A baby cries a lot – let’s explain in general terms

How to teach your child not to scream?

Almost every one of us has encountered a child screaming, either as a parent or as a witness to such behavior. We all know how annoying it is to have a child yelling loudly in public transport or on the street. Whether it is an infant, whose screaming is piercing to the throat, even though we understand that the infant has no control over himself; or an older child, who with his caprices and cries irritates and makes us want to reprimand his mother.

But if for a bystander the solution to this problem is simple – a polite silence, because in five minutes you will leave the bus or turn to another street, i.e. get out of the situation, for a parent children’s cries – everyday problem, from which you can’t escape. It has to be dealt with.

The sooner you start, the better.

Not many people know that this behavior is fixed at a very young age, literally from a few months. Babies usually scream for many reasons – they are scared, cold or hot, wet or uncomfortable, or just lonely, and it is impossible to guess what caused it this time. Until children learn to talk, they will express almost all of their negative emotions through screaming, and sometimes through positive ones.

But with happy squeals and happy humming, there is usually no problem. But with yelling…

To begin with, at an infant’s age, a child usually cries when he does not like something, when he wants something or does not want it. And this is the period when parents are required to have all their endurance and patience, because it is then when the foundations are laid for a child to understand the power of his or her crying.

Babies usually communicate through loud screaming. Wet diaper – he cried – mom came, changed it, it was dry. Hungry – cried – mommy came and fed him. Too cold – cried out – daddy came, corrected the blanket. It is a natural situation for a child, and over time he begins to use yelling as a means of control. And if he or she has indulgent parents, screaming becomes a tool of manipulation.

Do you often see a child screaming in the street and having his mom or dad immediately “gagging” him with toys or candy? I bet you do. And everyone around you, except the parents, understand that this only makes the situation worse.

When did this “manipulation” begin? When did the parents miss the point? Because it’s obviously a parental slip, children can’t be blamed for acting on the actions of their parents.

It usually begins when a young child, being cranky, begins to scream. Not because he is sick or wet – but because, for example, he does not want to eat applesauce or wants “right now” a toy. And parents, wanting to avoid screaming, immediately give him a toy. Or they take away the unloved mashed potatoes, replacing the healthy ones with the ones they like.

The irony is that by avoiding screams at an early age, parents provoke them in the future, literally handing the child a scheme: “If you scream, everything will go your way.”

In fact, at this critical moment (usually a year and older), parents need to pull themselves together and think carefully about every move they make. Even if the child doesn’t like the warm hat and screams, the hat should be put on. Shouting can be tolerated. If the child screams while lying in the crib, just being cranky, it is necessary to endure and show the child that parents do not react to all screams.

But at the same time, the child should not be allowed to suffer from lack of attention, so this point is quite subtle. It is up to the parent to decide what to do in each specific situation. Usually mom or dad understands (senses) whether the child really needs attention or is just practicing crying.

The main thing is to constantly double-check yourself and the child and make balanced decisions without letting the child manipulate you. Act gently and patiently, but confidently. To “push through” useful decisions by persuading the child, even if he doesn’t understand all the words yet. Using the hat as an example – you can take the child in your arms, talk to him soothingly, put the hat on. If he yells and rips it off, just as gently put the hat on again, and again, and again. Over time, the child will understand that a hat is a necessity, and at the same time, listening to the parents’ voice, he/she will understand that everything is fine, and the discomfort is only apparent.

What about older children? Let’s say you missed a moment in infancy, “gave up positions” – there are different situations, sometimes parents are not too experienced, sometimes grandmothers interfere, nullifying all efforts, sometimes it just so happens that there is no strength to constantly “fight” with an infant.

We have more or less figured out why little kids scream. But what about the big ones?

Often, because they are used to everything by screaming. It also happens that they want to draw attention to themselves. By the way, we can not rule out features such as the temperament of children and what level of loudness adopted in your family. It is clear that in a noisy and verbose family will be considered normal conversation that people from quiet families will seem to yell. And it is clear that some children are simply more emotional, noisy, and temperamental than others.

But often the constant yelling and screaming is a sign of instability, disharmony and behavior disorders. And they must be dealt with and corrected. Especially if you yourself once allowed the child to get a means of manipulation.

So what to do? “Reclaim your position” back . Even if it’s too late, but it’s “never too late”. True, you have to put up with the screams and crankiness a little longer, and to show wonders of patience and diplomacy.

