Reply To: Screaming Nursery child

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#24365
Allysonallyson
Participant

    Three things that might be helpful:
    1- Giving meaning to ordinary behaviour to reduce the amount of attention he is claiming through screaming i.e. showing him that his ordinary behaviour is the most interesting and meaningful thing for adults around him and you can do this by just agreeing 1-2 key words that all adults will use to comment on his ‘non-screaming’ time. The best intervention that I have done is when we changed wild-behaviour by making sure the little girl heard happy-related comments e.g. happy-making, being happy, making other people happy, looking happy, having happy friends. It’s just that principle of paying attention to the behaviour you want and making sure that the child gets the message that ordinary behaviour is really valued i.e. it has a name ‘happy’. It doesn’t have to be ‘happy’. We’ve used ‘schoolboy’ as well ‘wow this looks like great schoolboy playing’, ‘this looks like schoolboy friends’.
    2- Disrupt to reduce the duration and intensity of screaming time – you don’t have to engage with ‘what’s the matter’ because that sustains the behaviour at that stage, just change the whole field of attention by doing something so left field that it disrupts the moment and gets him doing some other action ‘Do you know what I need to do? I need to … go and see what is happening in the hall/check to see if the slide is dry/ go to the kitchen and see if lunch is cooking (whatever)… Come on’ ( not a question do you want to come, just I expect you to help me). If you’re walking somewhere, then it’s easier to make an ending for that moment of emotion for him without needing to extend the time that it occupies him e.g ‘That was a funny/big/ sudden/ unexpected upset time wasn’t it? What will be a happy-making thing we can do when we get back?’
    3- Prevent if you can, so it might be worth working out a schedule for a couple of weeks of an adult giving him attention every 10-15 mins no matter what he is doing, so he’s being emotionally fed positive messages and expectations that we’re all just calm and happy at nursery… 😊