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16m old screeching.

691 Views 13 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  PancakeGoddess
Anyway to deal with this??

DD is loud. VERY loud.... also HN. Today, we were eating dinner at IKEA. WATER, WATER, WATER!!!!!! She gets her water, then wants a fork to go with her spoon ( "I want that!!!!! THAT!!! THAT!!") , then sees the pepper and wants some sprinkled on her food. ("I want that!! THAT!! THAT!!) Eats a meatballs, so a slight pause in her LOUD 'talking'. She then screeches "WATER, WATER, WATER!!!!!!". I give her the milk (she uses the word water interchangeably with milk)... she doesn't want the milk, she wants my water... to which she yells "I WANT WATER MOMMY'S!!! AH, AH, AHHHHH!!" (and yes, the girl is speaking in extended sentences, which is a different issue) More water, another slight pause. My oldest wants her hands clean, I mention we'll wash her hands after we eat. My BIG mistake... my 16m old goes excitedly nuts (LOVES water), and wants immediately out of the high chair to wash her hands, all the while she is screeching loudly in excitement. I'm luckily able to distract her....

BUT the WHOLE meal is like this. It isn't tantruming, JUST GETTING HER POINT ACROSS VERY LOUDLY, LIKE IF I WROTE IN CAPS ALL THE TIME FOR EVERYTHING!!! In the car, she just lets out these ear-splitting screeches.

How do you teach a 16m old ya don't YELL EVERYTHING!!! I'm trying to rationalize with her now, b/c I don't know what else to do. "DD, we don't yell at the dinner table... if you want water, say water please... to which she will emphatically sign the point it looks like she is rubbing her chest off, so even her signs are emphatic.

I know much of this is just her temperment, but it really is driving us nuts. Any suggestions???
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MMMmmm... the funny thing in writing this, is the realization that her signs are just as 'loud' as her speech. She signs everything SOOOO emphatically to get her point across. The funny thing... there is NO need for it. She gets her point acros 99.9% of the time, even if she isn't using words or signs.

My DD went through a screeching phase a while back. As a rule I ignored screeching or in the case of loud incessant demands I'd often answer back in a whisper.

My theory is that my daughter didn't have any incentive to stop being loud and demanding if the loud and demanding got results. I would, however, try and answer promptly any nicely said or gentle requests. (My dd at 16 months was not nearly that verbal, but has always been very clear on getting her wants and needs addressed.)

Maybe sit down before going out to eat and talk about what type of table etiquette you expect? Please? Thank yous? Or what about setting it up as a game? Have a whispers only meal. (Your older child can help set the stage for it by modeling soft answers and requests.) Maybe once in a while indulge the desire to be loud, and have a LOUD playful meal at home?

My daughter is now 18 months... and honestly she rarely screeches anymore. Although. I thought the day would never come. lol.
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I think it's just experimenting w/ communicating. She's learned that she can make those sounds with her voice/mouth, and like the pp said, if it gets results, she'll keep doing it.

From the beginning, I've been saying things to dd like "we don't yell, we use our talking voice." I say "we" b/c I don't want her to think that she can't but the rest of us can. I think that this has worked for us w/ this issue and with others ("we walk in the grocery store," "we pet the dog gently,", etc.). I try my best to keep it positive so I'm not saying "we don't" do this, that, everything.

Perhaps you could try using this strategy at home where you won't feel like you have to get her to stop b/c of the other people around. I find that my tolerance for behavior that I don't approve of or is unsafe goes way down when we're out & about.

And I like the idea of talking to dd about what you expect of her out. I am very big on talking to my dd about what needs to happen and explaining thngs to her, on a level she can mostly understand.

Good luck,
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My son was a loud child when he was that age. It's like they try and compensate for their size with their volume

The key is to try and work these things out at home. Once you get to the restaurant there is too much pressure on you to be able to handle it well.

I taught my ds to whisper at home. I would whisper to him and encourage him to whisper back. When he was good at it we used our new "secret language" to talk when we went to the grocery store. When she yells, not responding to her the way she wants definately gets your point across. You don't have to ignore her, but you could cover your ears (quite dramatically since drama is what most 16 month olds understand
) and say "Ouch! That loud voice hurts my ears!" or you could just say "I'm sorry, could you repeat that? I couldn't understand what you said because it was such a loud voice". If you do that, though, you need to be committed to it because after she's yelled the same thing at you three times it's so easy to just give her what she wants because it really does start to hurt your ears. But if you continue she'll learn that quieter voices is how we communicate. It might also be good to recognize that she's feeling so so so excited right now but she'll have to be just a little quieter. When you're at home you can have a meal (real or pretend) and use what we call our exquisite manners - kind of overly exaggerated manners. She will think it's funny and try to copy you. Then you can take her to a less formal restaurant (I don't know what kind of restaurant it was that you went to), say like McDonalds (even if it's just to order a juice or milk) and practice. Just make sure you go during a quiet time, like Sunday morning. If there are a bunch of other kids there acting up, she'll be less likely to use her 'exquisite' manners.

