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How can I get my young child to stop screaming?

Little kids need to be able to make noise, and we need to be able to hear ourselves think (once in awhile). With these conflicting needs in mind, you can let them make noise, but only within certain parameters. Toddlers love the fact that they can consciously control their bodies and their actions to a greater degree now. So you have to respect that, and give your child an appropriate outlet for his gleeful screaming. You don’t want to use punishment for something like this; you’ll just risk an escalation of the behavior as part of his naturally being oppositional at this age.

In our house, the kids are allowed to make as much noise as they can possibly create, but only in their bedrooms, the playroom, or outside. The living room and other common areas require “inside voices”.

Explain the new rules to your child, once all the adults are on the same page. You want everyone to be consistent if you want the new rules to stick. Toddlers will require reminding, but you can make it a game. “You feel like screaming? Let’s go to the screaming room!” and then start screaming your head off, once you’re there. Have him try to scream louder than you. Then, make a big deal out of using “inside voices” in other rooms. Tiptoe around, talk quietly, have him follow suit; but make it fun. Soon he’ll get the picture!

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.