S.M. asks from Mechanicville, NY on July 13, 2009
Too Much Screaming!!
I need help. My DS is just turning three and has always been sensitive to loud, sudden sounds. My 14 month old DD has begun screaming. It always startles him and he then yells back at her. My DD will often scream when my DS enters the room. This sets him off. If I yell at her, then he cries because he was surprised that I yelled. We have tried everything--time out, ignoring, yelling, distracting, etc. Nothing makes either of them stop. Today I spanked them both and put them to bed. I have reached the end of my rope. Who do I work on first and what do I do?
1 mom found this helpful
D.H. answers from New York on July 14, 2009
Hi S.. Early intervention is imperative. My son did the same thing. He is three. And his older brother is sevenM. A good place is the Child Study Institute in Bryn Mawr Philadelphia. Good luck.D.
D. answers from New York on July 13, 2009
We use "inside voice" and "outside voice". So that they know there is a difference and that you can yell, but only when playing outside. I'd start there, with both of them.
M.K. answers from New York on July 14, 2009
Why not try to de sensitize DS?
Have him wear Ear muffs LOL.
to buffer the sound.
have his ears checked to make sure there isn't more going on.
And next time DD screeches, ignore it.
and let the 2 little ones work it out.
It should be ok since he is wearing his saftey ear muffs.
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K.P. answers from Rochester on July 14, 2009
Hi S. - not sure if this has been suggested to you yet. Sound sensitivity can be a red flag for auditory processing difficulties. You might want to talk with your pediatrician to see if he/she can recommend a specialist for having your 3 year old's hearing tested. That was the age that we had our son's hearing tested on the advice of a family friend who just happened to have a professional bckd in pre-school learning/behaviors.
Kathy H P.
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L.H. answers from New York on July 14, 2009
It's her way of getting attention. You are right in trying to stop the screaming ASAP, because she'll start doing it in public which is anoying and embarrassing. The best thing to do is to make a game out of it. Yes, I know that sounds like it's promoting it, but it's not since the purpose of the scream will be defeated. All you have to do is to gentling pat her mouth, so it sounds really funny and makes everyone laugh. Then try to get everyone interested in singing a song instead like the alphabet song. When you see a potential for your daughter being bored, get her to sing to distract her. Another unknown reason they scream is because they are bored.
M.G. answers from New York on July 14, 2009
You've gotten great responses to your request, so I'll keep it short. The first to work on is you. You simply need to stay calm. Take a cleansing breath before you proceed with the kids. I'm still in the learning process. The quieter I am/speak, the quieter the kids are/speak. And don't feel bad about spanking your child for the right reasons. I feel your frustrations. I trust that you are not a child abuser. There is not a fine line, but an absolute thick line between spanking and abusing. Try checking DS's hearing and using soothing techniques for DD. Good luck.
N.D. answers from New York on July 14, 2009
This is classic sibling rivalry. DD gets a kick out of startling DS and they both are vieing for your attention. My advice is to be consistent. Whenever they scream, tell them to stop, and then put them BOTH in time out for the same amount of time. It might take awhile, but they will soon find something else to do to amuse them and aggravate you.
K.H. answers from Utica on July 14, 2009
First of all congrats on a lovely family.
Second, would either behavior bother you without the other? Probably so it is loudness. Yelling, screaming they are about the same for me. No matter whose mouth it is out of and that includes mine. "Use your inside voice" worked eventually.
My mom always said "if you can't beat them, join them." So when she didn't like our ___________, she decided to enjoy us in the situation. I took my clue from her, when I didn't like what mine were doing, I joined them. Their music, their sports, their art,so yes I guess joining their screaming would be my reaction. Can you get your DS to scream whenever his sister does? Then the 3 of you can scream. It will stop quickly because your DD will wonder what is going on. It is at that point that I would say "Use your inside voice" all that noise is too loud for the house, and go outside and scream again. Making a point of it.
Screaming in my experience is for 2 reasons --- attention, and to hear their own voice. If they get neither then the behavior stops. Just a thought. My kids were too far apart mostly to have to work this one. But often used it in preschool class.
Laughing is always better than getting angry. Can you force yourself to act instead of react to the situation? Don't try to fix it but just realize that your two children are different and don't compare.
God bless you
Hope you get some great ideas
K. -- SAHM married 38 years -- adult children 38,33,and twins 19
N.T. answers from New York on July 14, 2009
When you were pregnant with DS, did you startle easliy or were you surrounded by the occassional or frequent yelling? This may explain DS's reactions and possibly DD's. As a suggestion, keep the environment calm - verbally, with music, soft lightening, chimes; get a mother's helper/assistant. Also, Flower Essence (FE) is a natural therapy approach that helps to balance emotions - for everyone, including babies and children...worth looking into. Feel free to contact me if you have questions about FE.
All the best,
Holistic Healthcare Practitioner
W.C. answers from New York on July 14, 2009
You set the tone...in your classroom and more importantly, in your home! Don't respond with yelling or spanking, you're just encouraging the negative behavior. When the little one yells, calmly say in a nice, quiet voice-"No, we don't yell, let's use a nice voice" or something like that. Model the behavior you want for your kids to follow. I have a 12 yr. old daughter who really wants to be sarcastic and argue. It's very hard but when she starts with me, I take a deep breath and respond back to her without yelling. This has taken a lot of practice but it works and now we have more conversations and less arguments.