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Q&A:
How should I handle my 15-month-old's screaming fits?

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Question


How should I handle my 15-month-old's screaming fits?

Answer


It sounds as if your son has developed a wonderful game that gets him extra attention. The key to stopping his screaming is to pay extra attention to him when he's behaving properly, and ignoring him when he screams like that.

Paying extra attention when he's good is often difficult for parents. We tend to ignore our children when they're well behaved and respond to them when they misbehave. So make an extra effort to lavish him with special attention when he's doing what you want.

When he screams, however, stop talking to him, don't look at him, and try to make your face blank. That way you won't reinforce the behavior, even with negative attention. Hold onto him to keep him safe and under your control.

When he stops screaming—it may take anywhere from a few seconds to a minute or more—look at him again and talk. He'll quickly learn that screaming won't get him the attention he wants.  
 
 
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