Wednesday, May 21, 2014

My kid's a screamer.  It sucks.  Everyone said "Oh, the fifth kid will be SO easy. You deserve it!" Nope. He's really hard. My third kid was a screamer too. So you think I would be used to it or have a plan of attack. It's pretty much awful each time. And all the advice doesn't seem to make a difference.

When we walk through Target just trying to grocery shop and he screams, there are literally other shoppers that jump. Or cringe. Or give me dirty looks. It's enough to make you want to grocery shop from home. And if I was a good planner, able to get through a couple of days without running to the store for things I need immediately, I absolutely would.

Ofcourse the most popular piece of advice is: Just ignore it. Which I do. Really, I try. I breezily walk the aisles pretending I don't hear him screaming next to my ear, trying to concentrate on my shopping list. I turn up the volume on the radio in the car to drown out the shrieking. I actually almost blew out the speakers trying to listen to NPR.

You're going to say "Well, why is he screaming? Is he tired, or hungry, or hurt? Did you tell him to use his words?" Uh, ok. Here goes: My kid screams: ALL. THE. TIME. He screams after 3 hour naps. He screams while holding a lollipop. He screams when his favorite cartoon is on. He screams as if it's the only way he knows how to communicate.... Which leads me to the fact that he's 2 1/2 and doesn't have much of a vocabulary. I have to admit, since he's my fifth kid I'm a little laid back about some aspects of development. My first kid was hitting all the development marks, no worries. But- my first kid was a girl. Two years later my oldest son was slowly, but surely following in her foot steps, but don't get me started on potty training. That's another post for another time. Third was slow with speaking but at 2 1/2 he was putting together some sentences and by three he was blowing us away with the stuff he was saying. My fourth? He freaking potty trained himself at 2 1/2,  his voice is like a damn angel, and I cry because some of the things he says to me are so sweet and beautiful. But I digress.

We've been through this all before. Four years ago my 3rd kid ruled our house. We did everything to keep him from screaming. Bad Mommy. We gave in a lot. Because we had a newborn? Because my husband works from home and can't do conference calls when there is a toddler wailing in the background? Regardless, when we couldn't take it anymore we consulted child psychologists. This led to testing. I kept telling the specialists. I don't think he's autistic, I just need tools for parenting him, because he had me stumped. He also hit his baby brother (kid #4) a lot, which was heart breaking. Yup, #3 was really angry. When all the testing was done we were told he was super smart and manipulative. Any advice? Always make note of his good behavior and praise him. Which we did, and he has really blossomed, but honestly I think the biggest effect on his behavior was preschool and kindergarten. Seeing how other kids behave and following classroom rules has been amazing for him.

Now, I would love to enroll lil Cinco (that's #5's nickname) in daycare for some socialization and positive reinforcement, but we already have one kid attending preschool (#4), so unfortunately #5 has to wait til his brother hits kindergarten age (another 18 months). Ugh. For now, I'm doing time outs, and working on his speech with him. Not sure if it's helping. There is a doctor's appointment in our future, I'll let you know what he says.

Oh, and just so you know, when I walk through Target, I just repeat to myself over and over "Everyone thinks your kid is having "a bad day". No one knows this is how he always behaves." Sometimes I say "Oh, he missed his nap" and people nod, like "Oh yeah, I've been there." But I have been known to say "You think this is bad? Try seven days a week. Ok?!" but that was to a really rude lady.....

 Anyone ever deal with a screamer? Oh, and he's a climber too, so any advice you want to share on how to keep this critter in his crib would be appreciated!

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