My dd is extremely verbal for a 13 month old, but I realize that while she may be able to use words and let us know what she wants most of the time, some of the time she's unable to actually FIND that word to use because of her age. This is resulting in an ear-piercing screech that literally makes my dh see red. He's a very calm man - doesn't get flustered easily, but he has said that he literally feels like putting his fist through a wall after she starts screeching and won't stop, because it hits a chord in his ear that physically HURTS him. He would never hurt our dd, or become physically violent in any capacity, but he is really bothered by this and often has to remove himself from the house when she starts screeching because he feels nearly ill when she hits this particular pitch with her screech.
The screeching has been going on for about 3 months or 4 now, and initially I thought it was a phase. I've tried telling her to find words to tell me what she wants, I've tried telling her to use an 'inside voice,' I've tried telling her she's using an 'outside voice' and we have to do it outside, and removing her from wherever she is and sitting on the porch. I've tried redirection. I've tried ignoring it. I've tried a sharp 'NO!' and 'STOP!' I've tried everything from laughing to see if she'll stop and laugh back, to imitating her screech. Nothing works. My dh is frequently so upset that he has to leave and go outside because he doesn't want to have a meltdown of his own (which he WOULD, if he had to continue to listen to the screech). This happens when she's happy, happens when she's tired, happens when she's fed - there's no rhyme or reason to it. It starts out as an excited squeal and then turns to a full-blown screech. I'm completely stumped on what to do, and I WOULD just ignore it, if it didn't bother my dh so much - but it's really a problem for him, and I want to be respectful of the fact that it literally causes him pain when she does it.
I don't know, at this point, what more I can do. I don't spank, I don't believe in CIO, and I try to use the most GD approach with everything that I can possibly use. I actually got upset with myself when I tried using a loud/stern voice to stop the action - I reserve raising my voice only for times when she could physically hurt herself (i.e. - touching the oven, reaching for a hot mug of coffee, etc) because it DOES stop her in her tracks... yet, with the screeching, she just proceeds to screech right through it. I've tried setting aside a space for her to be able to screech (which has turned into the porch, because we have a small house and I don't want her to think of her bedroom as anywhere other than a restful, calm place), but when she's full-blown screeching (and this is a CONSTANT, SHRILL, HIGHPITCHED screech), she'll stop immediately after getting to the porch, and then will resume once we've come back into the house.
I really feel like I'm at the end of my rope with this. I don't know what else to do - I know most kids DO go through a shrieking phase, and I attributed it originally to a lack of being able to communicate what she wants, but 9/10 times, if she wants something, she'll make it known either through talking or signing. The screeching has started happening in public and I'm afraid if I don't figure something out soon, it's just going to escalate.
If anyone has BTDT, do you have any tips I might try that I haven't already tried? As I said, it's been months, so I've tried each thing consistently before moving on to trying something else, then tried going back to each thing and NOTHING is working. I'm frustrated and my dh has a nearly constant throbbing headache from it. It irritates me, too, and make me frustrated and headachey, but to him, it's fingernails on a chalkboard and he equates it to noise torture.
Our clan: Me (25), Dh (29), dd (6/19/08) and ds (10/2/09) :