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HELP with a two year old that screams!

Started 1280198124.703 in Beauty Banter | Last reply 1280610998.113 by ibb38

My son justed turned two, screams at restaurants mostly. I have tried everything to get him to stop. I would love to hear if anything worked for you. He does scream at home also...

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IQNotSoMuch1280198186.7831335 PostsRegistered 7/10/2008

Is it possible he's sick? in pain? If he's screaming at home and when you're out there maybe something medically wrong.. at 2 they can't really tell you yet..

babcias51280198559.171376 PostsRegistered 1/12/2009Az.

When my oldest was two & we had a new baby, he tried the screaming, laying on the floor & kicking...I took the baby & said "our ears are hurting from all the noise, let's go in the bedroom"...He followed us & pulled the same trick...So I repeated my words & went into the bathroom & closed the door...We did this a couple of times & the oldest never pulled that stunt again...

babcias5

GoodStuff1280198748.0913611 PostsRegistered 11/11/2008

Maybe the child is too young to behave in a restaurant. Do yourself, him, and the paying patrons a favor and feed him at home till he is old enough to control himself. For sure, if you take him into a restaurant and he pitches a fit, get up and take him out immediately. If you bring him back in and he does it again, take him home.

Scooby Doo1280198945.2931053 PostsRegistered 10/17/2006Western U.S.

My GD was quite the screamer, drove everyone nuts and her mother got an ulcer due to the stress of listening to her. She was finally diagnosed with inner ear problems (tubes had to be inserted) and she was also diagnosed ADD. There could be several reasons for the screaming, and I hope you can find someone to help you find a solution. A good pediatrician should be able to help.

OldFoogey1280198961.091857 PostsRegistered 4/20/2007
On 7/26/2010 babcias5 said:

When my oldest was two & we had a new baby, he tried the screaming, laying on the floor & kicking...I took the baby & said "our ears are hurting from all the noise, let's go in the bedroom"...He followed us & pulled the same trick...So I repeated my words & went into the bathroom & closed the door...We did this a couple of times & the oldest never pulled that stunt again...

That worked with one child I used to watch, and not with the other. For the second one I told her it wasnt very loud and could she scream any louder, and went through it a couple of times. She quit screaming, of course it wasnt out of the home, good luck.

PinkyPetun­ia1280199080.874427 PostsRegistered 10/6/2004NJ

He could be screaming because he can't express himself in words. Try to work on having him tell you what he wants. I would discourage the screaming at home. Talk in quiet tones and have him copy you. Take turns whispering. Make believe you are in a restaurant and show how you expect him to behave--no screaming. You will have to leave the restaurant/store when he starts screaming to show him you mean business. Put your hand over his mouth to quiet him down. It's not easy but maybe your son is still too young to be out in restaurants much, unless it's McDonalds.

baby burns1280199392.5178793 PostsRegistered 12/9/2007

cutty, every child goes thru the terrible two's! boys are even worse at it, do not scream back or punish him. he is not doing it on purpose, read him a book and make up the words about a boy the screams, and say what you want, make it up and he will listen. then if he screams again remind him of the boy in the book. i did this to all three of mine, and it did work, its normal though at two. it will pass but screaming is a bit hard, do you work? he may be trying to get your attention, if he does not see you all day. anyone who has had a two year old, understands all the things they think of to drive us crazy! good luck

BeautyHoar­der1280199424.777265 PostsRegistered 5/28/2010

HAHAHAHAA i am so sorry but you are living my nightmare! My 2 years has the HIGHEST pitch scream i have ever heard to the point that your ears will bleed. She takes it up 10 notches in restaurants! I am constantly mortified, embarrassed and i now have no social life because of this. Today we decided to roll the dice and go out to a steak house for a nice diner but within minutes she threw such a screaming fit that we literally paid the bill and ran out of there with our food un-touched. We have not had a quiet dinner in over a year lol.

My husband's co-worker invited us over for a play date with her son who is 18 months old and is a very quiet, well behaved baby who never screams. Well within the hour my daughter had this other baby screaming his head off, their dog howling and the parents taking aspirin! lol. My daughter is my life and i absolutly adore her as all of us do with our kids. She is smart, loving and lots of fun but my god that high pitch screaming is a big problem for me too so i feel your pain! LOL.

