I'm having major issues with my twin boys being very demanding and screaming at me all day long. How do I handle their screaming and yelling without yelling back at them?

Breelin - posted on 02/24/2009 ( 9 moms have responded )

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Both of my boys, 3 years old, have recently become very demanding and scream and yell at my husband and I to get them things. We are constantly asking them to ask nicely and use a quiet voice, but it has not worked. We end up having to yell at them in order to be heard. I'm at a loss in finding ways to handle this issue.

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Vanesa - posted on 02/25/2009

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Hi! The best thing to do is the first thing you do in the morning is spend one full hour of undivided attention with them. Sit on the floor, play with puzzles, read them books, color, playdo, whatever they absolutely love doing . Do not answer the phone, cook, throw a load of laundry in, nothing. Give them all of you for the first hour of the day. This will be hard but try it!! Then afterward, go on with your normal daily 'duties'. I heard this helps a lot. High maintenance kids react well to this. This one hour a day could give you eight hours of peace! Instead of nine hours of annoyance.



Also, if they are bugging you, get creative and include them in all your chores.  I have a very high maintenance two year old. When I do laundry, she becomes my right hand man. Have them pull laundry out of the dryer and put it into a basket, have them sort the clothes, hand them towels and ask them to fold them. Get them very active in all you are doing. They will be too busy to yell at you and the tasks will make them feel important and loved by you. They may be 'yelling' because they have a need for your attention and are bored. I even put a step stool up in the kitchen so my two year old can stand on it and watch me bathe the baby, do dishes and cook. She askes one million questions, but hey, she's not yelling at me or destroying the house to get my attention. A lot of times, negative behavior is an indicator of something else. My motto is get them busy and wear them out!! Get them outside on their bikes or kicking a ball around. A tired kid sleeps faster, better and is hopefully too tired to be annoying!!!



Hope this helps.... I feel your pain!



Vanesa

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All of these sound like good plans but I usually tell my kids that I don't hear those words (I want, get me this or that etc) and when they can talk to me respectfully then I will listen to them. Then I continue what I was doing or I walk away. I do not let them get away with it. I will also put my finger to my ear and say "excuse me" until they get it right. count to ten before you answer them and get down to their level. I've heard that if you whisper it will get them to listen but that never worked for me. just speak in a calm voice (hard I know when you want to yell) and look them in the eyes. Most importantly is to be consistent with whatever you choose and do not let them get away with disrespect.

Breelin - posted on 02/25/2009

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Quoting Erin:



There is a book that I just ordered from Amazon called "Scream-free Parenting," and, although I haven't seen them yet, I know that there is a DVD set of lectures with the same title.  I've heard that it can make a huge difference, which is what I'm hoping for.  Good luck!






Thank you!  I will check into this book for sure.  I was never a yeller until I had kids and had to yell in order to be heard :)

Paulette - posted on 02/24/2009

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Quoting Jennifer:

My now 4-year-old went through the same phase that seemed to repeat itself over and over between 3 and 4 years old. They LOVE to test their boundaries and see just how much they can get away with and once they realize the boundaries are still there, they'll stop. A few months later, you'll find that they're doing it again, just to make sure the boundaries are still there. Here's what worked for my son:

When he would yell and demand something, I would get right on his eye level, take both of his hands in mine and say, firmly, "You do NOT talk to Mommy that way. We use nice words like please and thank you. When you can ask nicely, I will listen." Then I would walk away. Now, being a smart and persistent kid, he would usually follow me around crying about whatever it was that I hadn't given him or done.

Then, he would get to sit in the crying corner or his room and have his fit. It would take about 5 minutes or so, but usually when he was done he would come in and say, "Mommy, will you please ___" When he'd ask nicely I would be sure to give him hugs and kisses and say, "Thank you for asking so NICELY! Of COURSE I'll ___" It would usually make him giggle and all would be well again.

