Something has happened to Oliver and I am not sure how to deal with it!
For the past few weeks he has become a screamer! A screeching screamer!
He has learnt that when he can not get what he wants or if his brothers are annoying him he can just release this high pitch, glass breaking scream, loud enough to cover your ears just to get what he wants and unfortunately it is working! I have no idea what to do when he does it! I have never come across the situation before with the other two. I know how to deal with tantrums as I have handled my fair few of them but dealing with a toddler who screams so loud it hurts my ears, I have come to a stand still.
I have tried:
- Ignoring him – this just makes him scream even louder
- Mimicking him – this just makes him scream even louder as he think it is just a game
- Removing him from the area – this just makes him scream even louder
- Giving into him – which I really do not want to do
- Occupying him with something else – It works for a while until he remembers that he was screaming prior to the new activity so he just screams even louder
- Cuddling him and giving him attention – This doesn’t really work
- Getting down to his level looking him in the eye and saying ‘NO’ clearly and calmly – staying calm whilst he is screaming isn’t easy although it does work until he remembers that he was screaming so he carries on
Things that trigger off his screaming episodes
- His big brothers especially Joseph, who i know is teasing him as i can hear him when i am in another room
- When he doesn’t get his own way
- Travelling on the tube/train and bus
- When he’s tired
Oliver knows that it is wrong and he knows that if he carries on screaming Mummy will eventually give in to his demands especially on a busy commuter train full of tired just out of the office workers on their way home from a stressful day at work, he knows how loud it is as he even puts his fingers in his own ears when he is screaming and then says ‘Ouch!’ After he has screamed the roof down and he knows that it annoys people.
I often get that look from other people, you know the look! the one where they clearly believe that i am a bad Mum for allowing him to scream and I am not dealing with his outbursts in the right way, People often ‘Tut tut’ really loudly or kiss their teeth or even nod their head in disaprovement! It’s not as if i have taught him to scream and it’s not as if I am allowing him to carry on, I AM trying!
Oliver doesn’t speak much although he does have the odd vocabulary and it is getting much better but i do think that maybe he is screaming not only for the attention but as a way of getting across to us that he isn’t happy, in pain, upset or clearly that he just wants to be left alone.
I am hoping that it is just a phase and that once he begins to put sentences together and his vocabulary expands he will forget about the screaming!
If anyone has any advice they could share with me on how to deal with screaming, i would be very grateful!
One very tired, run down, had enough of screaming mummy signing off!
Oliver is 17 months old and having a tantrum isn’t new to him, he has been throwing himself about for a few months now. He has learnt that if he doesn’t get what he wants just to throw himself on the floor like he is superman, arm out in front of him and he leaps to the floor. This i can deal with its what he does while he’s down there that I’m struggling with, he bangs his head on the floor and starts kicking out his legs! He can really hurt himself from doing this, i have learnt to ignore his antics as i feel that he is doing it because not only does he want attention but also as he thinks he can make his brothers laugh with his silly act.
His tantrum doesn’t last for long and after a minute of being ignored he soon gets up and carries on with what he was doing.
His bad behaviour doesn’t stop their though as he now pulls hair and has been known to bite his brothers bottom if he doesn’t get what he wants, he also has this horrible screeching scream that he has perfected to a tea as he knows that it really gets to me. When he pulls hair I say ‘Ouch’ to him so he knows that it hurts and when he climbs all over his brothers when they are playing with each other i make sure that they include him somehow in what they are doing. Oliver can say some words and understands a lot more and i know that it is easy for him to behave insuch a manner because he can’t talk yet, his tantrums and behaviour is a way of getting the attention from his brothers.
I know we must ignore this sort of behaviour and that it is probably a phase that he and many children go through so here are a few of my top tips on how to deal with tantrums for the young and older ones:
- First and foremost Ignore their behaviour, walk away of possible.
- Keep calm and collective, shouting will only make matters worse and possibly stress you out more
- Try and take their mind off of what they are tantruming over with a new activity and by talking to them
- Give your child lots of exercise and a chance to let off some of their steam outside or inside
- Sit down and play with your child this will teach them to play nicely and also keep them entertained
- Get down to your child eye level to talk to them calmly, sometimes holding on to them can calm them down, but not too tight and DO NOT shake them
- Sometimes a count down can help like giving them 5 seconds to stop what they are doing, counting down 5 4 3 2 1…
- Have a ‘Time Out’ spot, ours is on our bottom step but with young children you can just use a seat or even a piece of fabric placed onto the floor.
- Our Time Out goes on their age so the eldest has 10 minutes to reflect on his behaviour and Joseph has 5 minutes, this may work with the older ones but not so well with the younger ones who do not understand
- Sometimes the child only needs to a cuddle to help them calm down and gives them the attention they need, i don’t place them back down in the same place though once the cuddle is over i find something else for them to be doing or we sing nursery rhymes to the younger one
- Saying ‘No’ doesn’t always work so explain what they are doing wrong and teach them the right way to behave
- Remove your child away from the situation
- Do not laugh at them however funny they look on the floor kicking away this will only, in my experience, increase their behaviour
- Don’t ignore their feelings, give them some comfort. Spend some time in the day where you are together enjoying each others company as sometimes tantrums are just for attention from their parents or if they are jealous of other siblings receiving attention that they want
I am hoping that Oliver will grow out of his tantrums like his big brothers have done so once his communication and language improves and turn into a charming little man!
What advice do you have with dealing with tantrums, please share with me below? I am always looking for new ways to deal with every day child behaviour 🙂