Screaming toddlers? - Mothering Forums

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Old 08-15-2005, 03:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello everyone!! I am having a hard time knowing what to do when my 2 1/2 yr old starts screaming. I'm not talking about crying really loud, I'm talking about scary-movie screams! Actually, I am having a hard time with his temper tantrums as it is. I don't know any other moms irl who practice gd. I know a lot who are against spanking, but yell and scream at their kids all day long and I don't want to be like that!! Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 08-15-2005, 03:25 PM
 
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Well I think that a tantrum is an expressoin of emotion or failed attempt at communication. As such I do not punish tantrums. I do not reward them. But I do not punish them or try to "make " my child stop. I do try to help them calm themselves.
The way I think about it is this. If you are upset you do not feel BETTER if someone yells at you or punishes you. And the thing about a tantrum is that it is usually about how a child feels. Later it can become a means to getting what they want because kids are quick learners. But even so, I dont think a tantrum is really that big of a problem Just an annoyance.
I do try to help my child communicate more effectively and bring their emotions under control. I can usually talk my 3 year old outof a tantrum by giving him the words he needs to express himself and tools to calm himself and feel happier.

As for screaming. I would say this depends on how you feel about it.
For me I cannot take being screamed at. It upsets me a great deal and makes me feel angry. I do not want to feel angry at my child. And so the thing that works for me is to ask them to stop or use their words. And if the child still chooses to scream I will either leave the room or place the child in another room a distance from me and tell him that it is OK to scream in his room. He can come out when he is ready to stop.
Some moms feel more comfortable hearing the screaming than separating themselves from their child at these times, so they would have different suggestions certainly.
When my now 3 year old realizes I will not be a willing audience to his screaming he stops. He has never stayed in his room screaming or thowing a fit for more than a few seconds before voluntarily getting better control on himself and joining the family.
Joline
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Old 08-15-2005, 03:36 PM
 
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For me it depends on why they are screaming. For my 2 YO, she has a variety of different "screams". Little of her communication is "quiet" -- must take after her mommy! Anyway, if its "I can't have what I want so I'm going to have a tantrum" screaming, I ignore it and walk away. Pretty much the same way I would handle her striking out at me. I do have to walk away though for my own control and sanity' sake. If she is trying to actually say something but is screaming, I will say, "Please stop screaming and talk to me in a calmer voice" and then wait for her to figure out how to do this, repeating my request as necessary. In these situations, I don't actually respond until she stops screaming. Obviously if she is scared or hurt or something else then I actually solve the problem.
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Old 08-15-2005, 03:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I really don't necessarily view tantrums as "bad" per say. I agree that with my son's lack of communication skills, it's the only way he's able to vent his anger and frustration. I also know that trying to stop has never had any positive effects. I was raised in a family that used corporal punishment *all the time* and so I never really learned patience, and that's my thing. Is it okay to leave them alone while they work out their anger when they get to the point of outright screaming? I just don't know, like I said, I don't know any irl models to watch. I remember being sent to my room often when I was a preteen/teen and always feeling bitter, but I think now that stems from my mom never being willing to discuss things with me.

Another problem is that my son doesn't talk a whole lot. He doesn't have anything wrong with him that anyone can figure, everyone just tells me he's a late talker. I've tried signing with him, but he's not interested. What are some good ways to open up communication with a toddler who won't talk????
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Old 08-15-2005, 06:13 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilsishomemade
Is it okay to leave them alone while they work out their anger when they get to the point of outright screaming?
This depends on you. Your temperament and your child's temperament.
If having them scream and throw a fit makes you feel less in control and upset and the alternative is you reach the end of your rope. I think the answer is YES. Because it is really a question of whether your child is better off screaming alone for a minute or having you lose your patience with him.
Every child is different. A child who is insecure with separations is going to react much differently than a child who does not.
So I would weigh how you feel when he behaves this way (does it push you so that you lose your patience) with how he reacts when you step away from him.
My children handle separations well. They do not become more upset when we are separated. In addition, my attention and presence tends to make the tantrum worse sometimes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by lilsishomemade
I just don't know, like I said, I don't know any irl models to watch. I remember being sent to my room often when I was a preteen/teen and always feeling bitter, but I think now that stems from my mom never being willing to discuss things with me.
You make a great point. WIth your child and tantrums you are showing them you WANT to listen and help and understand. But you cannot when they cannot tell you waht they want. Etc. I also think it helps to leave it open ended and up to the child's control when they come out. They arent going to seethe at being in their room if they are free to come out when they feel ready.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lilsishomemade
Another problem is that my son doesn't talk a whole lot. He doesn't have anything wrong with him that anyone can figure, everyone just tells me he's a late talker. I've tried signing with him, but he's not interested. What are some good ways to open up communication with a toddler who won't talk????
Will he say "yes" or "no" or nod and shake his head?
I find that when one of my toddlers is upset it really helps for me to guess what Is wrong and just keep asking till I get it right.
"Are you angry because your brother took your toy?" "Are you sad because daddy went to work?"
This is usually pretty quick because sometimes it is just obvious what the problem is.
Then, if my child can mimic I might give them words to say. "Can you say 'I'm Sad'"( or 'I'm angry' or whatever)
Often times just guessing what is wrong and my toddler saying "yeah" is enough. He knows he has been heard and understood and he calms down quickly after that.
Even with a toddler who wont say yes or no or nod. You can often tell by their expression when you have guessed the right answer. And even if he cant repeat after you, asking him to still gives him the words, even if it is before he chooses to say them.
I give my kids lots and lots of "scripts" so that they know exactly what to say when they want somethign or in particular situations. THis heads off a lot of frustration when it comes to communication.
Good Luck
Joline
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Old 08-16-2005, 12:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you, Joline. Everyone has given me such wonderful advice, and It's refreshing to read other mom's ideas. I just get tired of, "Well, maybe you should try giving him a spanking..." when I try and talk to my mom about it. I feel more prepared to deal with it, the next time(s) it comes up
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