Tuesday, March 11, 2008

One Screams = The Other Cries

Anyone ever run into this interesting dynamic? (I'm sure it's a temporary thing, but want to handle it right...)

My kidlets are 9 months old. My little girl has started doing this thing where she shrieks really loudly and it's gotten a lot of reaction - at first we thought it was cute so we would "act scared" or shriek back to her as a game. The problem is, when she does it to her brother, it truly startles him and he bursts into tears. She, apparently, enjoys this reaction (I don't think she's enjoying that he's crying per se, just that she gets a fun, predictable, reaction every time).

I know this is partially our fault for reinforcing the behavior. My question is, where do we go from here - how do I handle it with the two of them? I don't want to start a chain reaction where she shrieks, he cries, i pick him up... etc. so I am trying to distract him when she scares him or trying to remove her and get her started doing something else.... anyone ever have anything similar?

Sometimes he is so scared with the anticipation that she's going to shriek that he fearfully turns away from her and sits with his back to her.

Any ideas appreciated!