Thursday, April 15, 2010

Help a Motha Out!

I polled my lovely Facebook friends on this topic yesterday and I received some great tips so I thought I would broaden my horizon and ask you kind folks as well. I need some suggestions and I need them N.O.W.

My little love button, you know the one ...

IMG_7847

well, he likes to scream.

It's not so much screaming as it is squealing. It is so high pitched it could shatter glass and I'm not even exaggerating. I've thought I am going deaf on more than one occasion. He does not do it when he's mad or upset; he does it when he is happy and content. This is where the problem lies.

When we are at home, I could care less that he shrieks with glee. It's fine, it's fun and and it's good for him. But when we are in public or in a car, I need him to know that this is not okay. I have a little sneaking suspicion that strangers don't think it's nearly as cute as we do. And we don't think it's that cute when our ears are ringing. (Sorry, Weeb. Mommy loves you.)

So. I have tried telling him "NO!" every time he does it. I have tired "shhhh"ing him. I have tried "let's use our inside voice". I've tried ignoring him. I've tried squealing back. I've tried to tell him to lower his voice. I have tried everything and I am all out of ideas.

When he squeals in restaurants, I shove food in his mouth and that distracts him for the rest of the time. But I can not shove food in his mouth every time he does it outside of eateries or he'll be The Worlds Heaviest 10 Month Old.

I have hit a wall when it comes to this little dilemma because while I want to discourage screaming, I do not want to discourage using his voice. And I'm not sure Levi knows the difference.

Hmmmm.

Help?

25 comments:

  1. hahahahahah!!! I'm sorry... no advice here! My boy has always (and still does.. he's almost 3) squeal! I'm sorry momma! i totally relate! I put my hand over his mouth now and say no! it kinda works? he might just grow out of it? prob not what you wanna hear? I'm sure someone will have the answer.

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  2. hey, so not sure if it will help you all or not, but my litte one used to scream too. and it was mostly when she was excited or happy. we started saying "No, we dont scream" and shaking our heads. as we were saying no, we would gently tap her lips with out finger, still saying "no, no we dont scream" every. single. time. after about two weeks she stopped. and now if she opens her mouth like she is going to scream, we juat tap her lips and she smiles instead. it worked like a charm. it took some dedication, but it has worked. good luck!

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  3. He gets cuter every day Whitney and I've loved reading your blog since finding it a while back. I have no advice for you either as my two kiddos didn't do this when they were young - however, I have to agree with Kristina's advice - I think it's right on the money. Good luck! :o)

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  4. I vote for Kristina's idea. That seems like sound advice. hee hee, get it SOUND advice. Oh, I crack myself up. (Sorry, I am just a little giddy since NG7 starts today!!!!!!

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  5. Kristina's suggestion sounds great -- I'm going to remember that one, thanks!

    Good luck!

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  6. Have you tried talking to him very very softly in return to his screaming? Its hard, but if you meet his screaming with more raised voices he might get a little confused. He also may not be able to understand the difference between appropriate places since babies are so impulsive. Try talking softly in a happy way every time that screaming is not ok.

    He won't lose his voice. Don't worry :)

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  7. I already mentioned this to you on Facebook (the power of distraction after you scold him), but I meant to tell you, too, to remember to use eye contact. Get down on his level, make your expectations clear, and then I would use Kristina's suggestion--I know she's a good Mom!!

    Someone told me once that the hardcore parenting begins between eight and ten months, and I definitely think that's true! Setting boundaries and expectations is a great thing and I know Levi will catch on. Just remember to STAY CONSISTENT. Don't tell him no from across the room--walk to him, crouch down, make eye contact! You can even begin asking him to look at you, so he has to make the choice to look in your eyes. Then he'll know you mean business! It might seem silly since he's so young, but I'm telling you, he's so intelligent already at this age and you're definitely going to save yourself some trouble if you take care of these things now!

    And ugh, I'm sorry this comment is so long. I'm lame. I know.

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  8. I agree with Katie, be consistent. Whatever you choose to do, stick with it! And tell husby, your mom and dad, etc, so they can all do the same thing as you! Good luck!

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  9. Oh the screaming ... the little boy I nanny is also 10 months old. A few weeks ago the dad was on the phone with a telemarketer who proceeded to ask if they had a tropical bird of sorts ... it was the baby screeching in the background. We haven't been able to find a good trick yet! Good luck :)

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  10. I agree with Kristina and Katie. I think the best thing is to say no every time, even when you are in the house. It may be cute and adorable, at home, but he's too little to know what the difference is between at home, the car, or in public. I'm by no means a pro, my little one is only 9 months! Good luck!!!

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  11. Eek! My little guy (he's 10 months too) does that everywhere! Someone suggested talking in a quiet voice, that might help a little. Sometimes I also rub my hand on the side of Bink's face (just down his cheek) and it seems to kind of "ground" him again for a minute or two. Until he squeals again...

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  12. Oh my son went through this. He's 11 months now and from 9-10 1/2 months I had a screamer on my hands. Every single time he screamed I covered my ears and frowned so he would know it hurt me. It worked, but now he plays peek-a-boo by covering his ears. Good luck, I think all babies go through this phase.

