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We been having trouble with our toddler who is 1 year n 1 month. He is very mischievous but lately he has adapted screaming and resisting habit which is worrying for us. I am working all day. He is mainly with with granny and uncles and lately I been noticing, he screams while I try to hold him from stairs or stop him from doing something. He fights back and "resist", same habit has creeped into his sleeping habit while putting him to sleep. This new habit has got us worried as we think it might be changed into screaming if not sorted out. I would like to know if other fellow parents had it like that and how they overcome it.

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  • Have you just gone back to work? Are there changes in schedule or routines? I never had a child that age but imagine that most parents have been through things like this, if not specifically this. – WRX Dec 31 '16 at 23:15
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You are experiencing what nearly every parent on earth has at one time or another. It's not uncommon, it's not malicious, it's barely even intentional. Your baby wants something and you are not allowing him to have/do it; since he can't talk about it, or bargain with you, and has little self control or inhibitions, he expresses his frustration and disappointment exactly the way you and I did at that stage: he cries. If his disappointment or frustration aren't alleviated, he "ups" his expression of his emotions a few decibels. And so on. Perfectly natural and reasonable.

What to do? First, try distracting him with something he might like - a toy, a plush animal, whatever. But he can't have access to unsafe things, and dealing with that reality starts now on a very basic level.

Second, he's sad. It's perfectly ok to comfort him. Parents should respond to distress in their children.

Third, don't get upset with him when he cries. He can't control himself. It would be like getting upset with a 1 year old because they can't tie their shoes.

Fourth, realize he will outgrow this phase with your help and gentle guidance. It's not a habit he picked up somewhere. It's a normal phase of development.

Fifth, though he won't understand for a while, start teaching him feeling words. "You want that but you can't have it. You're crying. You are sad." "You like your bunny. You're smiling. You're happy." "That's exciting!" "Are you surprised? I am!" Etc. Naming an emotion is necessary before one can deal effectively with it. A rich emotional vocabulary is a gift.

Remember, this is normal (read up on phases of early childhood if you want more information about it.) Trying to put a stop to it believing it's just a bad habit he picked up is a very damaging belief.

Good luck. As parents, we've all been there and know how upsetting hearing your child crying/screaming is.

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    Thanks for great answer, it really changed how i looked at that think. I am just afraid he might not develop it into screaming in coming years, as i saw my nephew did and every time u would stop him, he would cry and spoil everything. Don't want that and rather make him a good child. – Nofel Jan 3 '17 at 12:16
  • @Nofel - Very understandable! Dealing with frustration in a child is probably one of the most challenging things parents do, but it changes as the child ages. A tantrum in a 4 year old is dealt with very differently than frustration in a baby. :) – anongoodnurse Jan 3 '17 at 15:18
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    An old post but a great answer. Our 1 year 19 month old has started high-pitched screaming during our family vacation. Your post helped refrain my perspective. Thanks. – Mike B Nov 10 '17 at 20:49
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Usually kids resist and/or scream because they know that's the way to get what they want.

My daughter learnt from other babies how they act with their parents to get what they wanted, and she tried to do the same with us. It's tough but we resisted back, never using force nor raising our voice, keeping saying "no", and waiting her to calm down, even if that would mean listening some minutes of screams.

That of course only as long as it wasn't a tantrum. If something changed in his life, stressing him, you should find out what is that, and show him it's all right.

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    I disagree. Kids that age are not trying to manipulate their parents. They're simply expressing their emotions. If he laughs at his father's funny faces, he's not doing it to get into his father's good graces. Little ones aren't quite that sophisticated. – anongoodnurse Jan 1 '17 at 18:39

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