Care and Feeding of Wild Toddlers

Thank you all for sharing your thoughts with me these last couple weeks. You have kept me on my toes, checking my comments all hours of the day and night just to see what comes up next. Shoving kids away from the computer, "Get outta my chair!" Arguing with my husband, "Are you on the computer again?" and generally not answering the phone. Who needs to talk out loud anyway?


INSTRUCTIONS FOR TODDLER
MAINTENANCE:

  • Optimal hours for instruction are when toddler batteries are fully charged.
  • Warning: Do not attempt to instruct toddler during early, late, or hungry hours. Explosions are possible.
  • Warning: Do not attempt to initiate re-charging process when toddler-happy-meter has entered red zone and optimal hours for re-charge have elapsed. Nuclear Meltdowns may occur.
  • In the event of Toddler Break-down Disaster, operator may use earplugs and mood enhancing drugs. Alcoholic beverages optional. Prayer to God Above who blessed you with toddler is also required for self-recharge.
In the midst of plopping my sitting-pad in front of the computer I have dealing with my kids, well, mostly my toddler. The Princess is in a screaming stage. Okay, she was born in that stage, but it hasn't gotten any better. Although I think she maybe able to archive perfect pitch along with her jet-engine volume, I can no longer just idly stand by in awe. Apparently parenting requires some hands-on impute from me. Who would have thought? Any ideas on how to deal with a screamer? My Toddler Handbook isn't much help.

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24 comments

  1. I know it sounds mean, but I used to act just like my screamer acted. If he screamed so did I and just as loud!! After he figured out how idiotic I looked and he realized this was what he was doing, he soon got the message that it is best not to scream!

    My kids seem to be in the arguing stage...Calgon, take me AWAY!!

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  2. I tried the screaming along with thing, but it backfired hugely. She laughed this crazy, hysterical laugh, and proceeded to scream louder.

    So I taught her how fun it is to whisper. She gets a kick out of it, and I get a break from the screaming every now and again.

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  3. p.s. You crack me up...I'm laughing out loud over here.

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  4. aw Keep the faith girly..'fore ya know it..they'll be30!..ha

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  5. I was laughing too. So cute. It's been a long time since I had a toddler in the house but what you wrote is so true!

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  6. "Explosions and Nuclear Meltdowns are possible." Hilariously true!

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  7. I forgot to ask earlier...

    Are those the Poppins children? They're cuties.

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  8. lol! Very good advice! Although, really it barely scratches the surface as far as instruction manuals go, considering the complexity of the little machines.

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  9. Delia~
    Yes , those are my kids. Hogging my computer. Three boys, one girl. What more could one want. Now, please tell them to step away from the keyboard, if you would

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  10. Feed your toddler,
    Pray every day,
    and they'll grow, grow, grow...out of it.

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  11. PS. VERY funny post.


    PPS. When are you showing off in a pictorial debut, your ginormous aloe vera plant?

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  12. I say soap, lots of soap, straight in the mouth. That'll teach her.

    But I am mean.

    Cute kids.

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  13. There, there, now. *patting your back sypathetically* I, too, have a screamer. I have tried the *ignore* approach and that just does NOT work. He screams louder. I have also noticed if I raise my voice (at all) he gets louder still. I asked for *professional* advice and wait for this one......


    I was told to move my mouth as if speaking, but not to much as even whisper. (This was suppose to pique his curiousity as to what I was saying) and he would quiet down. Yeah, right.

    Or another method is to remove a shoe(theirs, not yours, hehehehe although I know what you are thinking cause I thought the same thing)...wait a few seconds and then remove the sock.....then the other shoe....the other sock.... If they haven't stopped screaming by this time you are to start the process of putting shoes and socks back on and repeat the process. This was the *professional* advice I got.

    NOW, this is what is working for me (so far) but not always and it's of my own genius. *grin*

    I had started working with him on saying "please" while requesting something. (i.e. cookies, grapes,etc.) This is often forgotten while he is in the midst of a full blown pitch SO without raising my voice, I say this sentence in full, repeating as necessary "NO screaming, no screaming, say please"

    Now, he has been known to stop screaming immediately, much to my surprise and say "pleeeease" whereupon I reward his good behavior with his request. If item in question is not a good choice I offer an alternative. This usually works.....until next time. This method works better if everyone in household uses it.

