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How do I stop - or at least deal with - the constant screaming??

(6 Posts)
blessedwolf Thu 03-Apr-14 10:06:34

I am tired. Exhausted actually. (For various reasons). But it means I'm probably not parenting as well as I should/could at the moment.
That said, can I ask for some help/advice - without too much flaming.
I have twin girls aged 3. I'm finding that both are resorting to screaming and crying the minute they don't get their own way. This happens whenever I say 'no' or when one annoys the other during play. And some days it can be constant - from morning til night. It feels more angry and constant than just 'terrible twos'.
I've tried explaining, distracting, time-out etc. Nothing works. And I get so frustrated and worn down by it that I end up screaming back. Which clearly is so unhelpful. (I am particularly worried because I'm usually calm and quiet, so my sudden outbursts of anger must be terrifying to the girls.)
I should add I'm an 'older parent'. My only other son is 17 and a quiet gentle soul. (Not a drip - just easy going and chilled). So we had a quiet(ish) 'adult' house til the twins were born. Maybe that's why I'm finding this noise and angry screaming so hard?
I always hoped for confident, feisty daughters. But this constant screaming is driving me mad. (Literally, a bit, I think.)
Please. How do I restore calm to our once quiet sane home?
And in case it isn't clear - the girls are very very loved, given lots of attention, and are happy, healthy and thriving. They just scream. A lot.

Swanhildapirouetting Thu 03-Apr-14 10:32:21

I had twins. They are 12 now.
Naps at that age were good. Quiet time after lunch. I think twins get a lot more stimulation from each other so they can get tired out more quickly.

Stay outside as much as possible, the screaming sounds less loud.

Play whisper games, tiptoeing around, lots of role play around sleeping and being patient and waiting for things, like plants growing, clouds moving across sky, worms wriggling slowly across floor, bread rising. Remind them of slow stuff so that they don't feel everything has to happen fast, right now.

A lot of screaming in our house seemed to be related to needing to pee, and holding on too long shock could that be one of the things that is making them more reactive than usual?

Also control issues, impatience can be to do with not quite being sure what the routine is, and whether they know or can control what is happening next in the day? Sugar lows? Regular snacks at least 5 meals a day including elevenses and tea break.

Downtime in general, self regulation, might include playing by themselves with soft toys in very quiet non exciting ways.

Play which soothes like pouring water on things (outside?) sitting in the bath in the daytime and just playing with watering cans and plastic figures there. Playdough.

Reducing the number of events and transitions in the day, packing less in. Meals simple and predictable, lunch could be bread and butter and cheese and an apple or pasta with butter and ham and a carrot stick.

Singingnursery rhymes so they can use their voices and express energy but regulate at same time.

Send one twin off on a playdate!

I remember feeling at the end of my tether quite often, especially at teatime.I remember once they both used to dance on the table, I used to feel like Nurse Ratchet. Now I look back and think, uh they were toddlers why did I feel so persecuted by them?????shock It is a bit of a mindset.

Flicktheswitch Thu 03-Apr-14 10:35:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

steppemum Thu 03-Apr-14 10:45:35

lots of sympathy. dd2 is 6 and has recently decided that fake loud crying is going to get her what she wants. It is driving me mad.

The only thing I can suggest is that you are very clear. Mummy cannot hear you when you scream. Then ignore all screaming. Do not interact with it, do not respond. The SECOND they stop screaming and use a voice or even a shout, turn to them bright and friendly and respond. Remind them lots (when they aren't screaming) that mummy cannot hear you when you scream. If they are screaming at each other, ignore them and let them get on with it.

It may of course not work.

blessedwolf Thu 03-Apr-14 18:36:50

Apologies for not returning til now. Busy day. Thanks for replying. I do appreciate it. And especially to Swan for such a long and detailed reply. That was so kind of you. I have read and re-read your post and will start acting on these ideas. Thank you all again.

Swanhildapirouetting Fri 04-Apr-14 17:04:23

Blessed I forgot to say, have you tried reposting this in Multiples? Often they are much more switched on about what it is like dealing with jealous twins?

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