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Question
Posted by: Leonie | 2011/04/26

Screaming Toddler

Good day. I''ve got a 23 month old toddler who screams for almost everything. I am sitting with my hands in my hair. I''ve tried shouting with him, talking calmly, ignoring him, smacking his bottom, name it, I’ ve tried it and nothing seems to help. I’ m expecting his brother in 8 weeks and need this shouting to be gone by the time the baby comes home as my toddler’ s screaming is sure to wake the dead not even to mention his brother. Please help, how do I handle these tantrums? Your help will be much appreciated. Thank you.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Shouting may be almost instinctive, but as you've found, is no use at all, and the same goes for bottom smacking. And he's a bit young for reasoning with. Depending on how verbal he is, you can explain you will be with him when he stops the noise, but can't stay while he is screaming.
Try also checking this same question on the Parenting forum, as other experienced parents there, as here, will be able to comment from their own experience.
Screaming should not be rewarded ( though this can also be tempting ). Many will say you should ignore him, and leave him to scream himself out, withdrawing attention from him, providing attention whenever he quiets down, and withdrawing again if he re-starts the screaming.
If you've checked that he isn't hungry, cold, too hot, thirsty, or sitting on an open safety pin, don't feel guilty for not finding an immediately helpful way to respond when he screams.
What do others of our experienced mom's find most helpful as a way to respond in this situation ?

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3
Our users say:
Posted by: Anne | 2011/04/26

I think that you should just turn around and walk away when he screams, no matter how hard it is for you, or how long it carries on for. He will eventually learn that it serves no purpose and hopefully he will stop. Mine did. I even left him to scream in the middle of pick n pay (much to the horror of the other shoppers). Good luck, I know that the terrible twos arent easy. But be comforted in that it gets worse. In a few years he will be having tantrums because you refuse to give him the car keys to trapse his mates around.

Reply to Anne
Posted by: VOICE OF (MY) EXPERIENCE | 2011/04/26

I had a son who was exactly the same 30 years ago. At the same time l also had a dog who hated my son. My mother advised one of them would have to go. Social niceties dictated that l found a new home for the dog, but honestly l would have preffered someone took the child LOL.
The only peace l got was walking him in his push chair - l averaged at least 10 miles a day!
He eventually grew up and out of it becoming head boy,captain of the rugby,swimming teams, studying overseas, having his own business and marrying a super girl.
2 years ago he had a son who is trying him in the same way - sometimes, watching, l belive what goes around comes around LOL
Remember this will pass and like childbirth you will mostly forget the bad times.
Sorry l could not offer advice only empathy. Sometimes you will not always like your children, although you always love them.
PS
My second child was so easy l thought there was something wrong with him. LOL
Wishing you all the best.

Reply to VOICE OF (MY) EXPERIENCE
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011/04/26

Shouting may be almost instinctive, but as you've found, is no use at all, and the same goes for bottom smacking. And he's a bit young for reasoning with. Depending on how verbal he is, you can explain you will be with him when he stops the noise, but can't stay while he is screaming.
Try also checking this same question on the Parenting forum, as other experienced parents there, as here, will be able to comment from their own experience.
Screaming should not be rewarded ( though this can also be tempting ). Many will say you should ignore him, and leave him to scream himself out, withdrawing attention from him, providing attention whenever he quiets down, and withdrawing again if he re-starts the screaming.
If you've checked that he isn't hungry, cold, too hot, thirsty, or sitting on an open safety pin, don't feel guilty for not finding an immediately helpful way to respond when he screams.
What do others of our experienced mom's find most helpful as a way to respond in this situation ?

Reply to cybershrink

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