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2 yr old won't stop screaming, help!
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2 yr old won't stop screaming, help!

My husband and I are really having a difficult time with our 2 year old son.  Since he was about 1 year old, he has screamed.  Typically it's when he's tired, hungry, frustrated, confined (like in his highchair, highchair in a restaurant, store cart, car seat, getting his diaper changed, etc.).  We now have a 5 month old baby and the screaming continues.  He doesn't do it for anyone other than mom or dad (daycare provider says he's the best behaved kid she has).  Lately, he's been doing it when it's time to leave the park and he doesn't want to go, or when he wants to play with someone's toys at the park (not interested in his own) and I ask him to give them back, or say "That's not ours."  When I pick him up from daycare, he screams, slaps my face, hits me, etc.  I calmly say, "Maxwell, show Mama nice, we don't hit" etc.  When I put him into his carseat he stiffens, screams screams screams.  I mean, to the point where my ears are ringing afterwards. I do everything in my power to not give him attention, but that doesn't help.  I turn up the radio, he screams louder.  At home we put him in his room and tell him, "Screaming boys go in their rooms!"  It seems to settle him down after about 5-6 times.  We tell him, "What do you want?  Use your words?  Are you hungry, are you thirsty?" but he just screams.  He's very intelligent and the pediatrician says he has no signs of serious concerns, like autism or developmental issues.  I know this is a phase, but I want to make sure we do the right thing.  We both get pushed to our absolute limits and, I hate to admit it, we have smacked his bottom a couple of times, hoping that perhaps he needs to get the message it's not OK to hit us, scream, etc.  Both times we felt horrible and realized it was probably the wrong method to change this behavior.  But it just keeps going, ignoring him doesn't stop it, he'll scream the ENTIRE car ride home, and it's hard to even want to leave the house.  In fact, I typically won't take him out in public unless I have to, other than the park, out of sheer embarassment.  I know that's not right, but I can't help it.  Everything I read seems too soft, "ignore him," "tell him to use his words," etc., because we haven't noticed ANY changes.  We work VERY hard to give him positive attention and not make him feel like he's second best with the new baby, almost to the point where I worry the baby isnt' getting enough attention (oh the life of a mother!!).  Anyway, advice, encouragement, book suggestions, etc. are greatly appreciated!!!!  Thank you!
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Avatar_n_tn
I feel for you... we went thru a period of time that we wouldn't take our kids (then around 2) to any restaurants, because they wouldn't behave - no matter what we tried.  So we told them, no restaurants till you can behave (it last around 6 months - maybe longer, can't really remember).  Spanking doesn't work either, just encourages them to hit.  I would continue to put him in his room and state that when he calms down he can come talk to you.  After he calms down talk to him, but make sure he's making eye contact with you, tell him it hurts your ears when he yells, then tell him something positive (always end it on a positive note), give a hug and kiss at the end of the conversation (one way convo I know, but still one) I know it's difficult (been there done that) and it REALLY stresses you out, but definitely in time it gets better, unfortunately, I found that three is just as bad as the twos...

I've been at the brink myself, when that happened I would either go into my room and scream into a pillow (so that he couldn't hear), or take a walk around my house, take a deep breath (or two) then go back in, sometimes getting out of the situation even for a minute will do wonders for your nerves.  

I'm now enjoying my five and seven year old.  I know this sounds bad, but my husband and I always tell each other that if we want a little girl then we adopt one that is past the age of 4 :-).  
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Avatar_n_tn
Please don't feel guilty about spanking your child, it's not going to scar him for life, or turn him into a career criminal/serial killer/violent aggressive person, and you had every right to try to discipline your child. You must feel overwhelmed, when nothing seems to work, and you have the added stress of a new baby, not to mention trying to get back on your feet as a woman. I can't say exactly what I would do with a child that does this, as my daughter who is now 10, never did this kind of thing. But I did spank her regularly when she disobeyed or showed blatant defiance, and she knows she's still not too old to get a good old fashioned swat on the rear. Everyone is different so if you aren't comfortable spanking your kids, then you'll have to find another way of dealing.  I don't have any major advice, just have some encouragement. If the docs say he's normal, then it's probably a phase, that is strongly related to the pregnancy and birth of your new baby. He's feeling threatened and scared he'll lose your love and probably is acting out.  Even with extra attention for him, he still might feel like this for a time. He'll eventually adjust I think. I'd just be consistant, let him know he's loved deeply, and punish him for acting inappropriately. Even if there is a reason for his behavior, you must keep disciplining for it. I think you're doing a good job. You just have to wait it out unfortunately. Take care and hope this helps
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Avatar_n_tn
Oh, so you have a normal 2 year old!!!
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Avatar_n_tn
Jump on the opportunity to give him praise when he is not screaming or upset.  Even if it's between breaths or sobs.  This is when he can actually hear what you're saying.  Try verbal praise to get his attention initially or an excited peck on the cheek.  He should learn that you'll only do this when he's not acting like a maniac.  It has worked for me and my maniac too. Good luck. I'd like to hear if you have any success with that.
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Avatar_n_tn
Well i don't know about kids, i am not a mother myself. but to give some advices, i think i might help. i think      ing is not always a good way to dicipline a child, try to talk to him, even if it is hard, young ones are hard to understand, and they might not understamd us as well. Maybe he is irritated sometimes, un capable of understanding things, lost of attention or maybe jelous from his brother, or maybe he sees something between you and your husband that makes him annoyed, maybe you shout at each other or something taht makes him upset, (no personal feelings ok? just if?) Maybe kids or some people around him annoys him about his attitude, they might shout at him,       him, or tell him things that he musn't hear or learn. I don't think that keeping him or hiding him from the public woul'd help, he must be used of the people outside, see how the attitude of other kids, and what would others think towards children, maybe he's screaming is just the way he thought to be recognized. try to give him a party every week, buy him his favorite toys, bake him he's favorite dish, go fishing sometimes, teach him how to behave so that he could catch some fish. Well it's just MAYBE, i'm just trying to help. GOOD LUCK then. wish we'll here from you again for the results.
Love ME.
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Avatar_n_tn
My 26 m/o girl is exactly the same way as you describe above and while she has no siblings yet, we are expecting a boy in 2 months.  First, I want to say that my daughter is -really- bright and kind, but transitions into this absolute monster seamlessly and without much provocation.  She seems constantly frustrated.  Is it the same for you?