Although i have to say- as bad as i feel for you- at least I am not the only one ;) lol

sparkygirl1280199512.264586 PostsRegistered 10/2/2006

A 2 year old should be able to go to a family restaurant without screaming so much.

Exactly what is he screaming about? Is he having a tantrum because he wants something specific that he can't have? Or it he just making loud noise with his voice and trying to get your attention when it's divided?

You need to start explaining to him that the screaming is unacceptable, and start taking away privileges when he does this...that might mean a toy for perhaps a couple of days (a long time to a 2 yr old). You warn him that if he screams like that again, you are going to take his favorite toy of the moment and put it on a high shelf (right where he can see it, so he can be reminded that it was taken away because of naughty behavior).

Do the same when you go out to eat. Warn him in advance that the screaming is unacceptable, and that if he does it, you will take away a toy when you go home. Don't make it permanent--just for a day or so.

Calmly lay down the law consistently and it should work. This is not too young to start setting some limits. In fact, it is the perfect time. You should not accept this behavior, especially not in restaurants. I firmly believe that you need to learn to be a parent and TALK about behavior at this age--It will get BOTH of you into habits that will benefit this kid in the long run.

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firestripes1280199992.583972 PostsRegistered 9/19/2006

My son doesn't talk yet, he can say a few words...he gets his point across.He doesn't want to sit in a high chair - he falls off a booster ( he's small for his age). He wants to throw whatever is it front of him and he throw his spoon or fork. He's not sick, just doesn't want to sit.

He is a sweet boy that is always hugging and kissing me, but when he's angry or can't do what he wants he becomes a lion!

Anne0011280200080.0531767 PostsRegistered 2/1/2008NE

Sometimes it is a control issue. You do ...., and she will scream. After the first time they do it, they know how you will react so they keep doing it to control you. (They are smart. We are.) It really works for them when they embarass you, you give in and go home.

This happened to a mother in a grocery store. She put the child in the seat and safety strapped it in. The child started screaming. She kept on shopping. Whenever any one looked, she'd shrug and say "2 year old". She had a lot of sympathy from all of us. (And the child eventually wore itself out and stopped.)

Sometimes, ignoring bad behavior so as not to reinforce it by reacting is the best way to manage and discourage. When there is no result, they stop.

Good luck.

Chicklet and Cult Member

guatmum1280200192.1172707 PostsRegistered 10/24/2008

I HIGHLY recommend the book/program One, Two, Three, Magic! It talks about how we often talk TOO MUCH to kids who are under 14, that they can't process all of this "reasoning." Having discussions is probably above him right now. I would take him to the pediatrician to make sure his ears, etc. are not hurting him (if he's not pulling at them, they probably aren't) and then read this book. When you're done, you have a VERY brief discussion with the child about the program, what consequences will happen if he doesn't stop screaming by 3 (a time out situation). The difference is you keep your emotions out of it, you don't expect an apology after the time out because it's hippocritical, and you continue after the time out as though nothing ever happened. I did it with my daughter after she drove me NUTS and it worked like a charm. At 6, though she rarely has a behavioral problem, she still reacts immediately to a calm "That's one." I never get to two. The program does suggest not planning any trips to restaurants or parties for the first six weeks you try this program. If the program doesn't work consistently by the end of 6 weeks, you are told to consult a health care professional because it is probably not a run-of-the-mill behavior problem. My daughter was a different kid in 3 DAYS!

"Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!" - Auntie Mame

sparkygirl1280200378.6134586 PostsRegistered 10/2/2006

I DO agree with the 1, 2, 3 type of method. I used to give my little boy a warning. He'd display a bad behavior, and I'd point it out and warn him of what would happen if he did it again. Whether it's 2 or 3 chances you give them, it's a good method. There must be an age-appropriate negative consequence...like the toy on the shelf, etc.

You must be very calm when you correct a child of that age. Goodness, sometimes I see what appears to be a whole family of screamers. I'll see parents yelling like heck at their little kids, and I feel sorry that the kids actually have them for parents. I mean really, what are they teaching them? Just speak calmly and teach lovingly. That's all that's needed.

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guatmum1280201032.882707 PostsRegistered 10/24/2008

sparkygirl, I wrote a whole reply to your response to my post (#13) and then posted it, only to find a totally different response posted by you. Either you are the fastest editor I've seen or I'm truly having a Twilight Zone moment!

