Thursday, May 23rd, 2013
I know screamers. Baby screamers. Toddler screamers. Boss screamers. At any age, it’s not pretty. At least not to 99% of us. The exception is with parents and their offspring. Parents think their kids’ shrills are cute–but they also think the same of their child’s poop (and let them publicly defecate. In a restaurant). So they are no barometer.
We met a couple once who thought it was cute when their 2 -year old went into his high pitched screaming mode. He would do it over and over, almost like a crow squawking. They laughed at him and while maybe not encouraging the boy, it didn’t seem like they did much to dissuade him either. I don’t know what happened to the kid. I could speculate, but I won’t.
However, all my judging of kids and parents happened before I had my own. Now I still judge but in a different way (don’t we all?). I have a sweet, somewhat shy girl and a boy, who is, well, a screamer.
Emmett is 16 months and is rapidly discovering his voice. This means when he decides to test his vocals out, he nearly breaks glass. Thank god we don’t live in our Brooklyn apartment anymore. I would be horrified for my neighbors.
Here’s the kicker: when he first started doing it, I found it, well, um, ack– cute. I would laugh at him and he’d continue on. Then I realized I was becoming that oblivious, entitled parent. So I’ve started putting the kabash on it. “No Emmett,” I say, as he squawks. That word actually pisses him off and he escalates the shrieks. At this point, he’s only been doing it a few weeks and I’ve only been disciplining him for a few days. But so far, it seems to be backfiring.
So how do you stop a screamer? Especially one as little as him? Last night I was in a restaurant with him and Fia when he started. I threw his pacifier in, which at least allowed me to shove down my last few bites of food and get the hell out. But I don’t want to stop doing the things with him and Fia that we enjoy. I cringe to think of him on an airplane at this stage. 90% of the time he is such a fun easygoing little dude. And even the screaming for him is typically in a happy-hooting non-tear-ridden way.
Any tips? If I keep saying “No” is that going to make a difference? Or make it worse? He doesn’t understand timeout yet so that’s not the answer. I knew from the day he was born he was strong-willed and had things to say. I just don’t want screaming to be one of them.
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