2 Responses

  1. Angela
    Angela April 20, 2015 at 11:53 am |

    Oh, I feel you!! My kids (boys ages 4 and 2; the 4 year old is definitely still a threenager in his head) started screaming to get their way by 1 year old. I can’t remember exactly. What we do is we have a time out chair that’s down the hall and out of sight of the kitchen and den (where I spend 90% of my time during the day with them). They know that if they start to scream, they will get sent to time out. We also call it the “crying chair.” So the deal is, if you want or need to scream your head off bc you are frustrated, or upset with my instructions, or just didn’t get your way and life isn’t fair blah blah, you get to go to the crying chair (not necessarily time out, although it’s the same chair) until you can calm down, speak and use words and stop crying/screaming. It works like a charm. Sometimes they both need to sit there a while and scream or cry, but (1) they are not getting attention while they’re doing it, and (2) they know not to even try to come back until they are done, calm and quiet. and I can still hear them, but not quite as loudly 😉 My youngest, in particular, is more hotheaded than my oldest and has always (as my husband swears) been a screamer. My husband likes to joke that he started screaming when he was born and hasn’t quit since 😉 But this tool works for us. And if they are screaming bc they did not do something I asked, they know that when they come back from time out/the crying chair, they still have to do that task (with a good attitude and no more acting out) or else it’s right back to the chair. It’s worked really well for us. Most of the time, especially for tantrums, this seems to provide them a place where they can get their feelings out but I make sure they know “mommy doesn’t listen to screaming. If you need to scream, it will be somewhere else, not in my face.” And when you take away their “reward” of attention to it, it kills their momentum. It’s no fun to scream if nobody’s listening. I started my guys really early with this (but you are NOT too late, don’t worry) – before they were old enough to stay put in time out, I started by just walking away from them when they would scream and saying “mommy doesn’t listen to screaming. I will go somewhere else until you are done.” My oldest would follow me from room to room until he essentially got tired of walking and screaming at the same time (it was actually hilarious and hard not to laugh!) The youngest (until he could walk) would just sit there and scream even louder for about 5 seconds, then stop and look around for his audience. There is a t-shirt somewhere that says “boy mom: it’s an experience, not a label.” SO true!! I hope this helps you a little!! Let me know if you try it.

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