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Last edited on 7/26/2010

"Life's a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!" - Auntie Mame

RedConvert­ibleGirl1280201422.16713078 PostsRegistered 9/3/2005Pacific NW

I think I'll buy that book and put it in some of my neighbors mailboxes. I'm surrounded by screamers! They aren't two years old either - they're older, and they just stand outside and having screaming contests. Do their parents not hear them?!{#emotions_dlg.angry}

When we shoulder the mantle of compassion no cry goes unheard and no wound goes unhealed. In this world of seemingly endless suffering we have to believe that no one is beyond hope of rescue. Scotlund Haisley, Animal Rescue Corps

anastacia7­20011280201438.1731378 PostsRegistered 12/22/2008
On 7/26/2010 IQNotSoMuch said:

Is it possible he's sick? in pain? If he's screaming at home and when you're out there maybe something medically wrong.. at 2 they can't really tell you yet..

I thought the same. my baby will be turning 2 next week 8/4 and he has been a screamer since we brought him home.

after 4 sets of tubes in the ears and removal of his adnoids he is a more pleasant little human being.

all those months he kept screaming was because he was always in pain. poor thing was always cranky, crying, screaming and not very sociable.

he is a whole new person now. Thank God!

talk w/ his pediatrician and see if he can figure out what is going on.

best wishes to you both.

ღஐƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒஐღ.•:*¨¨*:•.

jewelsluvs­beauty1280203652.3132342 PostsRegistered 1/18/2009

I would let him know it hurts your ears. I would try flicking (not hard) his cheek. It is just enough to get his attention, and tell him it is hurting your ears.

I have a 4 year old that just went to a week long day camp and picked up putting her fingers in her mouth (pretting funny the board would not let me write suc*ing her fingers, ha ha), she has never done this before, and I either count and she removes them or I flick her cheek, just enough to get her attention. Still working on it.

Whatever you choose to try, be consistant. good luck

moondust1280204865.851396 PostsRegistered 1/12/2008ga
On 7/26/2010 jewelsluvsbeauty said:

I would let him know it hurts your ears. I would try flicking (not hard) his cheek. It is just enough to get his attention, and tell him it is hurting your ears.

I have a 4 year old that just went to a week long day camp and picked up putting her fingers in her mouth (pretting funny the board would not let me write suc*ing her fingers, ha ha), she has never done this before, and I either count and she removes them or I flick her cheek, just enough to get her attention. Still working on it.

Whatever you choose to try, be consistant. good luck

jewelsluvsbeauty.....Ouch!!!{#emotions_dlg.crying}

I just 'tried' the flicking-method you mentioned and it seemed awfully easy to 'hurt'!! I do not think I would ever do this....reminds me too much of folks who 'pinch' children to get their attention.

Sorry, I have a hard time endorsing this practice.{#emotions_dlg.unsure}

Nothing is so strong as gentleness and nothing is so gentle as true strength.
Ralph W. Sockman

Zaksgrrl1280205261.129844 PostsRegistered 2/2/2008In the sun but willing to go into the dark

Please, for the sake of those of us who don't share his genes, keep him out of restaraunts!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
When I get through this, I'm going to live the life of an adventurer.
Bear Grylls

tessan1280205341.4431211 PostsRegistered 8/11/2007

I think you can probably figure out if it is a pain issue or not, if they only scream in public, but not at home, there is your answer. It's a behavior that needs to be addressed. A 2yr old is only the boss if you allow him to be. and they will do it on purpose if they get what they want because of it. 2yr olds are smart.

newlawgirl1280205431.472995 PostsRegistered 2/4/2010

I completely understand where you're coming from! I have a 2 year old and do kind of a take on the 1, 2, 3 method. Whenever he's acting up, either at home or out, I tell him that I'm going to count to three and if he doesn't stop whatever he's doing/do what I'm asking him to do, he'll get a timeout. When we're at home, I'll put him upstairs in his crib for 6 minutes--I set a timer and tell him that I'm doing it and that he should listen for the bell and that's when he'll get out. He absolutely hates it but he has learned his lesson and most of the time, whether we're home or out, I don't even get to 2. Sometimes, I'll just say "What happens when we don't listen?" and he'll say "Time out" I then ask if he wants a time out and he always says no, which I then follow up with "Then you need to listen if you don't want a time-out." Also, I've found that when we're out and there's no crib handy, it's best to threaten to take something away (like his toy) or threaten that something he wants to happen won't (we won't get any ice cream). If he doesn't listen, you have to follow through and take the toy away or do whatever else you threatened to do.