What is important for parents to remember:

  1. It’s not the child’s fault. He is only acting according to a scheme that you yourself handed him. Even if he has already grown up and uses the cry quite consciously, the task of correcting it – lies on the parents, and it must be done as gently and accurately as possible, not harshly, so as not to harm the psyche of the child.
  2. Not every situation where the child raises his or her voice needs to be prohibited and become a “wall”. Otherwise, you will get the opposite situation – the child will think that he/she is forbidden to want or ask something, to behave loudly and to draw attention. It is desirable in those situations when the child wants something that he/she can – allow it, but say it calmly, quietly and make it clear that it is your decision. For example, “Yes, I hear you want ice cream. You don’t have to shout like that, I understand you perfectly. Since you have already had lunch, and the weather is hot, I think you can have ice cream.

In this case, the child should form an understanding that adults make decisions on the basis of reflection, and not on the loudness of demands. The child himself or herself will begin to learn to understand his or her desires, to compare possibilities and situations, and to build his or her communication on this, not on yelling.

  1. You can’t yell. Yes, it is difficult, but in this case patience, firmness and gentleness are the cornerstones. Trying to “outshout” the child is not only a pointless venture, but also harmful – he will only conclude that shouting still works, just the one who shouts louder wins.
  2. Don’t try to “shut up” the child with gifts, purchases, sweets. This will only worsen the situation – the child will scream even more, knowing (consciously or not) that in this way he will get what he wants and a little more “on top”. If the child can get what he wants – act as above, in point 2. If not – just as gently and confidently explain why not. Often parents do not understand that children, especially little ones, are still poorly versed in cause and effect. Everything looks obvious to us adults, but not to them. So explain your decisions, even if they seem simple and understandable. But it is important to follow the rule – explain once, that’s all. So that the child understands, but just once, and later he has to build a chain of reasoning himself, and not to torment parents with endless “why not” (this is also a form of manipulation from his side).
  3. You should not “shut up” your child with words like “Look, people are looking around”, “Ew, how badly you behave, what people will think”, “That’s how your aunt looked at you, she probably thinks that you are a bad boy”, etc. This approach will in no way correct the child’s tendency to yell, and at the same time will add to his nervousness and is sure to cause many psychological problems in the future. Usually “how you behave, people are watching” is resorted to by inept parents, from lack of experience, or by lazy parents who find it easier to either yell at the child or to shame him/her.
  4. Instead of shouting, the child needs to be given another tool, an explanation. Children at such a young age do not yet understand how to get what they want. By ignoring a screaming child completely, of course, you do not submit to his manipulation, but you do not give anything in return. And you have to give – explain to your child how you can let him know what you want without yelling and pressure. Encourage your child when he tries to explain in words what he wants and why. And answer him intelligently yourself, laying out your decision. And when he is trying to get his way by shouting, calmly say: “I don’t understand yelling, explain in words, and then I’ll understand.

It should be noted that a child starts to control his/her emotions only at the age of 6-7 years, and not to the full extent, and you should take it into consideration. It is quite natural if children shout while playing on the playground. Or sing songs loudly during a walk. Sometimes it is even useful to let children “shout”, especially if after a long stay at home, illness or boring activities.

You can even shout along with the children (of course, in a suitable environment). These cries should be joyful, their task is to unload the emotional psyche of your children. By the way, cheerful songs are perfectly suitable for such unloading, as well as running around in nature.

If you feel that you lack the “tools” to cope with the tendency of the child to manipulate the cry, you should consult a specialist and with his professional help to work through this issue. You can also attend training on parenting.

Do not leave the propensity to manipulation in children unattended, help yourself and your children!

A baby cries a lot – let’s explain in general terms

The first years of a child’s life are a difficult time for everyone in the family. A baby changes everything, from the daily routine to the eating habits of the parents. And, of course, everyone knows that a baby makes a huge number of different sounds. The sooner you “decipher” his still quiet message, the more chances you have to avoid a full-fledged “concert”.

As the child gets older, it becomes easier, but suddenly the baby begins to have a three-year crisis, which is often accompanied by no less loud screaming and crying.

Why do young children of different ages often cry, and are there any adequate ways to influence it? Says Yelena Machneva, candidate of medical sciences.

Is a baby’s constant crying a tantrum?

– It is incorrect to use the term “tantrum” in reference to a newborn baby. A baby has no other way than crying to express his or her need for something. If an infant cries, it means that it is experiencing some discomfort: hunger, cold, pain, fear, fatigue, loneliness.

