Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What do you do about yelling?

A corollary of the toddler behavior mentioned below has been a decent amount of yelling this week. If he’s demanding something, we’ll normally insist that he ask for it with a please or por favor before we give it to him. We tell him to speak in a lower voice. But in general, we’re kind of at a loss on how to deal with the yelling.

I’ve seen Supernanny list “no yelling” as a rule. Yelling then becomes grounds for a time out. I think that makes sense, but I find yelling a little more challenging to deal with than other behavior. If he throws a car, I can give him a warning. If you throw a car again, you’ll be going to the crib. He knows what that means and usually stops. But it’s hard to give a warning for yelling because once he’s done it, he’s usually in a state in which he’s not really hearing my warning. And then I wonder, where is the line between misbehaving and him expressing his feelings in his Neanderthal way?

During the terrible tantrum, I did give him a timeout and it wasn’t too specific. A kind of general misbehavior timeout. Two minutes later, when I took him out, he had completely calmed down and we had no further issues. Perhaps he just needed some space and time to cool off.

But since the times when the yelling occurs tend to be more stressful moments, Mark and I would like to have a unified strategy in advance. Any tips on how to react to yelling at this age (25 months)?

1 comment:

bessieviola said...

My daughter went through the yelling thing too, and sometimes still relapses. We made sure that we didn't yell in front of her, and each time she started explained calmly that we don't use that voice. We stuck with the "outside" voice concept with her, and used timeouts like you described when it was in conjunction with a tantrum. Worked pretty well for her... I'm guessing it's a stage thing, like everything else. :)