You may find it annoying or embarrassing when your toddler suddenly starts screaming as loud as he or she can in a crowded shop, restaurant or bank. However, they’re not doing it to draw attention to you – they’re doing it to draw attention to themselves, and because they can.
If you think about it, it’s simple – up until now, your child hasn’t really been able to express themselves verbally. Now that he or she can, they want the world to know!
Since open spaces echo more, you’ll probably find that your toddler enjoys screaming there more. That means more embarrassing situations for you!
Of course, while they’re enjoying screaming to get their own way, or to get your attention and everyone else’s, you’re probably looking for ways to keep them quiet. Screaming back at him or her won’t work. It’s just another form of attention, and will almost certainly make the problem worse.
Rather distract them with a toy or game, or by pointing something interesting out.
Sometimes toddlers don’t scream for any reason in particular – they’re just happy to be alive, and expressing it. When this happens, don’t admonish your child. You want him or her to be happy, don’t you? Rather ask them to use his ‘inside voice.’ If you are at the park, or another child friendly place, just let them scream.
As a last thought, remember that it’s unreasonable to expect your toddler not to scream just because you don’t want him to. Don’t take your child to restaurants or other places where screaming would be frowned upon. Save that for when mummy and daddy go out alone. Rather stick to child friendly, noisy places, and you’ll all have a better time!