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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First of all I feel horrible that I have to come here all the time for advice. I feel like by now I should know what to do. My husband and I were spankers and honestly he still is even though I'm trying to get him to stop. On to my question. Today my 2 yr old was screaming in the car and I had no idea what to do other than to ignore him. I did explain to him that if he continued when we got home he would be put in his room. He does really well with that. However the screaming continued. My husband turnd around and smacked him in the face after asking me to do so and me telling him no. I don't know what to do in situations like that. Not about my husband, but about the screaming. I have to learn how to do this so that I can show my husband there are other ways besides hitting our kids. Trust me I am dealing with my husband now. I have already called my pastor and am planning to let him know that if he hits the kids again he has to leave. What would you do if your kids were screaming in the car? It can definantly become dangerous and honestly it's hard to not lose your temper after awhile and at least scream. PLEASE HELP!
 

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My dp handles this so beautifully. She finds a safe place to pull over and waits. Quietly.<br><br>
She has explained that it is not safe for her to drive when there is screaming in the car because she cannot concentrate. She is not willing to drive when it is unsafe.<br><br>
Same thing if the trying to kick or lick your sister gets out of hand.<br><br>
I tend to get angry first, but that's a completely unnecessary step. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"><br>
DP's simple calm taking care of everyone seems the best approach to me.<br><br>
ETA: I know you said you are dealing with the husband thing, but it may be useful to know that my nose was broken by that sort of angry face slapping when I was growing up. (According to my adult doctors, it was broken dozens of times.) It is both disfiguring and causes sinus difficulties. Your husband may not be aware of how easy it is to break a nose that way.
 

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My DD has always hated the car. Most infants sleep in the car, right? Not mine, she WAILED. So I feel your pain. Honestly I think it's a combination of boredom and not liking to be restrained (and maybe overtiredness depending on the day, and how close to nap time).<br><br>
a 2 yr old is old enough for you to start really talking to them- asking them if they would please stop, and not just "because you said so" but actually explaining to them why... ex- it makes it hard for mommy to drive safely (Or whatever your reason may be). Not sure your LOs exact age, but if they are talking in setences they might be able to TELL you what is wrong "I'm bored" "I'm Hungry" "I don't like the car" (interpretation- I'm bored or hungry or tired...). Don't assume LO is doing this to be bad, there is probably a good reason for the screaming, I really don't think kids just scream randomly most of the time!<br><br>
Also, could you do something to prevent the screaming in the first place? We have toys specifically for the car, her favorite music CD, and we also bring snacks in this thing called the snack trap so that the snacks don't fall on the floor but she can have a bit of a snack and be content (I know people say not to eat in the car, but I think it's safer to eat tiny cubes of cheese or whatever than to have her freaking out!). Make riding in the car a pleasant experience if you can!<br><br>
I would seriously pick up the book "Unconditional Parenting" by Alfie Kohn. It sounds right up your ally. I am reading it right now and I am seriously so excited about it. It explains why (with studies and everything) we should not use threats, physical abuse, etc and also gives alternatives. Life changing parenting book, seriously.<br><br>
Good luck friend!
 

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Your post disturbs me on so many levels but I am not going to address that.<br><br>
If your goal is gentle discipline, you need to get out of the mindset of making threats. At the age of 2, your baby is too young to understand cause and effect. By the time you get home and put him in his room, he will have forgotten why he is there and it becomes totally ineffective. You need to do some research and figure out what is age appropriate so you can react accordingly. You need to figure out WHY he was screaming rather than raising hell about him screaming. He is only 2 so his ability to communicate is still really limited. Gentle discipline is difficult to achieve if you don't have the attitude that kids are fundamentally good and that misbehavior usually has an underlying cause. If you can figure out and fix the underlying cause, then it becomes much easier on you and your child. Sometimes, the underlying cause is unrealistic expectations on the part of the parent.<br><br>
In your situation, the first thing I would do is try to find out why he was crying in the first place. Was there a bug in his car seat that was biting him? How long had he been in the car seat? If it was a long trip, he could have been hurting or had been uncomfortable. Was he hungry? What were the circumstances that led up to him crying? Was he fine one minute and started screaming the next? You really do not give enough information for me to give you advice about what you should do. Does he always cry/scream in the car or was this an isolated incident?.<br><br>
The first thing I would have done would have been to distract him with music or toys or a snack. I always try to have finger foods handy when my kids are that age. They can go from being fine to being starved in an instant. If that didn't work, I would have asked DH to pull over so I could make sure that he wasn't being pinched by the carseat or a bug. I also would have checked his diaper. My oldest hated being wet and would scream in the car if she was wet or poopy. At 2 she wasn't potty trained so it was something that we had to take into account when she was having problems. My youngest has always had a problem in the car so I have to sit next to her and keep her distracted. Otherwise, she screams.
 

