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My son is a SCREAMER!! How do you break these habits?!

I'm not talking about tantrum throwing here. When he's excited or just wants a little attention he lets out this blood curdling ear piercing painful-as-all-hell SQUEAL! I've walked out of public places before because of it - it's embarassing and - did I mention - PAINFUL. I've tried ignoring it, telling/asking him to stop, accidentally on occasion raising my own voice which not only makes me feel awful but I know only encourages him to be louder... I've tried making calm/silly/happy sounds with my own mouth in hopes he'll mimic THAT instead. Which he does, temporarily.

He's 13 months old and has been doing this since he was maybe 5 or 6 months. It's awful and I NEED to get him to stop! I've talked to a handful of moms and they all say they understand - until they hear it. What works bests to break habits like these, aside from god sent patience??

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Asked by XmoonlitkissX at 7:47 PM on Nov. 9, 2009 in Toddlers (1-2)

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Answers (7)
  • My son turns purple and his nails turn blue when he gets angry. He's 17 months old. It is not the same problem, but what seems to be working for me is to do two things: 1) If he is angry because I took something away or punished him I give him a reassuring hug and explain that I had to do so and so because of such and such. I don't change what I did, but he calms down with affection. If I can't figure out what upset him I figures he just wants to attract attention, so I ignore him. Usually he stops. My grandmother makes him stop by imitating him.

    Answer by krystel.justice at 8:14 PM on Nov. 9, 2009

  • My son did that for what seemed like a week straight! When he was done eating, when his show was over, when he was happy, when he was get my point. He did it A LOT! One day he was just going on worse than ever and I just tapped his mouth. I did NOT hit him, but more put my hand to his mouth for a second. He looked at me with tears in his eyes and I told him in a very calm voice " that hurts mommy-bonk on mommy" and made my own eyes teary. He knew that he really hurt me and gave me a hug and went about his day--without the screaming! He knows that when he falls and cries, I say "bonk" and kiss it, so he knew that he hurt me. This works for other things too! Hope this helps, I know how frustrating it is but hang in there mommy- you're doing good! :-)

    Answer by HuskerMommy08 at 8:40 PM on Nov. 9, 2009

  • Well, if it makes you feel better, my son does cry and whine all day so I would actually pray for a screamer from excitement lol! i am sure its frustrating but also a phase like everything else..

    Answer by maxsmom11807 at 9:17 PM on Nov. 9, 2009

  • krystel.justice - That's intense i would definintely have freaked out the first few times! Lets hope both our sons do not grow up always desperate for attention from others. Yeah I've noticed a lot of parents imitate their child's annoying behavior. Sometimes I guess it works, but honestly to me it feels like that would only encourage them.

    HuskerMommy08 - I love it that's great it worked for you! I may try that one :) sometimes i cover his mouth or firmly (gently, but firmly) hold his jaw shut. Doesn't seem to work much.

    maxsmom11807 - Oh man I am SORRY. Why don't all children just come sweet and independant?? Haha. Well the squealing is certainly annoying, and sometimes I WISH for crying, because I know how to fix him when he's upset (usually) - but at the same time I am thankful that he is at least usually happy when he does it.

    Answer by XmoonlitkissX at 10:00 PM on Nov. 9, 2009

  • BEEN THERE! I'm happy to say, my son is now 15 months and is starting not to do it as often. From about 6mos.-14mos. I was embarrased to take him places sometimes! Like you said, it wasn't a tantrum, just a scream! Now that he is learning words, he uses them instead of just screeching.

    Answer by jessicarae787 at 10:28 PM on Nov. 9, 2009

  • That is great to hear!! My mom said the same thing - once he starts to learn how to express himself better - which he's beginning to do - hopefully he'll chill out with the screaming. I'm so glad it worked for your little boy!

    Answer by XmoonlitkissX at 10:49 PM on Nov. 9, 2009

  • LOL yes, it gets better thank goodness!! I asked this very same question a few months ago and didn't get a clear answer either. Now I know why, they stop when they stop! Hopefully you're son will grow out of it soon too. I know how ear piercing it can be! He would literally make people jump if we went out to eat or somewhere. Glad to know my son wasn't the only one that did this :)

    Answer by jessicarae787 at 11:22 PM on Nov. 9, 2009

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