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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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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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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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Oh, so you have a normal 2 year old!!!
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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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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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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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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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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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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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I am on here because I have a 2 1/2 year old foster daughter that is screaming her head off to the point of losing her voice.  It's a piercing scream and we have no clue why she does it.  It seems to happen more during transitions, as she doesn't seem to handle them well.  We try to give her some warning when a transition is about to happen to give her time to adjust but it doesn't always work.  She was leaving daycare today and was fine until my husband went to put her in the car and then she went stiff as a bored and started screaming non-stop.  She continues this the whole drive home and even once we get into the house and then she ends up in time out cuz she just doesn't stop.  I think she spends most of the evening in timeouts due to her screaming and crying when she gets home.  I think "no wonder she doesn't want to go home, she has fun at daycare and spends her evenings in timeouts" but it's because of her tantrums that put her there.  Will it ever stop? I want her to enjoy being at home as much as she does daycare, but I can't let the screaming and crying continue without consequence. Ugh!
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If you read the above comments (well except for the one by Aim who has no clue), you will get some good ideas and also certainly the notion that you are not alone.
   In regards to timeouts.   The rule is usually one minute per age.  However, the other rule is typically, you can't come out till you stop screaming.
   I don't know how long you have here in timeouts.  But, you might try letting her out sooner and then putting her back as soon as she starts screaming.
    The really tough thing is that kids of this age don't communicate very well. They need a way to express their anger.  I mean she could beat the heck out of her Teddy bear, but I am not sure that is a good technique to learn.   Any form of distraction is usually helpful.  Is there anything that she can do in the car on the way home that she would enjoy?
   And as you have said, learning her triggers is important.  
   There are some great book aimed at 4 year olds and up which deal with how to deal with anger.  They are meant to be read aloud to the kids.  She might be too young but, it might be worth a try.  The link is here - http://www.amazon.com/Cool-Through-Anger-Learning-Along%C2%AE/dp/1575423464/ref=pd_sim_14_1?ie=UTF8&dpID=61p82txRGPL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR160%2C160_&refRID=1XRXH95FECA7C9MKNQA4
    Also,'When I Feel Angry' has some reviews saying that have used it with 3 year olds so you might also want to check that out.  http://www.amazon.com/When-Feel-Angry-Way-Books/dp/0807588970/ref=pd_sim_14_1?ie=UTF8&dpID=51btE3dscsL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR126%2C160_&refRID=02E8Z9CBVVES5EZK0TM2
    Hope this helps.  Best wishes and do let me know if you try the books and they work for you or at least help.
    One last thought is that this is probably a learned response and it will take a while to change it.
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I am a mother of 7, and every one of my kids was different but still a challenge. These are 7 ways to get through the tough times. From past experience I have learned the following:
1.Get a SCHEDULE. Write it down and post it . Kids LOVE routine.You MUST plan the day out with: reading, writing, science, art/crafts, outdoor time, exercise, games, snacks, music time and quiet time. Use the internet for help.
2. WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS? Treat the whole 'staying at home' experience like you would a JOB...because it IS your job. Get dressed, everyone including yourself. PUT ON MAKEUP AND DO YOUR HAIR, do it on time every day.
3. Make the MEALS FUN, spend a little more time presenting the meal. Kids love to have a 'party' which is nothing more than cutting the sandwiches in small sections, use a special plate, adding fruit and perhaps a little snack. Make it special. if possible let them help. Kids love to cook.
4. Discipline is GOOD, when done calmly. That doesn't mean to beat a child. It means to consistantly do the same thing when they are misbehaving, over and over. I used timeout consistantly. Not in their room, but in a chair or at the bottom step of the stairs. Whispering or lowering your voice is often more effective than yelling, or a smack or a spank. That said, when you need  to spank, Set the child down. Calmly explain what they did wrong, and that they will now recieve a consequence.  Always show/tell how much you love them after they are disciplined.
5. Use MUSIC. It is a HUGE tool to use with children. They will readily respond to music that fits their personality. Try different kinds to see what they like most. Sing with them, dance with them. Music is also great to calm a child down especially in a car. Use calm and soothing music.I used YANNI,( yeah I know) but I would say,
"everyone rest your eyes and listen to the music" After a time, they would fall asleep right away when the music would start.
6. HAVE A FAMILY NIGHT. Do it on the same night every week at the same time. Have a treat, give a lesson on something like being honest, truthful, loving, or kind. play games together, go for a walk or sing songs.
7. Start the day with PRAYER OR MEDITATION. When you start out on the right foot, the day WILL go better. Invite the child to participate if possible, BUT BE CONSISTANT.
REMEMBER: You are teaching another human being how to be a parent someday. When you lose your patience, instead of hitting, put yourself in timeout. (Like the bathroom). Tell the child why you are in time out, give them the timer even, if it helps. Above all know that soon they will be teenagers, and you will long for the terrible twos! LOL <3
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