personal accountability that is learned early on. Aside from the other day, it has been almost six months since a scream like that.

Ha ha ha, aren't they just so pure in sound too? Oh, what a blessing to have a strong-willed child. It is hard, but you must be a strong woman or God wouldn't have blessed you with one. As I have said before, future leaders are not mild mannered children. You have a future leader on your hands. It is up to you just what KIND of leader he will be.


hello, what your son is doing is normal. My little one just went through that stage. It started around 11 months and ended not too ling ago. I did raise my voice and try to get him to stop and I treid everything. The one thing that did work was ignoring him. He is now 13 months old and doed not scream anymore. So don't fel bad because I was embarresed too especially in public places. SO don't be too discouraged he wil grow out of it. M.

The Happiest Toddler on the Block book was really helpful to us.

i know this doesnt help...but i had two screamers...my 3 year old is still one...there really isnt anything you can do...just know that this will pass and he will grow up to be a senator or president or something...its a good thing...hang in there mom!!!

I am just catching up to reading some of the posts....

it could be a phase

but consider his diet. My son was a screamer also.. and we tried our best to get him to stop... a little pop on the cheek, covering his mouth with a firm no, but I could tell something was not quite right. Then the chronic diahreah started. We had him to the GI doctor twice, then to an allergist who was able to diagnose a more newly identified type of allergy where the reaction happens in the digestive tract (I kept thinking no allergies, because he did not break out in hives, though he did have some severe eczema). Once we eliminated the offending foods from his diet, he became calmer and skin cleared up.

Look into his health.. his screaming might be attitude, but I would at least rule out anything like food allergies, senstivitie or intolerances (all different) - his screaming could very well be a way for him to tell you something he cannot verbalize!

Best of luck!

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