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3 yr old- how do I get her to stop screaming at EVERYTHING?

(19 Posts)
summermakesmesneeze Mon 09-Sep-13 20:20:49

My daughter is 3 next week, it's not like I think tantrums don't apply to her (they do, she has the odd one), but I'm so frustrated with her daily behaviour. She screams and moans over everything. From the big to the small. I try to ignore it but by mid morning I'm usually worn down to snapping at her to STOP the shrieking if not shouting at her. I know, I'm supposed to ignore this behaviour, but honestly, the things that set her off just do my tiny brain in. It's a cartoon she doesn't want. She says she wanted weetabix but now she's been presented with weetabix, shriek! She's got a tiny bit of apple juice on her. I've opened her yoghurt. That toy won't stand up on its own. She needs a wee (she has been using the loo for 6 months, she knows the fricking drill - go to the loo, why the screaming?). I haven't put my drink down fast enough to open her play doh (ie 1 second after her asking- and I never race to this sort of thing, naturally, but jeez..) She wants to go in a room but the door is shut. The first response is to scream and then demand "open it!!".

And pretty much every time, it's the first instance of her asking for something. She just screams her want/need in the tone of someone who's been ignored (I haven't).

It's wearing me down.

She's been like this since she was a baby. We've only just got her to stop screeching as soon as she wakes up in the morning.

She's otherwise a lovely girl, in to lots of things and we go out for walks, play at home, go to playgroup, all the usual. I just don't know how to get her to stop over-reacting to all this petty crap. How do I make life calm again? My head is aching again after another shit day of screeching, and the sound of my own voice chiding her.

Ugh. I can't even quit my job, and I KNOW this is not supposed to feel like a job but that's how I feel right now. And look how much I've blethered on!

quertas Mon 09-Sep-13 22:15:58

Sympathy. My 3yo is the same except with a moany voice not shrieking. 'But I wannnnnnnnnn it!' 'Waaaaaa mummy daddy says I caaaaaaaant have a bisssssscuit' I think she's just pulling my chain a bit. I don't know if its going to work but what I'm trying is, I've recorded her whining voice and her normal voice and then I play them back to her and we have a sticker chart for activities done without whining. Maybe it'll work, who knows?

summermakesmesneeze Mon 09-Sep-13 22:16:06

Please help.. I start every morning not reacting to her screaming and then slowly the noise drives me to madness. I'm turning into a fishwife and DD is no better off. I just need to change our behaviour somehow.

SisterMatic Mon 09-Sep-13 22:18:45

Oh yes I can relate.
D-open it please open it I want it open!
Me-opens it

You are not alone.

summermakesmesneeze Mon 09-Sep-13 22:22:18

Ooh, must've posted simultaneously! Thanks, it's wearing, isn't it?

I remember now that I video'ed (?) her having a tantrum all the way up the stairs, think it was last year. I think she was a bit stunned when I played it back to her later! I'll give that a go, maybe it'll make her think.

I bet she's an angel at nursery confused

Vijac Mon 09-Sep-13 22:23:28

I think you do need to pick her up on it not just ignore - 'I know that you don't like x but please don't screech/whine, ask in a nice voice politely'. Really praise the good asking or if she stops. Don't rush to do it, make her wait 'ooh what a screech, please ask nicely, then I'll get it'. The delayed response may be painful to start but will encourage her to ask in other ways. Try and preempt difficult situations, ask her about other things 'would you like weetabix, here it is, now what shall we do today'. Try humour, songs, funny dances. Pay lots of attention when she is lovely and really engage, discourage the shrieking quickly and firmly. Good luck, it's an interesting stage!

LaVitaBellissima Mon 09-Sep-13 22:24:03

I have terrible twin tantrumming toddlers, I find wine helps, and am living in hope they will grow out of it soon grin

summermakesmesneeze Mon 09-Sep-13 22:24:41

I feel I should give thanks for reading to the end of my looong spiel btw. Embarrassingly epic!

