What to do with a screeching toddler?


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  • 4marigolds

    Hi, I am new, and am on the verge of taking the plunge into SCM. Sonya’s youtube videos have been the most encouraging.

    However, life has thrown us a curve ball. We were planning to dive into homeshooling last year with a stronger focus this year. My oldest who has adhd is 8 this year. But we had a surprise baby with sickness during pregnancy last year and a long PP recovery. My son who has loved to read chapter books together since he was 4, but got pushed back as I tended to myself and the newborn. I relaxed and embraced what we could do in homeschooling.

    Fast forward a year, and that surprise is now a 14 month toddler that screeches constantly. When I read aloud, she screeches (its almost like she is trying to mimic my sound). She screeches to ask “what is this,” she screeches to eat, and to drink, to hold what the big kids have, to know what they are doing etc etc… in other words it isnt related to a tantrum, it is related to how she expresses herself and learns about the world. So there is no preemptive measures I can take to prevent the screeching, and I have yet to find any comfort measures like bouncing baby on the knee, or filling her mommy cup before moving to the individual studies as SS suggested in the seminar talk about how CM looks at home. She also is not easily distracted by activities or toys, she wants to be a big kid like NOW, so if the bigs arent doing it, she isnt interested.

    I am looking up resources now to help move her forward from this phase, but it may take awhile to teach her this is not an acceptable time or volume.

    Will I realistically be able to teach CM style with a screeching toddler? We have a chapter book now we only get through small bits before her screeching becomes too disruptive. I am wondering if I should lift my media ban and let the kids progress with video and online games until we can move out of this toddler phase, or it is possible to actually push through with CM and a screeching, zealous for life baby.

    Can anyone give me a picture of what this might look like? From reading it feels like I will be doing everything aloud, if so then I cant see how I can make this work. Any veteran moms want to help.


    Can you do read aloud over meal time. It makes it hard because you have to either eat before or after the kids, but if your toddler is busy eating is she less likely so be so noisy?

    What about audio books? Does that get the same reaction out of her? If you put on an audio book and then can play with her, a blanket toy or some thing that keeps her busy but also not as noisy?

    I found the hardest for homeschooling was when my youngest was from about 14 months to 2.5 years of age. They wanted to be included but did not have the ability to participate quietly and were just noisy, as you described not in tantrum just wanting to participate. We did a lot of reading during meals and also took advantage of nap time. We actually continued quiet time, an hour of quiet in room even if not napping, until about the age of 5 so that there was time for the bigger kids to have one-on-one time with me.

    At the age of 8 for your oldest school can still be more “free flowing” read while the little one is in the bath, or audio books in the car…

    Not sure if any of that helps, little ones are all so different!!


    I would also save very specific things for when I read to keep the interest more. Play dough only came on the table out while I was reading aloud or listening to a book.

    Sometimes my youngest would take a bath and we would all hang out in the bathroom while I read, because he loved being in the bathtub and I could read.

    Bed time is also a time you can take advantage of sometimes. If you put the little one to bed you could read for 15-20 min with your 8 year old. We often read school books as bedtime books.

    More thoughts to get the ideas going 🙂

    Oh and start out small. 3-5 min reading sessions throughout the day. Some kids take to it quickly, others take time. Mine needed time to adjust to listening as I read


    It’s tough when they want to participate and communicate but just don’t have the skills yet. Have you tried teaching her a few signs for the things she wants to say? I only  taught my oldest any sign language, but it was cute to watch him sign “more” when he wanted another bite. 🙂


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