Why Toddler like to Screams?
WHAT IT IS:
Your toddler (beginning at about 17 months) has discovered the joys of flexing his vocal muscles. (Earplugs, anyone?)
WHY IT HAPPENS:
It may look like mischief, but children this age are just having fun experimenting with yet another thing they’ve discovered they can do — in this case, create sound (admit it — sometimes yelling is just plain fun!). Compounding the toddler-screaming problem: The fact that tots have poor impulse control (not to mention volume control) and little idea of how to behave in public. Little ones also have very limited communication skills, so some times the only way to be heard is to yell (in a toddler’s brain, a scream says a thousand words).
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
This too shall pass. As with many other annoying toddler behaviour, your little sound machine will grow out of this phase.
WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT:
- Control the general volume in your house. That means no blaring TV, radio, or other background noise, and — most importantly — no screaming at your toddler to stop screaming. Remember, monkey see (or hear, in this case), monkey do.
- When your toddler starts screeching up a storm, turn on some music and suggest he sing or join you in a sing-along. Not interested? Ask him about animal sounds he can make, or bring out some musical instruments. Sure, it may still be noisy, but at least it’ll be easier on the ears than toddler screams.
- Challenge your screaming toddler: Look him in the eye and whisper. That may catch his attention and may make him curious enough to listen (and hopefully quiet down so he can hear).
- Teach the concept of an “inside voice” and an “outside voice.” Give a demonstration and examples of where and when they can be used (“You use your inside voice in the house and your outside voice in the backyard”).
- Another way to encourage quiet — when your toddler’s not screaming, invite him to a whispering match. Young children have a hard time whispering (it sounds sort of like a stage whisper) but that won’t stop them from trying, especially if you make a game of it (“Can you whisper like Mommy?”).
- If you’re in a public place, say a restaurant, and your noisemaker refuses to use his inside voice, take him outside — where his outside voice belongs. Try to do this without raising your own voice and making a fuss. (This trick also may tame a toddler tantrum.)
- Provide positive reinforcement. When your toddler uses his inside voice at the appropriate time and place, be sure to shower him with praise.