Toddlers: A Scream Says a Thousand Words

Yep…It’s happened again. The end of the world has arrived for the 10th time TODAY!

I’m pretty sure you can guess what’s been going on in my house lately from the title and picture, yes? Little A has been quite vocal the past few months. And by vocal, I mean he’s been screaming and yelling and crying about EVERYTHING. You’d think he’s got a permanent case of PMS or something. This is leaving me, well…frazzled, to put it mildly. I pretty much want to scream back at him. (And sometimes I do. *ashamed face*)

With this in mind, I’ve decided to do some research. You are all so shocked, I’m sure. 😉


What’s up with my kid?!

The screaming. The yelling. The generally loud voice and angry demeanor. My conclusion: he’s a toddler. Lol. Seriously, though, he is learning to communicate, and learning what does and doesn’t work. He obviously can’t say what he wants, even if he DOES happen to know a few words here and there. In my little man’s case, a scream can actually say a thousand words. I immediately look at him or pick him up or yell back. All of which accomplish his goal: to get my attention. Now, this does NOT MEAN that I am giving into his every whim, or spoiling him by responding to his yelling. I am, in fact, doing my job as Mom. My kid needs me, and this is how he tells me so! For now, at least. I’m fairly certain that by the time he is 10 (who am I kidding, by the age of 3, people!), he will not be screaming to get my attention; you are not setting the tone for his entire future by looking when he screams.

Ok, so tell me how to fix it…

Here are my steps to successfully getting my toddler to chill out, gleaned from research and my own experience. (Please please know that I am telling myself this as I write. It’s like…75% of the reason I wrote this post.)

  • You can’t. By now, I’m sure you know that kids are hard to control. 😉 But you CAN teach them.
  • Correct your own volume. Keep inside noise to the level you want it! Use your inside voice in order to demonstrate correct volume to your kiddos. If the general volume in the house is low, it will be easier to enforce “inside voices”, and it will also become the norm much more easily.
  • Play the whisper game! When they start yelling and screaming, look directly at them and whisper your response. They will miraculously chill out and try to figure out what you just did. Turn it into a game, and teach your little to whisper back the same way.
  • Positive reinforcement goes a LONG WAY. It can’t be overstated! In such a negative world, this is just one more way you can praise your littles while they’re little. Whenever inside voices are being used, celebrate their accomplishment. I tend to ignore my kid when he’s behaving properly, and that actually does me more harm than good! Yes, he is doing his own thing and giving me a few minutes of peace, but he doesn’t know that this behavior is fantastic and should continue.
  • Go outside. If you can’t get your little to lower his voice, especially in a public place, take the yelling outdoors and remind him that loud voices are for outside. Then as you re-enter the house/building, talk in very low tones to make sure he understands that inside voices are now in session.
  • PRAY. Literally. Sometimes prayer is the only way I can get through an entire day of screaming. I even pray out loud, which lets my oldest know I’m talking to Jesus about something even though I don’t have my hands folded and my eyes closed. Calms my nerves AND teaches my kiddos about trusting Jesus for the little things? Yes, please!


How do you get your littles to use inside voices?

Any tips for us? Even though I have a 6 year old in addition to Little A, the age gap has made me forget all my child-rearing lessons! Good thing I’ll have the blog next time around… 😉 Share your advice, tips, or even questions in the comments below!

Need some toddler goodness? Check out these fabulous learning toys from Amazon! Little A is always searching for something new to look at, and I’m considering some of the awesomeness that is out this year. 🙂

When he looks at me like this, I think “I can do this”. Parenting this adorable little man and his loving older brother can be done! Maybe… 😉
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, and all information on this site is strictly opinion. If you aren’t sure about your situation, please seek professional medical advice from your doctor. This post contains affiliate links, which allow me to obtain compensation on products that visitors purchase without additional cost to them. That said, I do not link to products that I would not personally recommend.


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9 thoughts on “Toddlers: A Scream Says a Thousand Words

  1. My little’s are both big’s now and the toddler years seem like a lifetime ago now. I love the points about keeping your own voice low and the whisper game. It’s way to easy to just up on the noise level yourself when kids are screaming. Great post. Stopping by from Monday Musings.

    1. Thank you! Yes, it is SO EASY to get loud back. I have to constantly tell myself “talk low talk low” lol.

  2. I can remember those blood curdling screams as if my 34 year old was young again !!! LOL But children do grow out of that phase (and move into another one – like taking the family car for the first time after receiving their license – yikes !!!!) and you will get through this. Keep your chin up and pray a lot LOL !!!

  3. Yep, that’s a toddler for ya! Right now my daughter is nearing the end of toddlerhood…now it’s the screaming, but with actual words involved, I’d almost rather go back to the unintelligible yelling!

    Fantastic tips on getting a handle on the situation. You’re right, most of it is modeling good behavior and waiting it out!

    Thank you for sharing with us at #mommymeetupmondays!

  4. Aww your little guy is so adorable. You are giving some great tips in this post. We have to model what we want. I don’t have any toddlers, haven’t had them in 15 years but I can still appreciate your ideas, they also apply to teens (but that is for later) 😉

  5. I can totally relate—I have a toddler too 🙂 Your positive reinforcement tip is spot on! My son gets upset if I “ignore” him by enjoying the peace and quiet of him playing independently. Thanks for sharing these great tips!

  6. From the baby stage up until preschool age is such a difficult time. Younger children just do not know how to express themselves. As frustrating as their tantrums seem to us, they are even more frustrated that they cannot get their point across. Thank you for sharing this information on the Pinterest Game. Best of luck on winning.~Jennifer

    1. Agreed! Took a long time for me to really understand that. Thanks, love!

  7. […] It’s after lunch – you have eaten, changed a diaper, and done your cuddle/sing/rock routine. Just as your little one falls asleep and you place him gently in his bed – he pops up and immediately cries. Or….if they are like Little A…SCREAMS. […]

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