Big Girl is a screamer. When I do her hair in the morning. When she bumps herself. When I am trying to teach her how to ride a bike. She screams. A lot. I am not a screamer. My husband isn’t, either. (Note to husband: I never said I wasn’t a nag, though, Chris.) It’s very, very draining, and I simply don’t know what to do about it.
Take the bike riding: I’m out there getting ready to teach and she screams when she can’t get on the bike. She screams when she gets on and the bike falls. She screams when the helmet isn’t positioned right. Once we’re off and riding (and running behind the bike) she screams when a neighbor sees her and cheers her on, “Go, Big Girl!” Crumpling in tears, the kid tells me that she doesn’t want anyone to see her trying to ride. That she doesn’t like it when the nice lady (nice is my word) tells her, “Go!” Then she screams when I attempt to let go and let her ride. I stay calm. I try another tactic, telling her there will be no more yelling or we have to stop. I try and build up her confidence. Eventually, by the end of the lesson, the screaming had subsided. Then we went in the house and she bumped her toe. She screamed like someone had shot her with an arrow.
This morning we had screaming when she couldn’t pick an outfit. She missed the bus because my husband, fed up with the screaming, told her she wasn’t going to school. She had screamed too much and would suffer the consequences, he said. He even called the bus driver and told her not to come.
She’s at school, of course. He drove her over at 9 a.m. I am drained for the day and it’s only 9:44 a.m. I have no idea how to get her to stop screaming. We listen to her. We talk to her. We reason with her. She gets plenty of love, affection, attention, and care. And still she screams. The girl who cried wolf comes to mind. As does the fact that my mother often told me that if I continued to cry over nothing eventually no one would believe my cries anymore. Great. Wonderful. My mother’s prediction — some day I would have a child who would drive me as crazy as I drove her — came true.
We’re going to go to the library tonight, I think. We’ll be taking out that old fable and reading it. Several times, perhaps. And then we will set up a behavior chart to try and curb this noise. Can you tell I’m trying so hard to be positive and proactive? What other choice do I have? Thank goodness the little one could fall off a bed or walk into a wall — yes, she’s done both — and barely give a sniffle. I don’t think I could stand the yelling in stereo.
Do you have a screamer? What’s your kids most annoying habit? How do you deal with it?