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Apparently what worked for us was having a baby sister <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
Honestly though, When DS would scream in the car DH and I would ask him what was wrong. Most of the time the answer was I just need to scream. Sometimes something was *actually* wrong. (like a pinching carseat, or a shoe gone awry) We told him that it is not okay to scream and yell in the car. We told him we can't drive the car when he is screaming and yelling and we then explained that when we are *outside* it's okay to yell. At times where he couldn't be calmed, redirected or distracted in any way. We find a safe place to stop. Get him out of his seat. And let him YELL to his heart's content for x amount of time (depending on what we were doing in the car in the first place) and then get back in and go about our way.<br><br>
Forward 6 months to a year of having these conversations.<br>
We were out in the backyard and he was screaming bloody murder and I was nursing the baby. I asked him to quiet down a bit and he looked at me and responded "Mama! I'm OUTside." He won that one. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"><br><br>
His sister, now 7 months old, was finding her voice and screeching at her toys in the car. DS said rather sternly to her "Sister, we DON'T yell in the car. outside! Mama, sister needs to go outside now."<br><br>
That's how we handle it. We still have to make scream stops. Sometimes I just feel like screaming. I can understand the need to do it. Giving him a safe place to let it out has been really good for all of us.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It is honestly all my fault that my son was screaming. He had taken off one of his shoes and I put it back on and told him not to take off the other one because I didn't want to put it back on. I didn't then want to go back on what I said and put the shoe on. I have no idea what I'm doing here. I feel so lost. I feel like it comes so natural for you ladies and it just doesn't for me. I get stuck in so many situations and just don't know what to do. Is there some sort of book that can help. Something that is not so far to the other side that it will scare my husband away? There just has to be something for us. My poor kids don't deserve this. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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YOU ARE NOT ALONE!! We all have days and moments...<br><br>
We have been following the Positive Discipline series by Jane Nelson for awhile now (about 3 years, the kids were 4 and 2) and I find the Positive Discipline A to Z book works wonders when I can't figure it out.<br><br>
You mentioned that you didn't want to go back on your word, but that is an okay ting to do as well. It's okay for kids to hear that their parents sometimes say what they don't mean, and can admit it.<br><br>
I am with the others who pull over...I carry a book in the car and after the first 4 times the kids got it. I cannot drive when there is fighting or screaming. Sometimes we would sit for 30 minutes or more! I have been late to many things (including the kids getting to school) but they know I mean it when I say quiet in the car.<br><br>
You are on the right track, and it will continue to get better! -s
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>justice'smom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/12361247"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It is honestly all my fault that my son was screaming. He had taken off one of his shoes and I put it back on and told him not to take off the other one because I didn't want to put it back on. I didn't then want to go back on what I said and put the shoe on. I have no idea what I'm doing here. I feel so lost. I feel like it comes so natural for you ladies and it just doesn't for me. I get stuck in so many situations and just don't know what to do. Is there some sort of book that can help. Something that is not so far to the other side that it will scare my husband away? There just has to be something for us. My poor kids don't deserve this. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"></div>
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You are here because you love your kids and realize that you can do better.<br><br>
My 4 yo hates wearing shoes in the car because it makes her feel cramped. I would have let my 2 yo take both shoes off and then put them both on one time when we arrived to our destination. I think one of the biggest mistakes that parents make is being inflexible. I have gone back on what I have said depending on the circumstance. If it is a safety issue such as trying to drive without a kid screaming, then I do whatever necessary to keep them quiet. The only non-negotiable is the car seat.<br><br>
It does not always come natural and we all have our bad days. The main thing is that you begin from a point of awareness and realize how wrong hitting is. That is half the battle for some people. There are a lot of books out there that can help. I am sure that other moms can chime in with books that helped on their journey.
 

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I try to address WHY DD is screaming, not threaten her with what I'm going to do to her if she doesn't stop.<br><br>
What's the big deal if his shoes are off? I try to ask myself that before reacting - what's the big deal? Maybe his feet are hot. Maybe his shoes aren't comfortable. Maybe his sock got scrunched down and it feels icky. Is it really that big of a deal if he takes them off?<br><br>
Does he scream in the car all the time? Is his carseat uncomfortable? Does he need some soothing music, or for you to sing him songs? Tired/cranky/wet/bored/hungry? Special in-the-car-only toys?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I don't have a problem with him taking his shoes off. He took one of and screamed for me to put it back on. Then after telling him not to do it again he took the other one off. It almost seemed like a game. Which being pregnant and having a bad back was not an easy or comfortable game for me to play. Something has definantly been going on with him recently, but I can't put my finger on it. He's just a lot grumpier than usual.<br>
Thank you for all your kind words. I need it right now.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>_betsy_</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/12362390"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">What's the big deal if his shoes are off? I try to ask myself that before reacting - what's the big deal? Maybe his feet are hot. Maybe his shoes aren't comfortable. Maybe his sock got scrunched down and it feels icky. Is it really that big of a deal if he takes them off?</div>
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This. I really had to change my thinking. What did it matter to me if my kid's shoes were off...they're his feet and not mine. Put yourself in his shoes (really, no pun intended): he doesn't want shoes for whatever reason he has it is valid to him, and mom keeps insisting that they stay on because of mom's reason that makes no sense to me. That's enough to make a 2yo scream. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"><br><br>
Start small. Give yourself the goal to make it through the afternoon without screaming. Then a day.<br><br>
And it only gets better with three kids. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue">
 

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Oh, OK...the game thing. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Put a stop to it by not touching his shoes until you get to where you're going.
 

