We’ve all been through an experience where we visited our friends and their children bombarded us with screams. We’ve heard it in stores, at parks, and on planes, and sometimes even our own kids are the culprits! However, there are reasons for these tantrums and the most prevalent one is that this is how kids communicate their frustration, feelings, and emotions.
We would like to get into more detail as to why children act this way and what the best ways of handling it are, and hopefully give some insight to those parents who might need the help.
1. Your child is seeking attention.
Your child throwing a temper tantrum could simply be them seeking attention. When kids want your undivided attention, they will do anything in their power to get it and they learn that screaming is a very effective way of achieving that.
Tip #1: Learn when to ignore this behavior. Ignoring is the most useful for behaviors where nothing is physically wrong like whining and tantrums. Learning to ignore the attention-seeking can sometimes make it less likely that your child will do it again.
2. Your child is testing their decibels out.
Yelling and screaming peaks between the ages of 18 months and 2 years. Babies test out how loud they can be because it is something new that they learn. To them, it’s a newfound power that has the ability to stop everyone around and make them look.
Tip #2: Give them positive attention. If your toddler is screaming simply picking them up, patting them, and talking to them softly could calm them down.
3. Your child is communicating with you.
When your child is still learning to communicate with you and you can’t understand them, they resort to screaming. That’s the only way to make their parents understand that something is wrong, or at least guess until they’ve guessed correctly.
Tip #3: Turn it into a game. If you’re in a quiet place, like your home, you can make a game out of it and see who can be the loudest for a short period of time, then quickly see who can whisper the quietest.
4. Your child is expressing their anger, tiredness, or hunger.
Another reason for that screaming or screeching could be as simple as hunger, being tired, or being angry at something. For example, when your kid can’t get something they want, a meltdown begins. They are still very young and don’t know how to deal with frustration or how to show patience and understanding, those are skills that are developed later in their life.
Tip #4: Stay calm. Answering their yelling with your own yelling is not good, as that will only make things worse. Instead, show them a calmer approach and teach them how to use their “inside voice.”
5. Your child is uncomfortable or anxious.
Another reason that a child might misbehave this way could be that they are uncomfortable or anxious in certain situations, or when they find themselves in a new, unfamiliar environment. It could be noisy, it could be full of other strangers, or it might be that they are not at home, where they can freely play and be surrounded by their favorites toys, which makes them irritable. This is why we often hear kids crying in crowded areas, like restaurants, planes, and other places.
Tip #5: Distract them. Offering them something else in the place of whatever they want that they can’t have, or offering a new activity like singing a song could work wonders thanks to their short attention span.
6. Your child is full of energy.
Often times when children are screaming it’s a result of the games they are playing, alone or with other kids, and the amount of energy they have, which is a lot by the way. That type of screaming is healthy and completely normal, they are learning how to express all the happy and unhappy emotions they have during play with their friends and their screams can mean different things, depending on the tone and pitch.
Tip #6: Reward them for behaving well. This is one of the best ways to go about teaching them how to act right.
How do you deal with your child’s temper tantrums and screaming and what is the most effective way to do that? Share your thoughts and opinions with any current and future parents, because we all need this help at one point.