Ok, can someone help us before we crack up?

(9 Posts)
NarkyNamechanger Sun 18-Aug-13 18:15:49

Dd is 2.11 and high maintenance. She's always been a high needs baby, screaming easily, very clingy and demanding, and has only been sleeping consistently through the night for 4 months.

Her general behaviour is fine, she's a good eater, plays nicely, shares her mum and home with other children (I'm a childminder- I know I know!) , has never hit or bitten or been jealous.

But she screams. A lot. She cries, she whines, she screeches and shouts. Not so much in a tantruming way but it just seems to be her default setting and her way of communicating. Her language is excellent and way above expected for her age so I don't think it's a frustration in not being able to verbalise her feelings.

I've tried every trick in the book. Ignoring, praising good talking and using her 'big girl voice', sending her to a thinking spot every time, telling her off but nothing is working. If anything it's getting worse.

I have a degree in childcare and yet I can't fix my own child. I'm at a loss, please help!

Tee2072 Sun 18-Aug-13 18:25:41

Sanctions. Don't just tell her off, take something away. A treat, a toy, something she likes.

When she can speak nicely, she can get it back.

NarkyNamechanger Sun 18-Aug-13 18:34:22

What sort of things? I don't think there's anything I could take that would bother her. Due to my job she'd just tootle off and get something else from the playroom.

Tee2072 Sun 18-Aug-13 18:35:25

Well, it doesn't have to be a toy. My son gets bedtime story removed, for example, or computer time or something similar.

NarkyNamechanger Sun 18-Aug-13 18:45:53

Ah yes. Ok and does he get warnings or is it instant removal? I'm thinking- she does 30-40+ times a day, I might run out of things to remove.

Tee2072 Sun 18-Aug-13 19:00:11

Well, hopefully you'll only have to do it once or twice!

He gets warnings.

She's a bit young to remove a bedtime story if she screams hours before bedtime, surely? Doesn't the sanction need to be more immediate than that?

I had success with DD by pretending I couldn't understand her when she screamed or whined. I tried very hard not to show annoyance or frustration, just did a slightly bored 'pardon,darling? I don't know what you're saying' or 'I can't understand you when you speak like that' or really hammed it up with 'No, sorry, I have absolutely no idea what you're saying to me.' A little sarcastic I suppose but because I only responded or got her what she wanted when she talked properly, she quite quickly got the message.

NarkyNamechanger Sun 18-Aug-13 20:30:50

Ok food for thought.

I put her to bed shortly after my last post and prefixed the whole situation with 'if you go to bed nicely with no silliness, mummy will read you a story' . I usually read her a story anyway but it worked. smile

I think I need to break it down into chunks. ATM, punishments which don't happen for several hours probably won't work because not only will she forget, but so will I!

I do tell her I can't understand baby voices, and she'll immediately say it nicely but it doesn't stop her doing literally 10 or15 seconds later.

It's all very draining.

DoItTooJulia Sun 18-Aug-13 20:40:49

Ok. I would explain everything. Quietly, calmly and repeatedly if necessary.

Also, I had two tricks when my ds1 was this age.

One, to tell him that there are two ways to do this (whatever the problem activity is). The easy way or the hard way. The easy way is the one where you don't make a fuss and we just get on with it. Then we can have an extra story, a big cuddle, a play with your playmobil (or whatever her absolute favourite thing is). Or we can do it the hard way. I used to say mommy prefers the easy way, but it will get done whatever. I also used to show him what it was like. If he wanted a biscuit or something I would have a full on tantrum, just like he would. He used to be utterly stunned. And quiet.

The other one was to tell him, really calmly that I have to be a good mommy and good mommys have to do some unpopular things, but they HAVE to be done. Good mommys make sure their children are well fed, clothed, have their teeth brushed etc etc.

At this age they understand so much, including nuances and things that you think are too grown up for them.

My final idea would be the element of surprise. If there is something that triggers the episode, like say, getting dressed in the morning I would totally mix it up. Make it fun. Sometimes I would get dressed all wrong. Pants on my head type of thing. Dance round like a loon. Get dressed in the kitchen. Again, usually met with stunned silence or giggles. Humour is your friend, even when you could scream!

Good luck!

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