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How To Quiet a Screaming Child

If a cantankerous kid has turned a trip to the grocery store into a nightmare and makes a visit to the doctor's office feel like a stint in a horror film, then follow these tips to calm your screaming child.


  • TIP: Teach your child while you are out. Instead of always hushing them, introduce them to pineapple or whipped cream or the ATM by letting them push your PIN numbers.
  • Step 1: Ignoring the onlookers is your best defense against them. Do your best to alleviate the situation, but remember that your child is a child and you should not feel embarrassed if you are trying to fix the screaming.
  • Step 2: Know when taking your loss is the best idea. If your child will not stop screaming, it may be best for you, your child, and the public to leave even if you are halfway through your errand.
  • FACT: Although the average tantrum gets longer as a child ages -- 1-year-olds last two minutes, four minutes for ages 2 to 3, and five minutes for 4-year-olds -- they occur less as children get older.
  • Step 3: Allow the child to participate in the errand. This makes for an excellent distraction and also can build valuable learning skills.
  • Step 4: Choose locations that are already noisy or are familiar with toddler tantrums. A small, upscale market known for it's relaxing environment and wine expertise may not be the best place to lug your child to for apples.
  • Step 5: Try distracting your child once you've determined the child has no immediate need. If you are in a public place, use your keys to create a jingle sound or grab some bright-colored snacks off the shelf if you're in a grocery store.
  • TIP: Do not scream back. This can cause the child anxiety and make the situation worse. Instead, calmly remind your child to use their indoor voice.
  • Step 6: Plan to run your errands when your child is well-rested and not hungry. Pack a snack and a few toys to stave off boredom.
  • Step 7: Determine why your toddler is screaming. Ensure that the child is not experiencing any discomfort, including hunger, wetness, pain, or anxiety.

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