Some infants cry because they can’t stop, they find it difficult to transition to another state. It is not uncommon for babies to have neurological features and cry because of them. Such babies need special care. Only a specialist, a neurologist, can diagnose disorders.

If a baby cries, you need to try to understand and eliminate, if possible, the cause of the discomfort. If even after this he cries inconsolably for a long time and cannot eat or sleep, you need to show him to the doctor as soon as possible.

How do you know that the crying is not related to a medical condition?

– If we are talking about a child under a year, the most important thing is to be attentive to his needs, trying to eliminate the causes of discomfort in a timely manner. But not every baby calms down quickly and easily, some find it very difficult because of the peculiarities of their nervous system. In addition, sometimes babies cry because they are tired and overexcited. Individual characteristics of the child’s nervous system are important here.

It is very important to know your baby’s peculiarities, to monitor his/her current state (watch for loss of appetite, etc.) and to be observed by specialists (to be examined on time and to seek advice if necessary).

What should I do if my baby is crying?

– It is not advisable to leave your child alone with his problem. If he is crying bitterly, he needs help. If you take him in your arms, he may not calm down right away, but he will definitely feel safe.

A baby who cries alone for a long time gets used to the fact that no one needs him or her and his or her needs don’t matter to loved ones. Because of this, passivity, low self-esteem, and distrust of others are formed. Force-feeding or putting a child to bed is no less harmful to the child.

And a quick adequate reaction of adults to a baby’s crying, repeated day after day, leads to the development of strong attachment and a positive attitude toward himself/herself. Research shows that this is the key to full development in the future.

Is screaming a manipulation?

– This is fundamentally wrong. Babies cry only for good reason. A baby crying before one year of age is a signal that something is bothering him.

That is, if a newborn baby cries, it means that he is experiencing unpleasant feelings, physical or psychological. From an adult’s point of view, the reason for discomfort may seem insignificant: for example, some babies do not like being alone and require increased (compared to their peers) attention to themselves.

But such a baby’s tears are not manipulative, because he or she really feels bad. Therefore, it is important to find a way to meet the need for attention that will please the child and satisfy the adults. For example, carry him in a sling or cradle, and take him in your arms as often as possible.

Crying and the three-year crisis

Three-year crisis is associated with the development of the child’s psyche. It helps the child to become independent, to try their strength, to feel their own desires. But the baby does not yet know how to control their behavior, can not hold back and be patient. It is because of this that tantrums occur.

Not being able to express his feelings constructively, the child screams and gets angry. This is how he protests against circumstances that he is unable to change. He is defending his interests: he does not want to go to bed or leave the playground, but adults are forcing him. In this case, hysteria is a natural reaction to unpleasant events.

Babies are enraged by the feeling of helplessness. For example, the little one cannot pick up a toy, button up a button or open a door. This leads to despair and very angry! In addition, the baby hears a lot of prohibitions from adults, they reinforce the protest.

Is the crisis of three years old the same for everyone?

– The three-year crisis manifests itself in different ways in children. Some become stubborn and even oppressive for a long time, constantly experiencing and expressing their discontent. Others only occasionally exhibit stubbornness and willfulness.

Adults in this difficult time need to be patient and respect the feelings of the child. Try to treat the crisis as a necessary, if not too pleasant, phenomenon. If possible, give the child some independence, the right to choose clothing, activities at a particular moment of time, food – providing, of course, his or her safety.

It is important to optimize the number of bans – ban only those things which are unsafe for the kid or unpleasant for others. For the rest – it is possible and necessary to experiment.

Shouting at the parents’ bans

– It is very important to be patient and consistent. In no case can you cancel the decision or requirement that caused the tantrum. At the moment when the child is screaming or even rolling on the ground, there is no point in calming him, calling him to order, threatening. This moment should just wait it out. Do not respond to insults; the hand raised to strike should be firmly stopped! You can take the baby under your arm and take him or her to a less crowded place.

If the child often falls into an unmotivated rage, destroys everything around, hits people around, cannot calm down for a long time and so on, you should consult a neurologist. The reason for increased aggression may be neurological disorders which require diagnosis and an individualized treatment plan.

When the child calms down, you need to pity and caress him. Be sure to say how much you are upset by this behavior.

Distract or wait it out?

– If it is possible to distract – you can and should do it. But if the baby is “wound up” by any means, and does not react to the attempt to divert his attention, or he begins to scream even harder, then you need to wait it out.

Communicating without tantrums

Finally, here are a few rules from our expert.

To prevent tantrums from becoming a form of manipulation by adults, it is necessary:

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