Good luck!
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Mmmmm, I should also mention the 'ignoring' tactic doesn't work, which is part of why I'm at a loss.

As part of being HN, she is extremely persistent. When going around the store, with her, she spent 15-20 minutes yelling "DADA, DADA, DADA", b/c daddy was shopping with my oldest in a different part of the store, and she wanted to see daddy. She's the type of child where if ya tried CIO with her, it would never work... she'd scream indefinitely....(haven't tried, but that's her personality)... the type if you ignore a tantrum it goes on 10x longer than if you pick her up and comfort her.

Plus, the yelling in a car... how do we curb that?? In that case it isn't a matter of giving in to what she wants, b/c it isn't that she is requesting anything... she is just being LOUD.... ear-piercingly loud. That's 10x worse than being out with her, b/c then the noise is confined to a loud space.

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My DD did this at the same age. I figured she was just experimenting with voice levels, and revelling in her newfound talents. At first DH and I tried to get her to stop (yeah, right, lol). Then we tried "explaining". Despite how verbal your DD is, she really can't use "logic" to control her own responses. We found the best thing was not only to ignore it (the volume level, not what she was saying), but to respond with a whisper. It's really neat how whispering gets kids talking more quietly. When we did this, the whole thing was over in a couple of weeks.
We've been in and out of this phase several times over the last year (ds is now 26 months). It gets on my very last nerve. We have not found a single tactic that works every time. Our first act is usually to ask him to use a quiet voice (using a quiet voice ourselves, to show what we mean), and to say "yelling hurts people's ears!" If repetition of this request gets no response, and we are in a place where it won't really drive others nuts, we ignore it. If we are in a closed-in public place (like a restaurant), we'll take him outside for a while or redouble our efforts to distract him from yelling by engaging him in an interesting activity. He often screeches in the car, which makes me just bonkers. I have been known to turn up the car radio rather loud to drown him out! Once or twice, I confess, I have also found myself yelling at the top of my lungs, "STOP YELLING!!!"
Mostly I just try to get through it, and remind myself that he will not be a screecher forever....

Good luck to you! I can relate to the frustration!
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my DS is doing too! he went through this fase about 6 months ago and it's back! he is 22 months and his screeching is soextremely high I can NOT ignore it or it will damage my hearing. I am serious! It's driving me crazy.
he wants something, gives me about one second to respond and if i am too slow he immediately starts screeching until he gets my attention. which ironicly he has 98% of all times.
I am loosing it and i found myself doing all kind of things to try to stop him. I did try ignoring him, but seriously, it's not an option - it gives me instant headaches and ringing and pain in my ears.

I need HELP!
My 19mo old ds dose this too and always has. It got a little better after he started signing, but then it pretty much came back. I don't have a clue what to do, but I am going to try the whispering thing. Unfortunately he isn't talking yet which is part of the problem.
I'm a new member, and was about to post about this very issue! I'm afraid I'm about to snap over this. My son is not talking yet, although he signs a little. And like a couple of others have said, I really feel like I can't ignore it. I have a constant headache, I feel like my driving is becoming dangerous due to car shrieking, and I'm just on edge all the time. "Gentle" is the absolute last word to describe how I feel right now
Please, someone help before I switch over to the "not so gentle discipline" approach, lol.
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Oh, I forgot to add... in the misery loves company category, I have to admit it makes me feel a little better that I'm not the only one going through this misery. I'm having one of those "all the other babies I know are so well BEHAVED" kind of days. Glad to have found this community.
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I'd get her ears checked, just in case. I'm sure it's just normal, but it can't hurt to make sure that it's not a hearing issue.
Like a pp said, I think responding to your dc in a whisper and trying to get her to copy you, as often as possible, might help. She is still a baby, so I wouldn't put a lot of pressure on, but I think I'd probably do something like this:

me, whispering: you want a fork?
(really emphasize whisper with big smile like it's a game) say " i want a fork"
DC copies, we hope
I give fork after DC copies

and so on. If DC doesn't copy, I don't push it at all. Too young for a power struggle.

I just want to say thank you for being willing to work on this with your DC. I have known parents whose kids were so freakin' loud and as far as I could tell, never tried to help them tone it down. I am very sensitive to loud noise so I'm not the best judge, but I sure wish they'd made a little effort. Spending long visits was a skull-bursting experience.
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