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How do you stop a 4 year old boy from screaming?

I have recently became a stay at home mom to my 3 sons. A 9 year old with Asbergers, a 4 year old and a 2 year old.

The 4 year old is not yet in school and challenges everything that I tell him. He can be the sweetest kid and he gets a ton of attention, at times more than the other two boys, but when he does not get his way all he does is scream at the top of his lungs. We live in an apartment and I am afraid all of his screaming, yelling, and pounding is going to get us in trouble. I don't even want to open the windows this summer. I have tried yelling, ignoring, time outs, unfortunately spanking and nothing works. My husband can't understand why he doesn't listen to me. I sometimes wonder why I decided to stay home and working was easier.

Does anyone have any suggestions? THANKS!!!

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Asked by momuv32000 at 11:23 AM on Apr. 6, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (4)
  • geesh idk...and I totally can reate to the apt living and fear of the neighbors complaining. I was going to say ignoring but it seems you tried it all. it may be time to take him to a professional. it sounds like he just wants his way and he knows you are afraid so you will give in, so he has ya in a tough spot mama. sorry , maybe other moms can be more help, just wanted to offer support (hugs)

    Answer by Bearsjen at 11:26 AM on Apr. 6, 2010

  • I would talk to Dr. He might be hyper active.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:27 AM on Apr. 6, 2010

  • I know you say you tried ignoring, but the experts say to let the child have the tantrum and calm himself, then when he's calm, he'll be more receptive and you have to talk to him about it after. I think you're supposed to ask him why he is upset and try explaining to him healthier ways to express his anger. We all get upset. As little kids, they don't know how to express frustration. I wish I could help more, but my son is only 2 and 1/2, so the tantrums are just starting.
    I'm sorry about the apartment circumstance. My sister had some awful neighbors and she eventually had to move. They complained about her kids "stomping" even though they weren't, but then he'd play rock band at 2 am and BLARE it just about every night. It was awful.

    Answer by brookebella at 11:33 AM on Apr. 6, 2010

  • Talk to him as soon as he gets upset but before he starts to scream. Tell him that screaming is not acceptable, why you don't like it, how it makes you feel (some people think this is not right, but children need to learn that they should consider other people's feelings), that you will not listen to anything he has to say if he is screaming it. Also tell him that it is fine to be upset or angry but when he is he needs to talk to you about what is upsetting him and not scream or yell. Teach him how to talk about his feelings and make sure you make it clear you are listening and his feelings are valid, even if he still can't have his way. Explain to him why he can't have his way. This won't work after one talk, you will likely have to have the talk a few times with several reminders "I will not talk about it until you calm down" kind of thing. But it will give him the tools he needs to grow.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:57 AM on Apr. 6, 2010

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