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!


statia said...

Our son does it too. I think for him, he just likes the sound. He did actually scare one of his friends at swim class today doing it. So much so, that she covered her ears. I don't think he even noticed. By and large, we ignore it, but then again, we don't have anyone else that will get a reaction from it, so I'm figuring he'll get bored with practicing his pitch and move onto something else. At that age, they don't really listen to the word no, so any sort of reinforcement you do will just make them do it more. I would say, if you catch her, to give her something to distract her, every single time. Maybe a stuffed animal, or a different toy.

Although, that has a risk of backfiring as well, but it's better than reprimanding on deaf ears.

Anonymous said...

Nothing to add on the screaming thing since I don't have twins. But I did want to respond to "is anybody still reading?" because your blog just popped into my head last night and this morning I am so happy to see an update from you. I started reading you after my two m/cs in 2006 and now I have a 9 month old girl! She has zero teeth but crawls and does the downward dog too! She gets rugburns on her face.
Anyway, happy to hear all is well and I will never forget that picture of your box of IVF drugs. Hooray for happy endings.

soralis said...

Hey there! Mine still get each other going and they are 2 1/2. It comes and goes though, hopefully it's a stage that will pass quickly!

Take care

judy said...

Having been through this I can only tell you to stay patient and praise your daughter for not screaming, also cuddle the little man extra when he is scared giving no attention to the screamer.
Thanks for stopping by my blog

Renee Cabatic said...

My twins are 7 years old now and all I can say is as soon as you figure this little tidbit out they'll outgrow it and be onto something else. They sure keep us guessing?!?!? Keep on enjoying every amazing moment of it and kudos on the milk front!

clar said...

Awesome post