Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

2 Bumps

Screaming 3 yr old with a CLEAR purpose!

My husband and I are kinship foster parents to our 3 yr and 5 yr old grand daughters... we need help with our 3 yr old grand daughter.

She screams (no words) everything...for everything....because thats how she got away with EVERYTHING in her mothers home! She knows NO other way :(

We have watched videos, listened to CD's (we love the "Love and Logic" series), and implimented sugestions by the girls case worker and foster care coordinator.

We need help from someone who is going to pay attention to what we are saying, seriously, without parrotting back everything they learned from core training.....we need NEW ideas and help :(

We are becoming desparate :(


Asked by grammamamma at 8:21 AM on Oct. 13, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 12 (832 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (16)
  • Tell her if she is going to scream, she can do it in her room. Then, pick her up and set her in her room. If she comes out. Put her back and shut the door. Tell her "I cannot hear you if you scream, please use your words." And walk off. Do it over and over and over. Do not allow the 5 year old to intervene. It may take all day everyday for a week, but, she will stop.

    I have known some screamers and thats how I stopped them.

    Answer by BradenIsMySon at 8:45 AM on Oct. 13, 2010

  • It takes a LOT of time to un-train bad habits. My 2 came to me after years of severe neglect, and with a myriad of negative behaviors. It's really important to NEVER reward the "bad" behavior by giving the child what they are seeking. I know it really wears on your nerves ... but with patience, it really does change. Mine are now in middle and high school, both honor students, and both doing really well. Good luck!

    Answer by justnancyb at 8:24 AM on Oct. 13, 2010

  • I work at a school for kids with social/ emotional disorders. You are on the right track. We are a positve approach school. Have you tried a reward system for her when she behaves in an appropriate manner? I know some people say it is bribery, but it's really not. It is rewarding good behavior. If she screams, do as BradenIsMySon says.
    Set up a reward system for the 5 year old for NOT intervening. She needs to unlearn that behavior as well.

    Answer by layh41407 at 8:52 AM on Oct. 13, 2010

  • Oh, and I forgot to wasnt just mom who caved in to shut her up, but the 5 yr old too. The 5 yr old effectivly became the parent in their household, and appeasing the 3 yr old is all she knows to do :(

    Comment by grammamamma (original poster) at 8:23 AM on Oct. 13, 2010

  • I would try and explain to them that you don't get what you want by screaming and throwing a fit, and that it in fact has just the opposite effect that they are hoping for. Just try and keep your cool, be sure to reward all kinds of positive behavior, and it should start to slowly change. I wish you the best!

    Answer by QueenMomma2023 at 8:32 AM on Oct. 13, 2010

  • She refuses to use words or even calm down. One day this went on for hours. Thats what concerns us the most I guess, that she can sustain this manipulative screaming for hours. We have yet to give in to her, but we are realy loosing our patience and worry that we too will end up letting her have her way, just to shut her up!!

    She is a VERY bright girl. She was assesed recently and found to be a little above in average in all areas except her verbal verbal skills she is WAY above average! So why cant we calm her and get her to use her words for her wants and needs instead of these tirades?? Could it be because it still works on mommy during visitation?

    We have started using "time in" and such, but it gets us nowhere except a louder, more determined 3 yr old :(

    Comment by grammamamma (original poster) at 8:35 AM on Oct. 13, 2010

  • Queenmomma, we have done that, many times. She just screams louder. I'm serious, this isnt falling into the typical "do this this and this", or core training exercise. Even the case worker hasnt been able to give us any new ideas.

    Comment by grammamamma (original poster) at 8:38 AM on Oct. 13, 2010

  • have you been using please and thankyou? Everyone using it? maybe letting her hear you say thankyou so much after you ask her to "please do something" will encourage her to want to do it. kids like being told thank you. Even if you are, use it more and really put a different tone with it when you use it with her so she knows that you really mean it.

    Answer by shay1130 at 8:41 AM on Oct. 13, 2010

  • Shay, yes - please, thank you, and you're welcome are a basic staple in our home. Has been since our own children were tiny, 20 years ago. Even people who VISIT our home catch on to it pretty quickly LOL

    BradenIsMySon, Thank you! This we will try! I can shut a door easily LOL

    We do tell her that we cant understand her when she screams, and ask her to use her words....but then that turns into louder screaming, shorter fuses, and Gramma needing a time out. Im not even sure she hears us after she realy gets going.

    I will say though, that we were so focused on "Time In" that we forgot about "Time Out", which is esentially what you describe...just on the next level.

    Days huh? Pray for us LOL

    Comment by grammamamma (original poster) at 9:11 AM on Oct. 13, 2010

  • Layh41407
    Yes we do have reward systems in place...bribery or not, it works! LOL

    The 3 yr old did end up in bed without her nightly sticker book activity last night (which we use as an alowance system rather than cash...when their folders are filled we take them to a store to "spend" their stickers. ) The 5 yr old got to do her sticker book.

    We also try to "catch" the girls doing good things and praise them for it, give an extra sticker for their folder, or an extra trip to the park...I will even say "Well, since you DID do this or that today, I guess we can spend a little extra time doing this thing over here"

    The ONLY problem we have had with the 5 yr old, outside of typical 5 yr old behaviors, is the parenting of her little sister. We are well on our way to resolving that.

    Comment by grammamamma (original poster) at 9:29 AM on Oct. 13, 2010