Squealing toddler on the bus. At my wits end!(10 Posts)
My son is 2 and a half and has a terrible habit of letting out high pitched squeals on the bus. He doesn't do it in anger or frustration, it just seems to be an attention thing. He used to do it at home and I started ignoring it and eventually it stopped. However, on the bus this just doesn't work. I have tried everything - distracting him, telling him off etc etc. 3 bus drivers have threatened to throw me off the bus now and it is getting to the point where I am so afraid to get on a bus I am walking to and from work. It takes an hour and a half each way! This has been going on for about 5 months now and I am absolutely at my wits end. He is generally a very good little boy apart from this one thing. Tonight I tried depriving him of a story at bedtime and told him I was cross with him and naughty boys don't have stories because I just don't know what else to do. I have tried evcerything else. Can anybody help? It is making my life an absoloute misery.
What does he say when you ask him why he does it?
Can't believe the drivers have threatened to throw you off the bus, btw, that's awful
He doesn't say anything really. I'm not sure he understands 'why' yet.
try giving him a lollipop to suck on, then he'll forget about it.
the more attention you give it the more he'll do it.
have you tried asking him lots and lots of questions so that he doesn't get a chance to do it? or just distracting him with stuff?
I've tried the food thing. He doesn't really like sweet stuff so he won't do lollipops unfortunately.
I try asking him what he can see out the window etc and I also have toys specifically for the bus but today I didn't even have chance to get them out the bag before he started!
Does he like being on the bus or does he prefer to walk?
if he likes being on the bus can you set up a few consecutive trips where time doesn't matter, let him know, not in a cross way, just explaining, that it's too noisy to do that on the bus and that you'll have to get off if he does?
And then one calm warning and a calm follow-through, immediately, with no big fuss. Then if you can, just wait at the bus stop, with whatever game/ toy/ snack whatever AWAY till the next bus comes, and so on.
You'd prob need a few days of planning so you could follow through consistently though, which if you're going to work is going to be hard. And of course it's only any good if he really wants to be on the bus.
We talked a lot (really a lot!) about 'medium voice or quiet voice' - important for buses, cafes etc. I would model quiet voice by saying it all quietly, and explain that if dd1 couldn't use a quiet or medium voice then we would get off the bus. And have lots of shouting / squealing where it is ok - before and after bus journey ideally.
Also distract distract - eye spy?
Another one might be to play 'who can be the quietest?' games.
My little one (now 3) has done this on and off. He's recently been doing it round tescos and the only way I can stop him is by tickling him under the chin... I know it's the wrong thing as he then does it to get a tickle but needs must sometimes..
I know it's because he finds what he is doing boring so I do try to keep him as entertained as possible.
As you are on the bus and he seems to like stories can you make a big build up prior to getting on the bus that when you are on the bus you will both read a story. As a way of pre-empting the squealing as I know once he starts squealing and you start distracting him he'll do it to get the distraction. You could end up with a 'bus story book' specially for the trip..
Kids have a way of knowing when you want them to be quiet, and are therefore tense and I think it triggers the squealing to break the silence. Obviously no squealing would be great but maybe settle for loud talking, excitment as I'm sure other passengers will find this preferable to squealing..
As for the bus driver threatening to kick you off, I am quite frankly shocked. Yes it's annoying, but he's a young child, thats what they do! I would have some strong words for him I can say!!
That said I probably would use it to my advantage and say to little one 'Look the grumpy bus driver is cross with you for squealing' in a vain hope it might give him a shy moment and stop doing it. It would also drop the hint to the bus driver!!
If the bus driver threatens it again, ask for his full name and make a complaint, for gods sake, they obviously don't have kids!
What about asking him to make different noises? Ohhhh, what noise does a mouse make 'eek, eek' - make it fun for him to join in? and do that smiling affectionately 'gosh, what a noisy boy you are today!' thing so other people remember he is just a kid (rather than 'stop being naughty' so people think he is being naughty). worth a try?
I went for the fill his mouth option for a while when it was problem. dummy, apple, oatcakes what ever. he grew out of it. Now he flirts with as manay passengers as he can manage, chats away and its easier to deal with.
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