    It may take a few days, but it works for me. Let me know if you have any success.

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  14. That little princess screams? I can't believe any of your angels is ever naughty.

    When I was teaching we had to make a special place for screaming. If it starts in a different place we just took them to the screaming place and walked away.

    Is she very verbal? If she is having a hard time telling you what she wants I could understand her frustration. My little one had a melt down tonight over eating spaghetti. I told her that if she just had to cry she could do it in her room, then when she was done she could come back out...she then conned one of her brothers to eat the three bites of spaghetti on her plate so that she could eat a banana. (She only had three bites to start with, but refuses to eat anything other than PB&J...she had to at least try it to get anything else.) They are all now at the pool, so I can have some quiet.

    Good luck. I will pray for your sanity and some peace in your house until this all subsides.

    -Tonia

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  15. and suddenly I'm finding myself quite grateful for one single 8 year old...

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  16. The screaming is not going to stop until it stops getting what she wants. if you are doing what she wants to get her to stop screaming, it will never end

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  17. ladies~
    She usually only screams when she is NOT getting what she wants. Or when I want her to do something. She knows and understands 'please' and thinks it is a magic weapon to get whatever she wants. I give choices two only, but often, that is not the choice she wants, therefore the screaming. The little darling is three. I will look at her and tell her to do something and she will smile and say, "I don't want to. Maybe it a little bit."

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  18. Your blog had me laughing. Although I am not sure why you are asking for advice, I've seen you in action and you usually do an excellent job. Just remember to be consistent and to stick with the instruction manual...you know which book I'm talking about, the big black leather bound one. Just read that daily and look for clues in that. Also remember your nanny training, again I've seen you in action and you really do quite well.
    Finally I've read all of the comments and these ones I (personally) think are very good advice;

    "The screaming is not going to stop until it stops getting what she wants. If you are doing what she wants to get her to stop screaming, it will never end."
    "Pray every day,..."

    But no one seems to want to approach the subject of giving a sound pat to the bottom. It is, after all, recommended in the instruction manual, isn't it? Granted it is not the only solution, but you know that what she is doing is simply trying to get what she wants (as stated by badoozie) and consequently must learn;
    1. that screaming is not going to get her what she wants (rather it gets the opposite) and
    2. she doesn't always get what he wants.
    This all is, of course, referring to when she is not having a meltdown because she is tired or hungry. Those circumstances, as you well know, should be handled differently.

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  19. hiya hun..have a great sunday!

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  20. I don't disagree with swats, I did that with my own son, he was the type that would straighten up after that. I didn't have to do it much. He's never been a fit thrower in stores etc, becuase I just tell him upfront what I expect from him and or if he will get this or that, and then I stick to my guns. But I'm rather stubborn too, so I can outlast him. "Never go to battle unless you are prepared to die on the hill"
    (Dr. Dobson). Too many times kids will ask a parent something and without thinking the parents automatically say NO. Then they wear you down because you realize you should or could have said yes, so you change your mind, and thus begins the pattern of kids that keep at you relentlessly until they win. But if you stop first and think about their request, make sure if you say no, its a good reason and prepare youself to stick to your guns. It will cut down immensely on begging, or fit throwing. So as your hubbs said, consistency is your best weapon and a good dose of stubborn will on your part. Great discussion!

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  21. I'm a big fan of the low voice approach. And I tell it once. If they didn't get their cookie because they didn't hear me ask if they wanted one, they'll eventually learn to tone down the volume. Of course you'll initiate more screams at first, but in the end, it tends to work. For me, anyway. Every kid is different. Lots of luck on this one. We all have something, believe me.

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  22. Occasionally, I would get my voice very low and say that I wanted to take her to get an icecream cone. Of course she couldn't hear it over the screaming, so when the screaming stopped I'd say..."I'm so sorry we can't go get an ice-cream cone...when I was asking you if you wanted to go you ignored my question so I took it for a "no". Perhaps next time you might want to take it down a notch and listen, but you cannot listen when you are screaming" Then walk away.

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  23. Oooh. I like Yellow Mama's response. That's a good one. But I'm apparently going through the same issues with my own. I'll have to read all the comments on this later.

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