Just Another Manic Mommy
Screaming and Crying and Whining … Oh My!
Dear Manic Mommy: Hi, my 4-year-old daughter screams and whines at the top of her lungs when she accidentally hurts someone and they react loudly. I have explained all she had to do is say sorry, but she still flips out at the reaction she gets. Help!
Manic Mommy: How often is this happening? Is this a daily occurrence? Does she accidentally hurt adults or do you mean during playtime with other children? The next time she behaves this way, remove her from the situation and take her to a room separate from the activity. Explain to her that you will not tolerate her screaming and whining at the top of her lungs. The problem is not that she’s hurting others, unless it is happening more often than you mention, and if it is being done maliciously, which I do not think is the case here. The problem is you don’t want her screaming and whining, right?
Take her into another room, and tell her to stop flipping out. She’ll eventually stop. Or she’ll stay there, and she’ll probably still scream until she gets tired. Do this a few times and she’ll realize that it’s more fun to be with the other kids playing than it is to be in the other room screaming. And it’s great that you explain to her that all she needs to do is apologize and that the screaming is unnecessary. Keep encouraging that – it’s a great strategy and a good thing for everyone to learn early on!