I think our children have a certain temperament that requires a bit more understanding, attention and less babying.  It's a personality thing, they're smart kids, eager to be a part of what's going on, but easily frustrated by their limitations as developing people (aka kids).  Not as easy going as their peers might be.  

When he's playing happily alone, leave him be.  When he has a moment, even a moment looking a little lost or bored, give him something to do.  Involve him in what you're doing.  "Hey, I'm folding towels.  Want to try?", "I have a piece of paper and a crayon.  Would you like to write something?", anything to get them stimulated and interested in something other than screaming.

I find that not babying her when she tantrums helps, too.  "I get that you're upset, but we can't work it out when you scream like that.  Come to Mommy when you're ready to compromise."  She screams and I try not to show that I'm upset by it and go about my own business, keeping near.  In less time than before (when I used to try to solve her problems or correct her), she comes to me a bit calmer and we try to find a middle ground.

I don't have this all worked out yet.  The car is still a battleground.  I've started stealing a shoe and then offering to replace it if she calms down to initiate more rational conversation.  But there's nothing rational about stealing your kids shoe... Still a work in progress.

I wish you much luck and hopefully, when our kids can comfortably communicate with us their beautiful little minds we will have a lot more harmony in the house.  Take a deep breath, give yourself a well deserved time out and know that you're not alone and you're not doing anything to cause this.  

All my best,
Jasi

p.s. I don't believe hitting works.  Though I'm tempted sometimes from my own frustration, I refrain.  And not to be a catty poster, but if your only addition to this conversation, aim7407, is to say that hitting a child is not terrible, then I think you're just defending yourself.  You may not be convinced of this notion and that's a good thing.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi my son is 35 month he refuse to eat any food he only eat nuggett no drink milk he love to drink juics and he's not talking that much hard to understand him he is not listening to me or any one if i said no don't do it he keep doing that oh he's gevin me hared time with my little girl she 15 month he always fight with her throuing toy on he can push her ...
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Avatar_f_tn
I have a child who is now 15 how did this same thing. He was diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome. My now 2 year old daughter is the EXACT same as what you described. You would think I could tolerate it because I work with special needs population but, no way. When she screams, which is often, my whole body tenses. One thing I can say is, when she has tasks, or remains active( helping with laundry, cleaning....she loves to clean, or coloring) it really does lessen her behavior. These little personalities absolutely need continuous stimulation. As far as being in the throws of her meltdown, I put her in time out, put my earphones in and ignore her. When time-out is over, I talk to her calmly and hug her. I explain why she was in time-out and she usually stops screaming when I take her out of time out. Good luck. I'm with you in spirit. BTW headphones are a GODSEND when trying to ignore screaming. Oh and something else, I know its crazy, but when shed calm and I have no activity for her, she walks around with an I pod. Music helps them just as much if not more than us. :-) hang in there.
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Avatar_f_tn
My husband and I have a 23 month old boy who screams when he doesn't get his way. We try the time out corner and everything but it doesn't work. I have noticed he screams more when he is around his older brother that is 7. I have no clue on what to do about his screaming when he doesn't get what he wants. It gets so bad that he makes my ears ring and now his little brother who is 1 now is starting to do the same thing. Can some one please help and give me some other ideas on what we can do because the time out corner nor the ignoring him is working.
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