I also will give my son warnings sometimes as well, if the counting method won't really work. For example, my son likes to throw things. If he throws something once, I tell him that's not appropriate behavior and if he does it one more time I will either take a toy away/give him a time out. I did this in a restaurant with my son when he kept standing up in his highchair. I told him if he did it one more time I was taking his spoon away (he loves being able to hold on to silverware when he eats). Well, he got that look in his eye and I knew he wasn't going to listen and, sure enough, he stood up. So I took the spoon away. He began to cry and scream but I kept the spoon away and then just kind of held him and rocked him to calm him down. While I was doing that, I asked him if he knew why I took his spoon away and he was able to tell me, so he clearly understood why he was being punished. I explained that he needed to listen to mommy and he said yeah and calmed down after about a minute or so.

The key to anything is to follow through. If you are counting to three and he lets you get to 3, you give him a timeout or take away his toy. Or if he throws something one more time after you've told him not to, you do what you threatened to do. I confess that there are times when I've threatened something I can't follow through with--like not to go somewhere that I actually have to go--and in those situations I just tell him that we're not going, he cries and gets upset and then I tell him if he can behave for 2 minutes/if he does something else I need him to do, we can go. That way, he still recognizes he was punished but he also was able to perform a good behavior to mitigate the punishment.

As an aside, I've found it was best for me to try these all at home at first so he could learn that I wasn't going to give him what he wants just because he screams. Then once you find something that works, you have to make sure you do the same when you're out. A minute of a tantrum at home is nowhere near as long as a minute when you're out and about but if you give in when you're out, he'll learn that there are different rules that apply.

From the mother of one two year old boy to another, good luck!

Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes.

dgluvr1280205606.6575156 PostsRegistered 5/12/2008

My 2 kids never screamed- never had the terrible twos- not bragging, but don't know why ( or why not either) One of my grandkids does but one doesn't- same age. Perhaps yours has a hearing problem- I know when my parents got older and were losing their hearing, they assumed everyone else couldn't hear and they yelled or talked louder to compensate without realizing it. A trip to a doctor may help just to be sure.

NickelEmily1280205838.711869 PostsRegistered 7/14/2007

If there is not physically anything wrong....

When my son was a toddler, (now is 6), he was acting out at a restaurant. We packed up and left on the spot (ok, after paying). It was before the order had come up to the table. You should have seen my son's face. He was shocked. Worked like a charm though and he's never thrown a fit at a restaurant again.

Another time he tantrumed at a store. You know, the whole bit..laying down kicking and screaming. I said something like, "I cannot give you what you want even if I wanted to because I cannot reward tantrums. We do not tantrum. When you're ready to behave we can talk" and walked away (still within my eyesight but I pretended to ignore him). When he could see I was not going to give him any attention or what he wanted, the behavior stopped. Yes, I will admit it was embarrassing, but at least it stopped.

Have faith that this too shall pass.

kat_721280205871.5617 PostsRegistered 4/20/2010

Oh, how I remember those days. It's a little like remembering the pain in delivery, it's doesn't seem so bad after a few years. Hang in there dear, I know it can be hard to believe at times but this too shall pass.

Two of my children were screamers and we didn't go out to eat much at those times in our lives.

jewelsluvs­beauty1280207168.082342 PostsRegistered 1/18/2009
On 7/26/2010 moondust said:
On 7/26/2010 jewelsluvsbeauty said:

I would let him know it hurts your ears. I would try flicking (not hard) his cheek. It is just enough to get his attention, and tell him it is hurting your ears.

I have a 4 year old that just went to a week long day camp and picked up putting her fingers in her mouth (pretting funny the board would not let me write suc*ing her fingers, ha ha), she has never done this before, and I either count and she removes them or I flick her cheek, just enough to get her attention. Still working on it.

Whatever you choose to try, be consistant. good luck

jewelsluvsbeauty.....Ouch!!!{#emotions_dlg.crying}

I just 'tried' the flicking-method you mentioned and it seemed awfully easy to 'hurt'!! I do not think I would ever do this....reminds me too much of folks who 'pinch' children to get their attention.

Sorry, I have a hard time endorsing this practice.{#emotions_dlg.unsure}

My daughter has NEVER cried when I do this, it just gets her attention, I don't do it hard

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