16m old stressing me out!!(5 Posts)
My 16m old DS is fairly willful and in the last couple months or so has been doing this awful high pitched screech (we call it the Velociraptor as he sounds like those creatures from Jurassic Park) when he's cross, objecting to something, demanding something.... Basically when he wants to exert his will! I think it's an expression of frustration?? Examples are if fighting with his sister over something, trying to get into the recently locked kitchen cupboard, and (& this is the worst for me) wanting boob in the night of he 'can't find it' instantly. If he just wants something or is tryng to communicate anything else (eg wanting a cuddle, pointing to a puppy, etc) he uses usual methods but if ever thwarted his 'go to' response is the screech.
The unfortunate thing is, I am quite highly strung sometimes and have always been sensitive, especially to sudden loud noises, and am finding it abhorrent and really hard to live with, to be Frank, and have started to instinctively Shush him, quite abruptly, followed by an explanation of (for eg) "don't make that noise DS, I will help you do xxxx". Obviously during the night I don't I just give him the bloody boob quick smart to shut him up, which is probably not helping, but who wants to explain at length in the middle of the night??!
My question is, I don't actually feel comfy shushing him, even with an explanation, as firstly he can clearly tell I am being abrupt as goes immediately quiet and looks " told off " and secondly he obviously can't understand the explanation.. I'm basically wondering if I'm somehow intimidating him and quashing his self expression (as at 16m he definitely can't talk)??! What do others think, is it OK or intimidating?
Finally, what other ways can I express that it's not cool to squawk angrily to demand stuff, and how can I channel my reaction?? It's no good just telling me I should be calm, I know that I have been highly strung and sensitive all my life it's not a choice, unfortunately! :/ DD was never like this, she is sensitive but just not so loud!
Suggestions greatly appreciated!!
Should add that I'm not always abrupt! Just the times when I'm already stressed and the screeching happens, otherwise I do still shush but more gently as I really do want to be discouraging it as a method communication....
I think your response is reasonable and not intimidating. Don't worry about his self esteem, at 16months there are lots of things he doesn't really understand and just has to accept.
Eg if he bit someone, he doesn't understand it's wrong but that wouldn't stop you saying sternly 'No biting, DS!', would it? This is the same - it's something you don't want him to do because you find it upsetting - you don't need a better reason than that.
Thanks Cassandra ! Have been thinking about it a bit this morning and think you're right - it's just his little face, he looks so told off and sad! but then he's supposed to really isn't he or it wouldn't be working!?
It's tricky this second child lark, am often feeling like DS is hard done by and misses out as he obviously won't get the time - or patience, it seems! - DD had.... Think this is just my subconscious projecting my guilt!
Thanks again for your response - will try to chill out, I think!
I agree with Cassandra, it sounds like what your doing is fine.
My only addition might be that it might be better to actually be abrupt consistently rather than vary your response as that might be confusing for him. You might even have to extend this to in the night. If he's sometimes getting an abrupt response, sometimes a calm one and sometimes exactly what he wants that might be worse than just always getting the same harsher response in a way. The same response every time might encourage him to get out of the habit more quickly and be less confusing iyswim.
Don't feel guilty though, there's nothing wrong with helping him moderate his behaviour!
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