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I need some advice, please. My 20 month-old son has been exercising his lungs lately by letting out the most ear-piercing screams you can imagine. So much so that it makes my ears crackle,
: (and my husband angry). We've tried immediate redirection. We've tried telling him that it hurts our ears while making a sad face. None of this is working, because, as he's learned from our winces of pain, that this screaming gives him power. The worst part is now he's starting to terrorize the cat by chasing him around the house and screaming.

ETA: When he is doing this screaming, he always has an amused look on this face, and sometimes laughs after each scream.

I really need ideas because we don't want to go down the road of yelling (which makes no sense if we want him to stop jscreaming). For the past couple of days, we've tried just ignoring, and it seems to only be increasing. This is my first child, and I'd be so grateful for some advice. Thanks!
 

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That's a great article and a must-read IMO, but it doesn't sound like this is a tantrum. It sounds like he likes the way it feels/sounds to scream, and/or he likes the reaction. Maybe he's looking for attention. I say, give it to him. Only most people end up giving "bad behavior" negative attention and then a lot of kids end up doing a lot of bad behavior because it's the only sure fire way to get immediate attention. I say, refuse to give negative attention! (I'm not particularly great at this, but Playful Parenting by Lawrence Cohen helped) So maybe put on a great big grin and say, "ooh, what a looooud voice! Here, come outside with me and let's make more noise." And then experiment with different sounds and levels of loudness and talk about how it feels in your throat when you make different types of screams/screeches/bellows, etc.
 

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I came here looking for similar advice!
:
My 11mo old started screeching occasionally until we were visiting friends who laughed everytime he did it. Now it's everyday, several times a day!!

I don't know what to do. I realize he thinks he's probably going to get a laugh out of me....but I'm not sure if I should just try to ignore it? he's often involved in playing with his sister or me while he's doing it. so he's already getting attention.
i've been trying to put my finger to my lips with a shhhhhh sound when he does it, but often my knee jerk reaction is to say, "unh-unh, that's not ok."
i wish you luck, i'm right there with ya!
 

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we're struggling with our DD doing that. it doesn't help that my MIL laughs at this behavior (tantrums too). thank goodness she doesn't visit much.

we've been trying redirection and the "hurts our ears" ...but man...sometimes OWWWWW!!!
:

we have a "calm down" wall in our house and when she won't calm down we'll go there for a short while (like 30-45 seconds). there is nothing there to play with or look at really, just a plain place to sit, and we talk about the screaming not being appropriate at that time. i don't feel like i explained it very well...but it has worked at the times when nothing else has for us.
 

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My dd did this at about the same age. Her thing would be to scream in the car and watch her brother react and it was quite a show as he has sensory processing difficulties and is especially sensitive to sound. I would then develop a twitch as I tried to remain calm and drive while my 20 month old was screaming a glass shattering scream and my son was covering his ears and crying his eyes out. It was hard to respond to in the car but when she did it at home I would say to her (when she was getting a breath) "do you want to play with your brother? If you want to play, ask him to play, say "play please." And then I would talk to her brother about giving her positive attention when she asked him to play. I don't know if this really worked, I think she grew out of it and moved on to something else (though she still does it when his favorite song comes on the CD player in the car
)

OH, another trick I use/d was/is to whisper to her while she is screaming (or in between breaths) and that seems to get her attention.
 

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Yeah, it's not a tantrum.

All three of mine did it. My 3yo STILL does it, and it drives me up the wall. My skin crawls.

I have no advice. Like I said, my 3yo still does it. If I knew how to get her to stop, I would.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Mothra View Post
My 3yo STILL does it, and it drives me up the wall. My skin crawls.

I have no advice. Like I said, my 3yo still does it. If I knew how to get her to stop, I would.
Same here. She loves the feeling of making these piercing shrieks and I have no idea when it will stop.

She sometimes stops temporarily if I say (in a rather quiet voice, any raised voices or shhh-ing will trigger more shrieking):
- Right now I would like to hear your beautiful talking voice!
- My ears really hurt from that, if you scream like that I will have to go to another room.
- That was very loud! We shout only when we are outdoors. Indoors we have to talk or whisper or sing.

I'm sure you have probably tried those, though.
 

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My dd2 is doing this a lot right now, particularly when dd1 touches her things. We are all ignoring the screaming and it IS getting better, but it got a LOT worse first. Most behaviors do when you first start ignoring them!
 

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My 3.5 year old still sometimes does this, so does 16 month old DD. Sometimes when I am particularly annoyed by it I laugh and make my own annoyingly shrieking noise to them and they just look at me puzzled and don't know what to do
. It's pretty funny, and I think it makes them forget they were screaming
 
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