If you are expecting a baby or have a new bundle of joy, you may wonder how you are going to deal with the stress of a screaming into-everything toddler. You have seen your friends kids, so you know that when babies become independent little people, they are also interested in the world around them. If things don’t go their way, they may just dissolve into a little bundle of screams, too. Luckily for you, chances are good that you will be able to handle your baby’s forthcoming tantrums with compassion.
Compassion for Your Little Screamer
Even though you may not believe it, handling your own child’s meltdowns is much different than listening to another child’s screams of rage and frustration. Children, especially those ages two to four, aren’t able to express themselves with words. They may begin to have a tantrum anytime that they don’t know how to express themselves, or anytime they simply don’t understand why they can’t just have what they want. Be prepared to deal with these tantrums with a consistent plan, and you will find tantrums are more manageable.
All small children have moments that they can’t handle. You will find that a consistent response to tantrums is the best way to get results, especially if you have chosen a way that allows the child to have some space to think about why tantrums and screaming isn’t acceptable, such as a time out in their room or a pre-designated space away from others. When your child has a tantrum, you will find that it is an experience that will help you learn more about their personality, their needs, and how to show them socially acceptable responses to anger and frustration.
Stress and Children
There may be times when you are extremely stressed out by a child’s behavior. If you don’t think you can control your own temper, then it may be time for an adult time-out. Get a sitter, or simply go into another area of your home for a few moments until you regain your composure. Yelling at or spanking a child for having a tantrum isn’t a good way to teach them how to express themselves. All parents feel stressed and overwhelmed at some point. Kids who express themselves by screaming or throwing a tantrum simply don’t know how to express themselves, or you may inadvertently be showing them this is the correct way to show their feelings.
It is often best to eliminate a child’s screaming by putting them somewhere where they won’t get any feedback for their behavior. If any type of shouting elicits a response from you, even a negative response, chances are good that your child will use shouting behavior to get your attention in the future.
The Bottom Line
No matter how frustrated you become when you hear a child scream, you will have more compassion and sympathy when your own child is having a tantrum. Spending time with your child allows you to bond, and you may find that you are surprised at how lenient you become after bringing your baby home from the hospital. Of course, even the best parents may become frustrated with recurring tantrums, so a consistent plan for discipline is needed to ensure you don’t have a tantrum of your own.
You won’t be able to ignore your child’s screaming, and in fact it isn’t advised that you ignore any of your child’s feelings. His or her frustration will grow if you ignore them, making them overwhelmed with feelings of unfairness and frustration. Knowing when to talk to them to get to the bottom of the problem and knowing when to use a time out for discipline does take experience, but as a parent you are constantly growing and learning with your child. You will find that open communication and a willingness to listen can dispel even the worst tantrums when your child is screaming because they simply can’t express themselves.