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. 🙂
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.