19 Mar

How to deal with a child screaming a lot?

how to calm down a screaming child


Do you get embarrassed when your child screams all of a sudden? Throwing tantrums and whining are some of the characteristics of small children. They are young kids who have no idea how to deal with their emotions and feelings.

Why does your child scream?

Even if it is for the smallest things, your kid screams, for instance, they want something they’ll scream. If they want to do something, they’ll scream, hence, every communication aspect of theirs is more of screaming and shouting. In such a situation, punishing them is never going to help. But the question is why do they do this? It is quite simple since toddlers and preschoolers are not able to vent out their emotions verbally they look out for another outlet to express their emotions. The best thing you, as a parent, can do is avoid those kinds of situations which will tempt your toddler. Furthermore, you can divert their attention when they are about to scream.

Ways to deal with screaming child:

 handle a screaming child
image source – https://www.modernmom.com/

1. Offer choices:

Offering multiple choices can work wonders in calming down your screaming tot. When you suspect about the options you offered to your little one isn’t going to work, provide them with more choices which will tempt your kid to shift their attention, hence this will defuse the tantrum and hopefully he/she will calm down.

2. Be an admirer:

Being an admiring audience works. Instead of scolding your child in order to clean the mess they have created, you can softly say things like, “show mommy how quickly you can clean the mess” and give a compliment them for their effort.

3. Empathize and distract:

When your kid starts to wail for e.g. when your little one doesn’t want to come home from the park and still wants to play. It’s obvious for your kid to turn into shrieking mode but the correct way to tame them down is by showing empathy. You can try with giving a soothing response like, “I know you wish to play in the park all day but mommy is hungry and need something to eat”.

This way you can shift their attention to something pleasant like letting them watch cartoon program, chocolate ice-cream that makes them happier.

4. Be a spin master:

There’s a way to handle your naughty toddler especially when he/she is not interested to come with you to run errands like going for grocery shopping. Instead, you can say, “Guess what? You are about to do something special, so hurry and put on your shoes”. You need to build a tempo and make the chore look interesting.

5. Run errands on her schedule:

It is tough to match your schedule with your little ones especially when you have errands to run. Hence, it is not possible to have your routine and schedule work around your toddler, but whenever possible you make sure that your kid is well fed and rested before you leave the house with him/her so to avoid the baby tantrums.

6. Ask them to use an indoor voice:

Another effective technique to calm down your screaming kid is – Whenever your kid is on the screaming mode try not to criticize or comment. Instead, lower your voice in such a way that you’re little one has to tone down their screaming to hear you. This time you can calmly convey, “Mommy cannot stand the screaming sweetheart, it gives a bad headache”.

7. Keep them occupied:

You can turn your boring errands into a fun activity by engaging your little one in that activity. The screaming kids stay quiet when they are busy. For e.g. you can take your kid along with you for banking work, and teach them about how the real world works. This could be interesting.

8. Turn on the music:

Playing their favorite song when they are throwing tantrums. Turning on their favorite tunes can help in silencing down. Suggest singing along, this way your toddler screaming will sober down a bit and then you can hear him/her what they have to say. What was bothering them and why the screaming happened?

9. Lower your voice:

Rather than scolding or criticizing them when your child is in screaming mode, make eye contact and let your child know that the screaming is not “allowed”. Hold the eye attention for a while till he/she knows what they are doing and eventually start hushing down. Silent treatment works but, as a parent you too need to be patient with them to know that they are kids and the screaming is just a passing phase.

10. Provide positive reinforcement:

Don’t forget to praise your kid when they have well-behaved especially when their screaming has gone down and it is more out of habit now. Appreciate their behavior in front of your family and friends so that they feel their behavior has been noticed and in a way will convey that screaming is “no-no” thing now.

What are the types of shrieker/screamers? What type is your child?

Screaming comes in all shapes and sizes. It involves frustration, the explosion of anger, or disorganized behavior, or it’s just a happy outburst. A child who is screaming is often seen stiffening their limbs, falling down for no reason or running away. In some extreme cases, toddlers break things, vomit, hold breath and at the time turn into super aggressive more.

Identify what kind of screamer you have and here are the few responses ready to calm them down.


how to deal with a screaming child
image source – https://www.chicagotribune.com/

1. The happy shrieker:

These kids shriek a lot when they are happy. However, other people may get disturbed and won’t like the child shrieking. What you can do is, pick your toddler up in your arms and gently rub the back. It will provide your kid with a calming presence.

2. The attention-seeker:

As the name suggests, the toddlers are attention shriekers, not seekers we can say that here. Your little girl or a guy wants your undivided attention and that’s the reason they scream to let you know that they need you. Reach to them, when your toddler’s vocal volume is on overdrive. Pat your baby’s back, make them sit on your lap and mimic something or smile which will demonstrate that you are not ignoring them and he/she is your center of attention of all in the world.

3. The angry screamer:

If your tiny tot isn’t happy, chances are they do vent out being an “Angry screamer”. What you can do is immediately divert your toddler’s attention to something like giving a toy, pointing out at a picture, color book etc. something that holds his/her attention. It might be a tough call for you dealing with toddler tantrums especially when you are in a public place. Take your little one in private and calm him/her down by talking sweet little things. Then you switch the gears and suggest some distraction.

How To Discipline A Child – Final Thoughts:

screaming child
image source – https://www.youngparents.com.sg

For many mothers, the toughest part is coping with a toddler who loves screaming and whining for no reason. All you have to remember is that everybody has been through that phase so it’s okay. Try not to take it personally.

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