Have a screaming toddler at home? You know the ones that are under 3 1/2 feet tall and don’t quite know enough words to form full sentences, but have strong enough lungs to make your blood pressure rise and your eyes start to bulge? If you have a screaming toddler in your house, here are some easy tips to stop a screaming toddler temper tantrum and to help you stay calm.
Distraction to stop a Screaming Toddler Temper Tantrum
As a new mom, I quickly learned the fine art of distraction to help make diaper changes, shopping trips, and even car rides a more pleasant experience. The key with distraction to stop a screaming toddler temper tantrum is to find something that is more enticing than hearing themselves scream. Some common distraction items are toys, food, television, or possibly an activity such as coloring. My toddler son loves to help with the laundry, so my favorite way to stop his temper tantrums is to ask him if he would like to help with the laundry.
Speak Softly to Stop a Screaming Toddler Temper Tantrum
Nina Louie in an article called Screaming on babycenter.com says that a good way to stop a screaming toddler temper tantrum is to ask your toddler to use their indoor voice using a soft voice yourself. Your screaming toddler will have to stop screaming in order to hear you. In fact, your screaming toddler may stop their temper tantrum completely because they want to find out what you are saying. I used this tip with my own son when he had a screaming temper tantrum and it quickly calmed him down since he was curious why I was talking so softly.
Time Outs to stop a Screaming Toddler Temper Tantrum
Just as adults can be bombarded with noise, lights, and sounds, toddlers can also have too much sensory exposure that can trigger a temper tantrum. In these cases, a good way to calm your screaming toddler is for both of you to take a time out. Find a corner away from noise and distractions to sit and gently talk to your child. Many times taking your screaming toddler out of the environment that triggered the temper tantrum and into a calm situation will help your screaming toddler become quiet and will help you stay calm.
Empathy to stop a Screaming Toddler Temper Tantrum
Harvey Karp, a Los Angeles pediatrician and author of The Happiest Toddler on the Block: The New Way to Stop the Daily Battle of Wills and Raise a Secure and Well-Behaved One- to Four-Year-Old, suggests first understanding why your screaming toddler is throwing a temper tantrum. Once you know why your screaming toddler is having a temper tantrum, relay that message back to them in language they understand. For example, if your screaming toddler is throwing a temper tantrum because they want some candy, you can calmly say to them: “[child’s name] wants candy, you are upset aren’t you?” This empathy causes your screaming toddler to calm down because they feel understood. When I used this technique with my screaming toddler, I found the effect was enhanced when I physically got down to his level and looked him in the eyes when I talked to him.
Conclusion to Stop a Screaming Toddler Temper Tantrum
The most important thing to remember when facing down your screaming toddler is the knowledge their temper tantrum will pass. Take a minute to breathe and remember that your mother was able to get through all the temper tantrums and screaming fits that you had when you were a toddler. Take the time to find the loving toddler inside, not the screaming toddler standing before you and you will both be happier. In time, your screaming toddler will grow out of the toddler temper tantrum phase and will grow into a teenager who gets upset that you won’t give them the car keys.
Harvey Karp. The Happiest Toddler on the Block: The New Way to Stop the Daily Battle of Wills and Raise a Secure and Well-Behaved One- to Four-Year-Old
Nina Louie. Screaming. http://www.babycenter.com/0_screaming_1200985.bc