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18 month

My son hasn't started talking all that much other than mama and dada. He signs a little too but the problem is the awful sqwaking, screaming just bc he's not getting what he wants of for attention. I keep telling what to say instead. Do I have to deal with it or are there ways around it.

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Asked by wifey000175554 at 11:54 PM on Mar. 31, 2013 in Toddlers (1-2)

Level 15 (1,898 Credits)
Answers (5)
  • No. You dont have to Just  Deal with it, because that sets up a pattern for a pre school screamer/ whiner. From Nanny 911


    Answer by feralxat at 11:57 PM on Mar. 31, 2013

  • He screeches to communicate that he wants something/to get your attention so you can know?
    How do you "tell him what to say instead"? If you are frustrated/negative, and basically responding in an irritated way with instructions to "Say this" instead if he wants something, your response is less likely to communicate comprehension of him.
    My goal would be to show understanding & to encourage or model what I want from him. I definitely would reflect back what he "should say" because this reinforces his language comprehension AND verbal development (because you're "providing scaffolding" by responding to his communication AND fleshing it out or making it more complex) but if his verbal skills are very rudimentary & he doesn't speak yet, I don't think it's reasonable to expect him to ask in words as if he's doing something wrong by NOT "speaking."
    You want him to learn other ways than screeching, but that can come by "getting" his

    Answer by girlwithC at 4:11 AM on Apr. 1, 2013

  • communication and, in response, modeling what you WANT him to do when he wants your attention so he can ask for something. (This takes some reflection on your part for something reasonable & realistic, something you DO want from him that you can reinforce each time.)
    But realizing why he's making that noise (rather than expressing your annoyance THAT he made it) is a way to respond positively to him, with comprehension for what he's trying to convey, and responding to it, while also modeling/reinforcing the words for it & whatever you want him to do instead (say "Mama!" and sign "help" or sign whatever the request is, touch your arm & say "mama," etc.)

    When the squawking is a matter of expressing upset about something he didn't get, that's different. Recognize that he's disappointed/annoyed about a limit he couldn't change, and this is his feedback. Let him know that you understand what happened, it makes sense he's upset.

    Answer by girlwithC at 4:20 AM on Apr. 1, 2013

  • To be clear about the above comments, understanding his communication & responding, while also modeling how you prefer him to communicate, isn't about making that communication a "prerequisite" for granting a request you're willing to grant. Part of "getting" what he's communicating (in that annoying way!) is understanding his communication & following through on it, WHILE modeling what you DO want.

    If he screeched because he wanted more crackers in his bowl (knows signs for "more" & "eat"), & you're OK with giving him more but wish he wouldn't screech, then I'd notice that he wanted my attention, reflect back something like "Oh, you wanted mama to see you." (This is when you can give information like, When you want mama, you can say "Mama!") Ask what he wants to tell you. "You want more crackers!" Watch for his affirmative feedback, get crackers. Also model how he can say "Mama!" & sign "more," if that's what you'd prefer.

    Answer by girlwithC at 4:37 AM on Apr. 1, 2013

  • It's a matter of assuming positive intent (recognizing his reasons for doing what he's doing) and supporting his growth & development toward what you prefer, rather than reacting so negatively to what you DON'T love about his communication that you focus on discouraging it (not "rewarding" it) so essentially you're seeing it as something bad he's doing, rather than seeing it as the primitive effort to communicate that it is. (And naturally, he's frustrated when you don't just "know" something, lol, so his communication sounds frustrated, as well.)

    If you know what you WANT, while accepting where you two are AT, you are more likely to get places.

    And like I said, if screaming/squawking happens in reaction to NOT getting something (because you said No), that's just communicating his normal emotions in response to a limit. There, too, you show understanding for what's going on with him & this too models more mature expression.

    Answer by girlwithC at 4:44 AM on Apr. 1, 2013

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