If your child screams when they want something

If your child screams when they want something

Like it or not, screaming is communication. It gets your attention quickly and it tells you your little one needs something. You were used to them crying/screaming to communicate their needs as a baby but now they're a little older you're used to them being pretty independent and calm. Screaming can be triggering and as children creep towards age 2 - their emotions are HIGH.

THE WORST thing you can do is respond with frustration. Remember - your child is learning everything from you so if you model shouting, snapping, shushing or ignoring - your little one is going to copy further down the track. Your job is to rise above, understand that their brains aren't fully developed yet and that they NEED you to be the adult and calm the situation.

Similarly - don't tell them not to scream. This might be all they have left in the tank and they have no other way to communicate. Just roll with it - I know it's frustrating.

Guess what they're trying to say and and speak calmly as if you were them. That means you speak in the first person - speak for them in a moment where they can't. E.g. "I'm tired", "pass me my drink", "I want toast please".

If you don't guess it correctly the first time, guess again. This way you're supporting them to get their message across when they can't.

If they're asking for something they can't have, guess their sentence first then respond as yourself. "I want the scissors, Mummy. I can't give you the scissors because they're too sharp, would you like XYZ instead?".

Even if your child uses a lot of words, sign can be an excellent form of communication to fall back on when their brains are too upset to form words. Signs like 'help, more, eat, drink, where' can help your child to at least give you a clue of where the frustration lies. My sign posters can help you remember! If your child doesn't speak yet - sign is a no brainer - just do it! You'll thank me later!

Try this tomorrow and let me know how you get on.

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