Screaming toddlers are loud! Is it a phase they go through, or is there a reason toddlers yell? What you do about this behavior can affect the child for the rest of their life. There could be several reasons why your toddler is yelling, and here are some ideas of how you can deal with the yelling toddler. Many toddlers are technically loud all the time-some due to hyperactivity disorders and others for reasons all their own.
1. Yelling is normal for toddlers.
Screaming toddlers do so as a way to get the attention they need at the time. For instance, when a toddler wakes up from a nap and is ready to get out of the crib. What gives you a clue they are awake and ready? Yes, they scream. Toddlers go through many different phases, including yelling. At times it may be because they like to hear their voice. Other times out of fear or joy and most often to get the attention they want.
2. Sometimes your toddler yells if he/she can’t find words.
When a toddler does not know or understand how to explain something, they scream. They cannot express themselves using words, so they pull out the sound they know will garner the attention immediately.
3. Your toddler is frustrated.
We have all had it happen. Those of us that are parents, you take your child with to the grocery store, and they scream. Whether it is because they want something and the parent said no, or because they are uncomfortable or very bored. Toddlers are born with an innate sense of being able to scream at the worst times, at least according to the embarrassed parents. When the yelling happens in public, you receive glares and stares from all those around you. As parents, you want to shout at them for staring at you!
4. Consider your toddler’s motivations to yell.
A toddler will find it to be fascinating when they gather the attention of others around them. They also enjoy the reactions of parents who jump when the toddler screams. As long as the toddler is gaining interesting reactions, they will continue this behavior.
5. Does your toddler ever win the yelling match?
Another place many parents have had no choice but to visit is the time the toddler screams that they want something and begin screaming. If they “win” even once and get to have what they want, that battle becomes common at each place you take the toddler to. Most of the time, it is impossible to go shopping without your toddler, so you struggle to find a way to stop the yelling. Yes, this is generally giving in to the child. That creates a non-stop cycle.
6. Consider the grocery store example.
For toddlers that scream to have what they want in a store, there are many suggestions available. Many of these will require determination on the parent’s part. Let’s use the grocery store example.
All you are trying to do is purchase groceries for your family, and the screaming and yelling begins. You can try to talk the toddler down while everyone around you stares. You can ignore the yelling and continue shopping, or you can make a drastic choice and tell an employee that you need to walk outside for a bit and ask if they can put your cart somewhere until you return.
Then you walk outside with the toddler and let them scream and yell while you try and speak calmly to them. There is an impactful video online that shows a father in this exact predicament. He walked outside with his toddler while the toddler continued screaming.
After a minute or two, he calmly asked his son if he was done yelling. Many times this created further yelling. The father asked his son, “Are you done yet?” The boy began again, and the father continued speaking and let the toddler know that they were not going back into the store until the yelling stopped.
I believe it took ten or fifteen minutes before the father was able to return to the store and complete his shopping.
7. Create a plan before shopping with a yelling toddler.
When you know that you will be taking your child with you shopping or other places, teach a game such as whispering at different times, when you make a game of whispering a few times a week and make it a reward system, you can generally shop with a calm child. By reward system, what I am saying is explain that when the shopping is done and your toddler has won the “game” by whispering longer than you, he or she will get to choose one reward. To accomplish this, I would wrap fruit snacks or apple slices with wrapping paper before we left and let my little one choose his prize once we were in the vehicle.
8. About those indoor and outdoor voices…
Any parent may find it to be an accomplishment when their toddler has learned the difference between indoor and outdoor voices. This can be done in a fun way that helps the child understand better. While playing with your child inside, the whisper game is good to play. Then take your toddler outdoors and show him that it is okay to yell outdoors by doing so yourself. Another method could be to teach your toddler that when they are frustrated to let you know that they need to go outside and yell. That may sound silly to some, but it is quite an effective method of teaching how to handle their frustration.
9. Time to celebrate!
Why did that father have success with his toddler? He calmly explained that the child wanted to scream; the screaming was to be done outside. He explained that the behavior was not acceptable when in a store. He waited after telling the rules until the toddler could compose himself. The father was calm the whole time. As hard as that may be for a parent, this man excelled at it. He allowed his child to get his anger and frustration out while making him understand it was not acceptable.