MadameOvary Mon 09-Sep-13 22:29:08

First of all...earplugs! Seriously. They have worked for me. DD is 5 now and doesn't screech as much, but they were a godsend at the time. With the earplugs taking the edge off the screaming you can either ignore or calmly look past it and say things like "Don't speak to me like that please" or "That's not the way you ask for things, DD" or even "Mummy, please may I..."
IMHO this way you are staying calm and modelling good behaviour which she will hopefully begin to imitate!

nailslikeknives Mon 09-Sep-13 22:30:44

Try 1,2,3 Magic. Loads of mumsnetters recommend it. You can buy the book on amazon and it's really worked for us. Whenever my DS1 screams, I count. Usually stops after 1 or 2 so no time out needed but I have no hesitation getting to 3 and time out because that tends to nip it in the bid for the rest of the day.

I shall now lurk in case anyone comes up with a truly magic solution to stopping tantrums smile

Pelvicflooragogo Mon 09-Sep-13 22:32:00

YY! Totally identify with this with my daughter. I've so bored listening to my own responses "And how would you ask me in a nice way?" Before obliging. Or not obliging at all if its not reasonable and then living with the tantrummy consequences. I actually got so cross with her the other night.
She woke up for a drink, I helped, put on toilet for a wee, didn't want to, out her on potty, did wee, then got cross as she was effing tired and deliberately kicked the potty so wee spilt on floor, then didn't want to wash hands and didn't want me to out her back in the bed or put her pyjama bottoms, I DO IT BY MYSELF! angryangryangryTried to cage her in a travel cot as I was getting so cross that I was scared I was going to hurt her. She climbed out and came into our room where I was crying my heart out for being a bad mother etc.
She's actually really been much better since then. I do wonder this whole keeping calm on the surface but seething underneath actually prolongs shitty behaviour and really losing your rag every now and then might not be a bad thing...
Sorry for giant response but I really do know how you feel, like I don't enjoy my lovely daughter a lot of the time.

summermakesmesneeze Mon 09-Sep-13 22:40:46

Ooh, 1,2,3 sounds good. I can combine that with 'confiscated toy'. I've never managed to keep her on the naughty step, (although its been a while. Maybe I should reinstate).
Thanks VijacI will make a renewed effort to talk her through not screeching tomorrow and hopefully my ears will cope (no ear plugs in house, must get to boots!) and she will get the idea. Soon, I hope! I don't want DD2 (8mo) to pick up on bad behaviour, I've trouble enough getting her to stop pulling hair :-)

nailslikeknives Mon 09-Sep-13 22:46:08

Interesting thought Pelvic.
I'm sure I've read something about how showing your true emotions can sometimes help. Not losing rag, but not being too calm. Think it was in the 'how to talk so kids will listen' bible.

summermakesmesneeze Mon 09-Sep-13 22:46:24

pelvic this is exactly how I feel, it's just a hamster wheel of cajoling a nicer manner of asking for things combined with ignoring screechy demands and then seethy build up. And seethy build up is not fun. And I'm tired of not feeling like a good mum because of it. And I spend most of my time with that cute ratbag/demon.

summermakesmesneeze Mon 09-Sep-13 22:47:36

Where is this bible? I must have it!

nailslikeknives Mon 09-Sep-13 23:00:27

How to talk so kids will listen and listen so kids will talk. Amazon, it's v g. Combine with 1,2,3 Magic and you've covered most behavioural bases.
If you want to really swot up, there's a free kindle chapter from 'calmer, easier, happier parenting' called 'descriptive praise' which has been brilliant for stopping the 3yo having a go at the 1yo.

summermakesmesneeze Mon 09-Sep-13 23:24:14

Downloaded and read (free sample)! I think I will like this book, I'm going to check if my local library has a copy but if not I will kindle it...
Thank you. I just want my daughter to be happy! Hope this'll help.
I wonder how many times I will say 1,2,3 tomorrow?!

MadameOvary Tue 10-Sep-13 09:47:46

Summer if you decide to go down the earplugs route, think about getting them from eBay rather than Boots - much cheaper!

summermakesmesneeze Tue 10-Sep-13 21:03:48

Thank you Madame!

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