Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Screaming and Whining...

Maybe you don't ever have to deal with this, but we do.

Raising 3 kids - this just comes with the deal.  It may be sibling related, age related, or just an irritated moment...

I don't do too well with screaming and/or or whining.  Who does?  I think some parents do.  Some  have an abundance of patience in this area.  I don't, but I pray for this each morning.

Ian is 2.  Need I say more?  If he doesn't get what he wants, he screams.  And it's usually ridiculous - like over candy or wanting to help me stir some boiling water!  He also (frequently) wants what the girls have.  Really, he thinks the whole world revolves around him!  Geez!  But he's 2, so he should, right?

So what's a Mom to do?

Well, I certainly don't have all the answers and each child responds differently - but here are a few of our strategies.

If Ian is screaming and throwing a fit - I do my best to patiently explain to him (with minimal, simple words) what's going on - and if he continues to scream and throw a fit - I carry him up to his crib and set the timer for 5 minutes (and turn off the monitor).  He has always calmed down in that time.  When the timer beeps, I go in - ask him if he's done screaming - he always says, "Yeah" sniff sniff - I say, "Ok, good job" - and we go on with our day.  By this time he's over it.

I think the "time out" is just as much for me as it is for him.  Like I said, I don't do well with lots of screaming. :/

The same thing applies for when the girls whine.

Here's my line:

"It's ok to be frustrated, angry, sad and/or upset.  But you may not ruin the peace of our home."

So, as calmly as I can - I order the girls to their rooms - and they can join the family when they're done whining - and ready to be loving.

Another thing that's been effective with the girls is some physical touch (no, not bad touch!)  but some snuggles and rocking them for a few minutes usually changes their attitudes for the moment.

Another thing I continually tell myself:
Do not be afraid of screaming, whining and fits.  If I'm parenting well, and they're disappointed, they can scream.  YOU DON'T SCARE ME, KIDS!  (well, some days they do!)  Also, don't be afraid if your kids scream, whine and throw fits in front of your friends or other Moms.  A real friend may laugh with you, or sigh with you, or cry with you,  or just hug you!

Also, at the dinner table - whoever disrupts our family dinner is gone.  They may eat alone at our other table.  We value our family dinner time too much for it to be ruined.  If Ian is being totally disruptive, he will even sit in his crib for several minutes while we finish.

And one more thing - if the girls are going at each other, I open the door to outside (and if it's too cold, they are escorted into the garage) and I let them duke it out there!  They are already laughing by the time they step outside.  Why?  Because they're not getting the audience out there, so why fight?

Sophie has been escorted to the garage before - while throwing a fit - because Ian was napping upstairs.  She was told to come back inside when she was done screaming.

Oh, Happy Parenting!

An essential strategy to screaming and whining, in my young opinion

but isn't that hard?  It is for me!

It doesn't work.  Trust me.  I've tried that. 

As my friend reminded me - When there's a fire in your home, will you try to put it out with gasoline or water?  I'll chose (and pray really hard for stamina and patience) water.

Is this something you deal with?  What are some things that have worked for you?


  1. Whine? No....never! Ha! I think it comes with the territory. I have found that not one solution works the same for each kid. So, experimenting until there is a temporary solution, then ready to find another solution when that one stops working. Oh, and for me - wine! :~) -Jen
    ...this too shall pass.

  2. I totally agree with Jen...no kid is the same in this dept.! We've sent our kids to the laundry room while Amelia napped (and it has extra insulation in the walls so it's not as noisy...nice!). We do the bedroom often, and I'm with you, I've found that being calm in return (instead of yelling back) seems to work the best. At least we're not making a screaming match out of it at that point...it does take a lot of patience and practice, though! :)

  3. Putting Ian in is crib is very effective for him, but that didn't work so much with Sophie. She needs more loving physical touch. Halle will usually get it together in the moment. So right here is evidence that ALL 3 OF MINE have been different to discipline! :) At times, we think that things should be black and white - but children are like snowflakes! Each one unique and special. :) Thanks, friends, for making my home feel "normal"!

  4. Thanks Myah for the encouragement! I needed to read that today!


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