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The screaming is putting me over the edge

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  • The screaming is putting me over the edge

    My middle child is almost 3.5 & she is something else! She can be the funniest, silliest little creature but in .25 seconds she'll be screaming at the top of her lungs. Her passions run high & her opinions are fierce! I just don't know how to temper things around here, though, because I can fell my blood pressure rising as her screaming episodes escalate. (I also have an almost 5 yr old dd & a 10 month ds). And these epsiodes are not few & far between....this morning alone she had 4 "fits" before 8am.

    My husband is much more patient with her than I but it seems like the more calm & logical you are with her, the more aggravated & obstintate she becomes (it took him nearly 20 minutes to get her in the car this morning). I tend to be more firm & she calms down quicker. We really, really want to be good role models for our children but I cannot seem to figure out how to deal with her except talking firmly & seriously. My husband thinks I need to be more logical & sweet with her but I just don't think it works.

    I suppose I don't see firmness as stepping outside the boundaries of "positive discipline" but perhaps I'm wrong. Does anyone else have a screamer? How do you deal?

  • #2
    Yes, two of them. Not just screaming but all out meltdowns. I totally understand your feelings.

    Some questions I thought of when reading your posts:

    1) Is there something similar happening prior to all of the "episodes"?
    2) Are many of them related to transitions?
    3) Is she hungry or tired during these times?
    4) Does she have any sensory sensitvities that might be setting her off?

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    • #3
      Thanks for responding, Melissa!

      Sometimes I can definitely correlate an instigator for her screaming but generally, no. I would say they are mostly related to her opinions. This morning she didn't want to wear shoes or a coat. I can be flexible with the coat (even though it wasn't even 40 degrees here in Chicagoland) but we were going out to breakfast & she needed to wear shoes. When dh tried to discuss this with her, it set her off. Then, when he finally got her in the car where me & the other 2 kids were waiting, she started screaming & kicking him when he tried to buckle her seat belt. "I DON'T WANT ANY BOYS BUCKLING ME!!!!" She just had good night's sleep & a small snacky breakfast. I'm quite sure she doesn't have any sensory sensitivities either.

      I really think she just goes from 0-60 if things don't go her way. If her older sister leaves the room when they're playing together & she wants to keep playing, she'll scream at the top of her lungs. And not just a quick outburst...it's a long, drawn out, blood curdling roar that is difficult to calm. (last week, in the car, she was set off by something & screamed until she was coughing & I seriously thought she was going to lose her voice). I used to try & convince dd1 to appease her in some way but then I think I was doing dd1 an injustice by giving in to dd2s screams. The squeaky wheel, ya know?

      Part of me just wants to say this is "age appropriate" but I really feel like it's not. I *do* think it's her temperament but at almost 3.5 she knows quite well what she's trying to accomplish by bursting out. Part of it can be age-appropriate frustrations but generally it seems like she falls apart when she doesn't get her way. (I guess that could be age appropriate, too, but the extent of her falling apart is getting to me).

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      • #4
        I don't have advice but I really can relate. I have a 3 and half year old and a 10 month old too! I have found that when I speak 'on her level' and spend lots of good 'touch-y/feel-y' time with her things go much smoother. But sometimes it seems like she just gets up on the WRONG side of the bed.

        Comment


        • #5
          Yes I have two as well.

          My 3.5 DD screams and my DS howls.

          Loudly.

          So loudly DD screams, that we had a store employee in the grocery store this week waaaaaay on the other end of oru HUGE grocery store (giant eagle) say "was that you who was screaming earlier? (with a smile and a finger reached out to touch her-and boy did that go wrong!)"-as she was fussing when we got to that side of the store.

          I also ask the same questions Melissa asks.

          Note too in your last post you mentioned both instances were in the car.

          My DD is no longer napping but I know she is TIRED at certain points in the day. How about your DD?

          Like emmasmom mentioned, I try to make sure to give her good down time with just me and really fill her love cup. If I do this things are much better for us. Sometimes tho' even with that I will get a scream. When I do I just get down to her level and breathe (HAVE to breathe- I feel my BP rise too sometimes). She needs me to be the adult and not out of control like her. I am here to help her and that is what I tell her. At night, before we go to sleep, if she has had a rough day, she always tells me "Mama I am sorry I screamed at you today." It tells me she is a aware she is out of control but she cannot handle it at that time, so I am even much more empathetic during those times when she is screaming.

          My DD has dealt with a lot in her little 3.5 y/o life and so she has some anger issues. I try to help her as much as I can with feelings (we have feeling bear felt board we use-also try to point out feelings in books) and modeling. It is not easy. It is work.

          I also wonder if it is being the youngest child in the home that causes more frustration to be surrounded by so many *big* people. She and my son are 4 years apart.
          Is your DD the youngest?

