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Screaming 1 year old

I have a 12 month old boy and he constantly is letting out shrieking screams.  He isn't upset but seems to want to hear himself.  He does this often and sometimes without being provoked.  At home it is tolerable but in public it is totally not acceptable and embarrassing.  My wife and I are at odds as to how to curb this behavior.  We have tried to ignore it but that doesn't help.  Any suggestions?

Wow, this question takes me back 6 months. Our youngest son was quite the screamer. His screams plus the normal noises of a house of 9 tested our patience.

My wife and I discussed our options and thought it boiled down to two.

Time out - You could use time out at his age to extinguish the behavior. The difficulty with this plan is time out requires consistency to be effective. What would we do if he screamed in the car?

Time and patience - Waiting for him to mature and learn to communicate better. Trying to ignore the screams while hoping our marriage would survive and neither of us would need hearing-aids before 50.

In the end, we did a combination of the two. Our main plan was time and patience. On his worst evenings, when he did completely “loose it” at dinner. We would put him in “time-out” in his crib until he (and we) calmed down.

It is imperative that you not reward his screaming. Do not give him what he wants when he screams for it. Responding to the screams will only encourage more screaming.

Screaming is usually worse in children who are speech delayed. You need to actively work to encourage communication - Sing to him. Read to him. Talk to him. You may consider starting a sign language program with your son.

My son, now 18 months, still periodically screams, but it has greatly improved. While he clearly understands, his expressive language is mildly delayed. I’m sure he will continue to scream until he can fully express his desires.

 

 

 

 

 

gregorygordonmd.com is intended to help parents understand the needs and behaviors of children. The information presented in the site is the opinion of Gregory Gordon, M.D.and does not reflect the opinion of his partners. This website is owned exclusively by Doctors insights LLC. The advice in this site does not apply to all children. Always consult your healthcare provider for your individual needs.

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