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The shoe thing could have also been a result of being bored. Perhaps you need to keep more games or entertaining stuff in the car to keep him distracted. You could have also found another game to play that would keep him from messing with his shoes but would have also been easier on your back. I am very pregnant with #4 so I can sympathize with not doing stuff because it is physically painful.
 

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Ah, well, now that's different. He probably was playing a game with you, trying to engage you. What about special in-the-car-only toys? DD has a crocheted blanket in DH's car that keeps her busy - I have no idea what it is about that blanket, but she loves it. But NOT in my car. Same blanket, transfered from one to the other, is not the same! LOL! But in my car she has a hat and a couple toys she plays with. She gets that they are just for the car.<br><br>
Some ideas<br>
A mini magna doodle is a HUGE hit with my 2 yo right now<br>
Having her own sippy and access to it seems to help smooth the ride
 

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Maybe he needs extra attention from you with the new baby coming? Maybe he's feeling anxious about that.<br><br>
Is there a way you could sit in the backseat with him? I do this a lot and while it doesn't always stop the screaming, I think it helps prevent some from getting started. My son also seems to really enjoy songs with hand movements that I sing from the front seat. My mom and I were on a road trip with him crying and got through all 100 bottles of milk (not beer!) on the wall with me making little hand movements over the back of my seat. He didn't cry the entire time we sang, but as soon as we stopped, wailing resumed.<br><br>
I also agree with pp's about special toys, snacks and not worrying about shoes until destination. I much prefer flip flops to any other type of show and alsways wanted to be barefoot as a child.<br><br>
I also agree with the book rec Unconditional Parenting. Totally eye opening, thought provoking, life changing. Your husband probably isn't ready for that just yet, but read it yourself. There may still be a sticky with other books that are not quite so drastically different.<br><br>
Good for you also for telling your husband no to hitting your child and trying to deal with that with your pastor. Hopefully your pastor can help your husband become more gentle. That is really rough and I'm sure doesn't make parenting any easier. I'm sorry you have that going on. Hugs to you!<br><br>
Hope any of this helps! Good luck.<br><br>
BTW- I also agree with the other posters that you are doing a good job and trying to implement GD is hard. It's so not what most of us were raised with that it doesn't come naturally at first. Give yourself credit for the good things you do and don't beat yourself up when you don't act like you wanted to. Like your kids, you're still learning. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>justice'smom</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/12361247"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">He had taken off one of his shoes and I put it back on and told him not to take off the other one because I didn't want to put it back on.</div>
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You're trying! I have no experience with my own kids, just babysitting and friends. I agree who cares if he has his shoes off? I'm 24 and <i>still</i> can't keep my shoes on!<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> The ladies here are amazing. You'll love it and learn a lot!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'm realizing in that last quote that I didn't write it correctly. He took off his shoe and then started screaming that he wanted it back on. So, I put it back on and then told him not to take them off again. Then of course, he took the other one off and screamed about how he wanted it back on. I, too could care less if he takes his shoes off. I always try to buy easy shoes to put on so it doesn't matter much. It's amazing to me how when I look back on the situation I can see his point of view. We do let the boys pick out a toy from home to take to play with before we leave, but I can see how that would only entertain for a little while. I think I now know what to get the boys for Christmas this year. They will be getting toys that can only be played with in the car. Thanks ladies. You have truely helped a ton. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I see. Well damned if you do damned if you don't! I don't know how the super crisp GD mamas feel about bribes, but I loved to bribe the twin boys I watched. I told them, "If you stop screaming until we get to this stop sign I will give you a date" Or something like that. That way I could dig for the date at the stop sign and they maybe maybe learned a <span style="font-size:xx-small;">little</span> self control. I also like the PPs DP who just pulls over! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I do it when my dog pulls on her leash, it would only make sense!
 

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I can't remember where I read this, and it's probably not be applicable to this situation, but you could also try the 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em' approach, and say, "Okay, we are ALL going to yell and scream as loud as we can for one minute!" This usually makes such a terrible racket that the kids are happy to be quiet for the rest of the ride...
 

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I just want to recommend Playful Parenting. Someone else offered Unconditional Parenting and I do love that one, but it may be a little too left of mainstream as a place to start. PP is also a book my DH loves and I think it is a good one for men, as they are often really good at being playful.
 
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