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          • #6
            yes, i need to be more conscious of giving her lots of loving. her "love cup" is HUGE! just last night we were sitting outside chatting with dh's older daughter & boyfriend and dd2 sat on my lap & sucked her thumb for about an hour. she asks me to hold & carry her constantly & needs much from me throughout the day. she's not the youngest....i have a 10 month old, as well....but i tend to think some of her issues stem from being the middle child. it just seems like i can't give her enough!

            the reason i came online to check this thread was because the girls just woke up & dd1 came downstairs....and dd2 started screaming at the top of her lungs! screeching & shouting & demanding my other daughter come back upstairs because she didn't want dd1 to get downstairs first. she's so volatile...it's really starting to worry me.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by koru View Post
              yes, i need to be more conscious of giving her lots of loving. her "love cup" is HUGE! just last night we were sitting outside chatting with dh's older daughter & boyfriend and dd2 sat on my lap & sucked her thumb for about an hour. she asks me to hold & carry her constantly & needs much from me throughout the day. she's not the youngest....i have a 10 month old, as well....but i tend to think some of her issues stem from being the middle child. it just seems like i can't give her enough!

              the reason i came online to check this thread was because the girls just woke up & dd1 came downstairs....and dd2 started screaming at the top of her lungs! screeching & shouting & demanding my other daughter come back upstairs because she didn't want dd1 to get downstairs first. she's so volatile...it's really starting to worry me.
              Awww..it is hard when we are in it.
              If we can just take a minute, step back and breathe, and try to look at things from our children's perspective, we can really learn a lot.
              It sounds like you are right about her being the middle child.

              Can you wear her during the day along with your 10 month old if the 10 month old needs to be worn? You can wear her on your back with a Mei Tei and then a second Mei Tei on the front for the baby.

              What about a Mama and Me hour for the two of you. Just you two and no one else?

              I find I have to drop as much as I can and just be there (physically and mentally) and help through these times. A dusty table, dirty floor will always be there the next day next week or when ever I get to it.

              hang in there..this too shall pass (((hug)))

              Comment


              • #8
                it's taken me almost five years to figure out that when my kids are screaming, i don't have to lose my cool. i was feeding off of their screams and allowing my blood pressure to rise. i finally decided to not let myself feed off of their emotions, but rather support them. it does no good to have two people upset, someone has to keep their cool! now, i haven't perfected this, but it has made the world of difference. now if i could just get dh to do the same

                Comment


                • #9
                  Screamers

                  The fact that your dd screams is kind of a good thing if you can get your head around it, she is letting her frustrations out instead of keeping them in. In our house we try to ask questions to move them from their brain stem to the more logical lobe of the brain. So when someone is screaming uncontrollably (or right before that point) we ask them a question like "would you like mommy or daddy to put you in your car seat, what would work best for you." Supposedly asking that final question, "what would work best for you" can snap them out of that primal brain stem where they can only attack, defend or lie and move them to the more rational parts of the brain. Sometimes it takes asking the questions several times before we get a response but we can actually see it working. I also believe in the kind and firm approach where we say I can't help you until you stop screaming and then we follow through on that. Good luck Keep smiling

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                  • #10
                    I have a dd who will be 3 May 3rd. She is becoming a good screamer. I thought maybe it was because she had red hair. Then I thought maybe it was because now she has a baby sister who is almost 6mo. Then I thought maybe it was because she was sick. Then I thought maybe it was because she was tired. Then I thought maybe it was because she wasn't getting enough attention- from both her bigger sisters, me and her dad. I don't kow what to think anymore though.

                    I will be watching this thread. I could have wrote every detail that you all wrote - when and where your screamer screams.....it's the same here. If it's a good day- it's a very good day, if's a screaming day- it is pretty loud!

                    I wanted to add- this cute picture in my avi- well she is there in the middle. Cute isn't it? You wouldn't know it, but during that picture moment she was screaming at the top of her lungs how she didn't want her picture taken. *sigh* That's why you only see their feet.
                    Last edited by amamaof4; 04-05-2008, 11:29 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by amamaof4 View Post
                      *sigh* That's why you only see their feet.
                      that brought such a smile to my face! now you have a great story to go along w/ that pic!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        it's comforting to know i'm not the only one dealing with. and thanks for the suggestions. i really want to communicate with her in a positive way but then, in the moment, i lose all ability to think. especially when it's been a "screaming day," like one of you described. i really want to teach her how to deal with her emotions.

                        i've vowed to start carrying her more and not just sitting down to hold her on my lap. she LOVES to be on my back because she can suck her thumb & play with my hair (her favorite thing in the world to do). even if i do it for 15 minutes at a time, a few times a day. and....i bet it would be a great thing to do in the middle of a screaming fit, ya know? "how about i go get inka?" this would probably diffuse her right away.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by koru View Post
                          i bet it would be a great thing to do in the middle of a screaming fit, ya know? "how about i go get inka?" this would probably diffuse her right away.
                          Wouldn´t that be an indication of her screeming having something to do with a feeling of detachment in the moment?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mystique View Post
                            In our house we try to ask questions to move them from their brain stem to the more logical lobe of the brain.
                            I also believe in the kind and firm approach where we say I can't help you until you stop screaming and then we follow through on that. Good luck Keep smiling
                            We use this too. I almost forgot but it does really work to get the brain thinking.
                            Yes...can't help until you stop screaming- or talk to me, do not scream, because my ears cannot understand screaming, so I can help you baby girl

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by harmonicker View Post
                              We use this too. I almost forgot but it does really work to get the brain thinking.
                              Yes...can't help until you stop screaming- or talk to me, do not scream, because my ears cannot understand screaming, so I can help you baby girl
                              i've been trying this lately & it does seem to work....occasionally. many times, though, she'll say, "I CAN'T STOP CRYING!!!" i really don't like to isolate her but i'm tellin' ya, i can't listen to this all day long & have started asking her to cry & scream in another room. this actually has been helping. it's as if she has such tremendous emotions she has to scream & scream and then she's better.

                              one day at a time. one moment at a time. thanks for all your input. i will keep trying to talk & listen & read her cues.....i'm exhausted just thinking about it, though!

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