What has surprised me is that I don't have to remind him to use polite language or a quiet tone of voice anymore. He still gets whiny when he's tired, but the cycle of yelling and demanding has definitely been broken.

I think setting expectations for our kids and then following through with those expectations with consequences are good - especially for boys who tend to feel safe with rules and boundaries. Think about the kinds of consequences you're prepared to dole out if your boys yell and demand something and then stick to them EVERY time. Of course we all lose it once in a while when we've had enough, but a well timed "Mommy Time Out" is always better than having to start over.


Hi, I agree with Jen above. Consistent follow through does work and children will always test boundaries off and on. That is why it is important to be consistent. I would recommend the books by Supernanny--Jo Frost. It has help us a great deal. Plus at Amazon.com will let people read excerpts from the books too. I hope it gets better. Take care.

Jennifer - posted on 02/24/2009

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My now 4-year-old went through the same phase that seemed to repeat itself over and over between 3 and 4 years old. They LOVE to test their boundaries and see just how much they can get away with and once they realize the boundaries are still there, they'll stop. A few months later, you'll find that they're doing it again, just to make sure the boundaries are still there. Here's what worked for my son:



When he would yell and demand something, I would get right on his eye level, take both of his hands in mine and say, firmly, "You do NOT talk to Mommy that way. We use nice words like please and thank you. When you can ask nicely, I will listen." Then I would walk away. Now, being a smart and persistent kid, he would usually follow me around crying about whatever it was that I hadn't given him or done.



Then, he would get to sit in the crying corner or his room and have his fit. It would take about 5 minutes or so, but usually when he was done he would come in and say, "Mommy, will you please ___" When he'd ask nicely I would be sure to give him hugs and kisses and say, "Thank you for asking so NICELY! Of COURSE I'll ___" It would usually make him giggle and all would be well again.



What has surprised me is that I don't have to remind him to use polite language or a quiet tone of voice anymore. He still gets whiny when he's tired, but the cycle of yelling and demanding has definitely been broken.



I think setting expectations for our kids and then following through with those expectations with consequences are good - especially for boys who tend to feel safe with rules and boundaries. Think about the kinds of consequences you're prepared to dole out if your boys yell and demand something and then stick to them EVERY time. Of course we all lose it once in a while when we've had enough, but a well timed "Mommy Time Out" is always better than having to start over.

Janis - posted on 02/24/2009

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I have this issue with my 4 year old and 8 year old...more fighting toward eachother with the occasional smarting off to me and hubby.  I usually separate them.  You'd think they'd be happy, but they start whining about being separated.  Eventually they figure out that to play together they have to quit yelling.  I send my 8 year old up to his room EVERY TIME he smarts off.  I get so aggrivated with him that I will start yelling if I don't (and honestyl sometimes still yell).  But it gives us both a time out.  He comes down when he's ready to behave and usually apologizes without prompting.  I have started to do the same with my 4 year old since he is starting to model big brothers behavior, and it has helped with the yelling.  Notice I didn't say stop, but it does help.  Good luck to you! 

Erin - posted on 02/24/2009

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There is a book that I just ordered from Amazon called "Scream-free Parenting," and, although I haven't seen them yet, I know that there is a DVD set of lectures with the same title.  I've heard that it can make a huge difference, which is what I'm hoping for.  Good luck!

Nikki - posted on 02/24/2009

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Quoting Breelin:

I'm having major issues with my twin boys being very demanding and screaming at me all day long. How do I handle their screaming and yelling without yelling back at them?

Both of my boys, 3 years old, have recently become very demanding and scream and yell at my husband and I to get them things. We are constantly asking them to ask nicely and use a quiet voice, but it has not worked. We end up having to yell at them in order to be heard. I'm at a loss in finding ways to handle this issue.


I have a four year old that had the same issue.  I found getting down to the level and lookin them in the eye while explaing that the reason they didnt get what they were demanding for works.  Also showing them the right way to do it and persist with the good manners they will get it.  Hope that helps.

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