My Toddler Has Discovered Screaming

Updated on March 31, 2011
K.K. asks from San Diego, CA
5 answers

help! my toddler no longer throws his body back when he's upset he screams, and is only getting louder every day. It is really frustrating because he will scream all day when he gets upset. and scream for mins, non stop :( I prefer the tantrum where he throws his body back and kicks for a while than this. how do i "fix" this. For example, if i don't give him the TV remote he will scream and scream and eventually cry a little in the end but he's so loud, if i change the channel he will scream and throw a fit, if i change his diaper, the same thing. Its getting old and very difficult to "tune out" or ignore. I've spanked him on his diaper and all he does is laugh, i know that's not the answer. How can i get him to understand he needs to stop. He's almost 17 months, he's very smart, he understands a lot. I just don't know how to go about this. Thank you

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answers from Cincinnati on

Ask him to stop screaming. if he ignores you tell him "im going to count to 3 and if you dont stop screaming, I am going to put you in time out in another room"...count to 3 and if he doesnt stop...just put him in another room so he can work out his own frustration without you listening to it. I put my daughter on the bottom step...I can hear her but its not "in your face" screaming. I give her a couple minutes...she is usually done by then and slowly walking to me in the can see the sadness in her face. I usually say "ok Haley, are you done crying now?" she says "yes" (sniffling) and we hug...makes me laugh
If you boy gets UP from the time out place, put him back until he stays and stops crying. may take a couple times putting him back but he will get the picture

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Get some earplugs.. Multiple pairs. purse, car, kitchen, living room, diaper changing table. It will not totally block it out, but will take the edge off.

Whispering is good, screaming louder can work also total ignoring.

If driving, pull to a safe spot and get out. Turn your back to him.

In a store, at church at the park, Do not say a word, pick him up and carry him to the car, put him in the car seat and close the door, turn your back.

In your house, pick him up and place him in his room and shut the door or put yourself in time out in your own room.

He will realize, you do not respond to screaming. When he calms down explain. NO SCREAMING! We use our words. We always use an inside voice when we are inside. I will not answer to screaming.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Ok this may be a bad answer, but here are my brainstorms:

- ignore the behavior
- put him in his room and shut the door. Then tell him he can come out when he stops screaming
- bribe him - you don't want to reward the temper tantrum, but maybe you can reward him not screaming. I would use stickers. Then you can transition to rewarding before the tantrums start.

I also like the whispering option, but most strong willed kids don't really care what you have to say. When we went through this stage I counted to 10 before I did anything just to make sure I didn't react with anger. This is just a phase it will get better.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Modesto on

I'd put him in his crib or some other contained area alone and tell him he can come out when he stops crying. If you continue to give in to his screams he will continue to scream for stuff.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

Whatever you do - don't give in. You will just have to get through this calmly without EVER giving in. My son will turn 3 next month and has just started similar behavior. Whenever he does something like this, I calmly pick him up and take him somewhere to sit without any toys (kind of like a time out) - I explain to him that he can't have or do this or that and when he's ready to calmly talk to me, and stop screaming/crying, he can get down. Some times are faster than others, but eventually he always realizes that his tantrums aren't getting him anywhere. If he calmly comes over to me and asks nicely for whatever he wanted (assuming it wasn't something I didn't want him to have), then he can have it. If he calmly asks for something I told him he couldn't have, I simply explain to him that he won't always get what he wants. This often results in another tantrum, but the threat of a repeat time out usually stops him - I'll say something like, "do you need to go to timeout/sit by yourself again, or would you like to play with 'xyz'?"

It will take time, but the more often I show him that this type of behavior doesn't get him what he wants or extra attention, the less often it will rear it's ugly head. At least that's my theory and it seems to be working;)

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