Thursday, September 3, 2009

Need Some Parenting Advice

Well, Tucker has this new thing where he yells at the top of his lungs. Cute, right? No. I'm really silly with him, and sometimes we get pretty loud just goofing off, but now he's gotten to where he yells in frustration AT ME. Now I realize that he can't talk, and his crying is his only way to communicate, but he can be fed, clean, comfortable, etc. but he gets frustrated and wrinkles up his eyebrows and yells as loud as he can! This morning I was in the kitchen making breakfast/cleaning, etc. and he was in there with me in the highchair. I don't know if he wanted me to pay attention to him or what. He had snacks and I was helping him with it, but every time I turned my back he would let out this ear-busting yell! Ugh!

What should my response be to this? It drives me crazy! What I've been doing is putting my hand over his mouth and saying "No" firmly. When is a child old enough to understand discipline? Obviously I'm not talking about spanking, but I don't want this to become a habit! Should I ignore it and go out of my mind? Parenting pros, I need your help!


Melissa said...

Sarah it sounds like you have most of it figured out already. It does sound like Tucker is doing it for attention. Just remember, to a baby there is nothing in the world better than his/hers mommy's face and he just wants to make you look at him. It's a compliment really! But, as Sarah Kate does the same thing (and often in public!), what you are doing sounds correct. Even though babies can't talk at this age they can understand a lot of words, so using correction like "No" is appropriate. I do this with Sarah Kate too and she usually just smiles back and it distracts her for a little while. Of course, then she usually starts up again. Aren't our little ones so much fun?!

Wendy W said...

well I'm not a parenting expert, but I can sympathize with your frustration. I would say that in addition to your telling him "No," you should also tell him what he should (and is able to) say. (God says discipline and INSTRUCT). like tell him to say something nicely-any nice sound, or maybe Mama, nicely. Maybe teach him a sign for "help." and if he continues to disobey-like he wont ever try to do what you're telling him to do and you're sure that can, then I would say you should spank (or pop, whatever you want to call it) him (we started at about 10 months b/c he was smart enough to understand and obey). If there are no unpleasant consequences for his disobedience, then he will continue in disobedience. I'd also say that it'd be good to teach him to pray for God to give him patience or self-control or whatever it is he needs at the time. May God be with you. You have a difficult task.

Crunchy Composure said...

Thanks, ladies! Wendy, I have been doing what you said about showing him how to talk nicely and encouraging more of his softer "goos" and ba-bas" that he says. And Melissa, you're right--he does love to see my face and my reaction to EVERYTHING! It's just hard to get anything done if I'm always looking at him! : ) Thanks for the advice.

Peggy said...

Sarah, I have a couple of thoughts. He is learning that when he screams at the top of his lungs he will get a reaction from you that he wants. If the "no" and "pop" (yes it is okay) don't work, then ignoring it is your answer, and even walking away and saying no. He has to know he will not get a desired result from that behavior. Good luck and I am saying prayers for you. Peggy

Patrick said...

Great comments so far.

Training him early is important. Ignoring his behavior is definitely training - it's just producing effects that you don't want.

He needs to associate an unpleasant consequence to his negative actions. We have always tried to associate the pain with the offending member. Specifically, I would give the girls a gentle 'thump' on the cheek when they sinned with their mouths. This helped them quickly associate the 'scream' with a 'pop'.

Really, the important thing is that you are catching it early and establishing the model of how you will discipline him in the future. Well done!