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stovertampa
stovertampa asks:
Q:

whats the best way to deal with a child who screams everytime you ask him or her to do something or not do something

In Topics: Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Aug 11, 2011
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What the Expert Says:

What a frustrating situation.  We can understand why this would be a situation where your patience would be tested.  Please continue to have patience and remain calm with your child.  Try to follow the rule that the louder your child yells, the softer you speak.  Yelling or snapping back will usually only increase the amount of tension and anger.  

Time outs will be a good tool here.  You child needs to learn how to stop and think.  It is actually an essential skill for life so if you can help your child stop what they are doing, acknowledge what they are feeling, and then find an appropriate way to cope with those feelings in a healthy way.  Don't set them up as a punishment, set them up as a time to process what is going on in the current moment.  You can assist in this by calmly asking questions that direct your child's energy away from lashing out and toward expressing how they feel.  This can be done by having them draw a picture or make a statue with their body or saying one word that is what they feel and saying in a bunch of different ways.  By first identifying feelings, you child will have a better understanding of what they are experiencing.  

Along with this, educate your child as to why they can or cannot do something or have something.  For example, if somebody told me I couldn't have my phone and didn't tell me why and took it away, I would be upset.  But if they told me I can't have my phone because it is malfunctioning or somehow dangerous, then I wouldn't feel so bad about not having it.  Do your best to inform your child about why the rules are the rules.  Then after informing them, if they continue to break them, ask them to remember the rules and repeat them back to you.  That way they can begin to connect the dots for themselves.  

Good luck and if you ever need further assistance, please call our hotline.  We talk to parents and teens about all sorts of issues and would be happy to help you however we could.  The call is free and we are available 24 hours a day.

Counselor, Dominic
Boys Town National Hotline
1-800-448-3000
www.parenting.org

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Additional Answers (2)

JeanneBrockmyer
JeanneBrock... writes:
It's tough to be calm in this situation, but that's really your best option.  Kids learn a lot from how they see their parents act and so if you answer their screaming with a calm response that will have a big effect. I'm assuming your child is about 6 to 12 years old but this would also apply to adolescents though you might change the wording a bit.  For example you might say something like "It sounds like you don't want to do that right now, but it's not a choice."  Then you would follow through with any consequences that the child knows will happen if he or she doesn't do what you asked. But the main idea is that you stay calm and model reasonable behavior.

Jeanne H. Brockmyer, Ph. D. education.com expert clinical child psychologist
> 60 days ago

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KimmyRyan
KimmyRyan writes:
I would refuse to react by getting angry and wait the child out til they are done screaming. I would then make them sit down til calm and listen to my explanation of why,howcome and ofcourse the issue of obeying parents. explain that parents have rules for childrens safety and to teach responsibility. Also explain how adults must follow rules called laws. Defiance will not be tolerated and if the screaming continues then you start to take away privileges that they enjoy until the behavoir stops.  Good Luck!!!! I have a 6yr old and a 16 yr old. It does'nt get easier,only different!!!
> 60 days ago

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