Q: I have a daughter who screams in the car. It is so loud that it physically affects everyone in the car. How can I effectively handle this? Waiting until we drive home is too long to listen to the screaming, but pulling over every 30 seconds is not always an option.
A: I am going to make the assumption that this is child is not a baby, but a child who knows better than to scream at the top of her lungs every time she gets in the car.
First off, you need to ask yourself why your child is screaming.
- Is she carsick?
- Is she bored?
- Have you had her strapped in her car seat for way too long, cramming just a few more errands into an already too long day?
If these are the reasons for her screaming, then distraction may be your wisest course of action. Music, books on tape, special toys just for the cars, a bag of healthy munchies, and a bottle of water usually work wonders to distract a child who simply cannot understand why she has to sit still and be quiet for such a long time.
Or is you sweet little sunshine just madder than a hornet that you’re making her do something she doesn’t want to be doing right now?
One thing you absolutely cannot continue to do is to ignore her behavior. Her screaming is disrespectful of others in the car with her and disobedient to your authority. Either one of those must be dealt with firmly and consistently. If, after having spoken calmly with her and directing her in what she can and cannot do while in the car, she still screams, then it is time for a well measured spanking. Usually waiting until you get home is best. That gives everyone time to think and pray and calm down enough to administer the discipline safely. But you’re going to have to be consistent. Some children will test you again and again on this.
Remember why you’re doing this, mothers- because you are helping your child become a lovely, self-controlled person whose dignity and beauty give grace to everyone in every circumstance.
She’s well worth the trouble!
From my heart,
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