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Screaming. could really use some help here :(

its been 3 weeks and he loves to scream its starting to drive my hubs and i nuts we don't know what to do we are at the end of our rope and its not just sometimes its like every hour for 3-5 mins
we have tried everything from asking him nicely to putting him in a 2 min time out and nothing is working
why does he like screaming so fricken much and how can we get him to stop?

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Asked by Anonymous at 7:15 PM on Feb. 2, 2012 in Toddlers (1-2)

Answers (11)
  • Who knows...toddlers are weird. More than anything, he just likes it because there is really nothing you can do to stop him.

    Get a squirt bottle and squirt him in the face when he screams like you do when a cat gets on the counter. Just kidding :)

    Tell him hes only allowed to scream in his room. Every time he does it put him in there and close the door. Tell him he can't come out until he stops screaming.


    Answer by UpSheRises at 7:22 PM on Feb. 2, 2012

  • He likes to scream because it gets a reaction out of you. Try walking out of the room when he starts to scream. Don't say anything to him, just get up and go somewhere else. When my kids tried this I'd just pick tehm up and put them in their rooms. Whatever you try, you need to try for a week or two before you can really tell if it's working.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 7:22 PM on Feb. 2, 2012

  • Even more if he does it when he doesn't get his way, that's even more of a reason to walk away....when my daughter tried that with me, I had to plug my ears and go in the next room....he'll get tired of it.

    Answer by calliesmommie at 7:27 PM on Feb. 2, 2012

  • Ah, also, have you read through The Happiest Toddler on the Block? Sometimes these little monkeys just want to know that you understand them...what they are trying to say. It's hard since they don't have the words. So you might say, "I KNOW, you are really MAD." Anyway, I used some of the author's methods and it did help. But I agree with Rosehawk too. Walk away...

    Answer by jeanclaudia at 7:40 PM on Feb. 2, 2012

  • Oh, my 27 month old has started having REALLY BAD tantrums this week. So, I feel for ya'.

    Answer by 3libras at 8:12 PM on Feb. 2, 2012

  • Ignore. Tell him you are going to ignore him and both of you need to follow through. Any sort of attention at all, including punishment, is reinforcing this behavior. It's like a game to him. He's not old enough to really reason with, and that would again just be engaging the behavior. It might take a little while for him to figure out it's over (again... you have to follow through every time and ignore), but should work... good luck.

    Answer by figaro8895 at 11:33 PM on Feb. 2, 2012

  • Do you mean he likes screaming, like he just shrieks for the joy of being able to make that crazy-loud sound? So there's not a connection to being upset or expressing anger or frustration?
    Or maybe it's excitement & that's how it comes out? So when he's happy or excited, watch out because he'll likely scream?
    It was sounding like that (enjoying the screaming sound, or else screaming from excitement/happiness) from your post, but I guess you could mean that he "likes" screaming when he's mad.
    Any/all of those are common toddler behaviors.
    For just-for-the-fun-of-it screaming, I'd try something many others mentioned, like moving for your comfort or else moving him. Acknowledge it's so fun to scream but it's loud & hurts mama's ears, so this (his room, the other room, outside) is where he can do that. Maybe talk about "outside voice." It's not about conveying anger but a limit--"Here's where/how you can do that."
    If he screams in

    Answer by girlwithC at 12:45 AM on Feb. 3, 2012

  • (cont.)
    frustration, instead of trying to stop the screaming, try to relieve what is prompting it. GET it...(this is that "Happiest Toddler...." stuff) He is communicating so one way to relieve (some of) his frustration is to convey your understanding, and how his feelings make sense.
    Keep in mind that this is not going to "solve" the problem of him being upset, necessarily. He still has to go through his feelings. But if you are responding only by trying to get him to stop, his energy is going to focused entirely on my feelings aren't wrong!! This is a parent-initiated power struggle & it prolongs his upset because it gives him more (your resistance & disapproval) to be upset about!
    Giving lots of acknowledgment (not explanations about how he shouldn't be upset, how he can't have/do whatever he wanted that you said No to, etc.) about what happened to frustrate him can help relieve the situation & screams.

    Answer by girlwithC at 12:52 AM on Feb. 3, 2012

  • This might be helpful, too: One great thing to remember is, what you focus on you get more of. When you're focused on what you DON'T want, that's what you'll get more of. (What you resist, persists.)
    When you're "asking him nicely" (to stop) & when you're putting him in time out (to punish him so he'll stop), you are focused on what you DON'T want.
    Children, especially young toddlers, are very concrete. "Don't," "Stop" & "No" are all abstractions. When you combine "Don't" with "scream," the concrete image or concept is "Scream!"
    If, however, you focus on what you DO want, you can avoid 1) negating him & initiating a power struggle and 2) confusing him with instructions he doesn't understand. (He understands your displeasure, but your focus on "scream" doesn't give him an acceptable alternative.)
    Conveying you understand that screaming is fun & "here's where you can do it" is a positive focus.
    So is recognizing his frustration.

    Answer by girlwithC at 1:03 AM on Feb. 3, 2012

  • i have been doing what you suggested girlwithc he just like to scream especially right at the cat i have tried everything or i wouldn't have posted this we have been working on feelings as well. not just that he sees other kids do it at the mall park or here if i have someone over with a kid and he picks it up from them and starts to act out and it takes me weeks to get him back to his normal well behaved self ( cause he is very polite and nice to everyone when no kids have been around in a week )i want him to have contact with kids but not if they are going to make him act out cause their parents don't pay attention to them and don't give a shit(and yes that is the case i am not exaggerating about the people i know) so they act what ever way they want then i would rather get him a dog he is doing this cause he sees other kids do it i am trying to teach him that you don't do what other kids do cause they get away with it....

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 3:39 AM on Feb. 3, 2012

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