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  13. I agree with kristina. my little girl is almost two and she went through that to. she still squeals with excitement sometimes and i allow her too, but only in appropriate place. if she does it elsewhere i make her look at me and i correct her....ONLY after she looks at me. when i correct her i use a low voice...almost whispering so she knows to talk quietly to me. and yes, be consistent..especially in the beginning its so important. if he gets away with it once, he's going to think he can and it will become harder to change. don't worry, it will pass. :)

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  14. I'm sure it's just a phase... he's discovered this new noise and he'll do it until he discovers something else. I would probably say ignoring it is probably the best option, because kids just loooove to get attention! :) Isn't it the worst in the car though?!? When my kids are loud in the car I feel like my brain is going to explode! :) I'd say keep doing what you're doing, and bear through it! He's bound to come up with some other (equally as lovely) sound or habit soon. :) He is way too cute!

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  15. Goodness gracious, I know exactly the blood curdling, gleeful shriek that you're talking about! It's most definitely a phase, and I think Kristina and Katie had really sound advice. We've always done the "No, use your inside voice," and now my son (22 mos.) is much better about the shrieking. He generally only does it when he's with other little boys...it only takes one to get them all going!

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  16. We've had the same problem and I've tried everything you have. My daughter especially loves to do this at dinner time. You know, the end of the day when Mommy is exhausted and very prone to headaches... One thing that does help with my daughter is to find a way to distract her. If I get really animated and start a song, talk about something that interests her, or start a social game she loves she gets distracted and stops the screaming. Ignoring just makes her do it more, and giving her any kind of attention for it makes it worse. Hearing "no" is like an invitation to continue!

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  17. I can't believe you posted this - I was just going to do this on my blog because my little girl (10 months) is doing this same exact thing. We are at a loss on how to discpline her. She seems to only do it when we go out to eat, in a shopping cart, or in her high chair. My husband has wheeled her highchair down the hall but he put her near a door so she just opened and closed the door and thought it was great fun... not so much punishment for screaming. So that was a flop. I've tried telling her "no" which she looks at me so stinkin serious and funny that I get the giggles. I know, I need to buck up and put my I-mean-business-face on. I have tried ignoring her which she just keeps doing it. I will definitly be back to check out what others have to say to break this screaming thing. At least we now know that both our 10 month olds are doing it and we are not alone. Maybe we should get them together and they could scream at each other and get it out of their systems! ; )
    www.jlfrey.blogspot.com

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  18. My friend is having the exact same problem with her little girl. If she figures something out, I'll let you know.

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  19. YOu're a wise mommy to realize that things that we think are darling in our little darlings are not always appreciated by others :} My guess is that he's a little young to be able to discriminate between home behaviors and restaurant etc behaviors. I think if you really and truly want to stop him from the loud squealing you'll need to focus on interrupting it everytime as soon as he starts doing it. You need to pick your battles, but kids like having their boundaries be specific and clear. If you want him to stop, make it very clear in your response...but do it as soon as he starts, and don't show ambivalence (like oh, mommy thinks you're actually so cute)....which is really hard for a behavior that is pretty darn cute. My youngest (now 20) was hard to discipline sometimes because she was so funny and cute. Good luck...
    Loved the picnic pic bts

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  20. Avery was a screamer, and we too wanted to discourage it in certain situations.

    What we did was left it alone if it was appropriate (we were all being loud, in a large place, something exciting happened) but if it was inappropriate (she was throwing a fit or in a small public place) we would gently tap her lips (like she's saying "shhh") and say "no screaming, Avery" or "shush shush". It took some time, but she figured it out. It also helped if we kept her mouth busy by giving her a toy to chew on or whatnot.

    I think that age is just one of exploring what their voice can do! He'll calm it down eventually. If you don't respond big, it will lose its appeal :D

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  21. I have a friend who would blow in her daughter's face then she screeched. It would catch her off guard, and she would stop. Eventually, she stopped all together. Good luck!

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  22. Oh, Whitney! I was going to post this EXACT SAME POST TONIGHT. We are having such problems with this, but I think we've gone a step further. Bean used to shriek with excitement and then he started shrieking with excitement AND when he was upset. Now, he only shrieks when he's upset and he does it ALL THE TIME. Really. Chris and I are going insane.

    The only solution we have had so far (which, clearly, isn't working yet) is that we gasp and say, "Nooooo, Bean." Like we're shocked that he would act that way. Really dramatic. Sometimes that show stops him and then we redirect him somewhere else. I don't know if that's the right answer or not. Let me know if you have any luck! We're about to pull our hair out!

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  23. I have a screamer that is 21 months.....he's been deafening us for quite a while now and I still haven't figured out how to fix it!!! My screamer screams happy screams AND mad screams though....and I'm really not kidding....sometimes my ears will hurt for days! Let me know when you find something that works!!

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  24. One thing that worked for me was when my son screeched, I'd wince and put my hands over my ears, and say, "Ohh....too loud, Sam. Hurts Mommy's ears." He'd drop his voice and try that out and then I'd nod and smile and say, "Thank you." You might give that a try. Good luck!

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May the Lord bless you and keep you safe today! Thanks for the comment, friends! :)

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