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Wide White: Scream wars

Monday, January 03, 2011

Scream wars

Kids love to scream. No matter how quiet your kid is now, they will likely begin screaming at some point. I'm not talking about screaming about a toy that's been taken away or crying or whining. I'm talking about just screaming for the sake of making noise, because it's fun and hey, why not?

Some, like my son, will scream for the fun of it at various times throughout any given day for no apparent reason. Others, like my daughter, are more selective in their screaming. (Hmm, maybe there's a gender pattern to it...)

Regardless, screaming - or loud noises at the least - happens.

There are two ways most people deal with happy, screaming children.

1. Control them. Tell them to stop screaming. Mind you, this is pretty futile. It may work when they're 4, but I couldn't tell you. I can tell you that it hardly works on 10-month-olds.
2. Deal with it. Let the kids have at it and make as much noise as they want. It may drive you (and your neighbors) crazy, but at least the kids aren't crying, right?

If you're like me, there's a 3rd option.

3. Join them. Scream right back. Not in anger, of course. Again, this is fun, happy screaming. Bonus points if you can match their pitch.

What I love about screaming with them - I call it "scream wars" - is they laugh at me. As soon as I start mimicking them, they catch on. They start beaming and then will scream, stop, and wait expectantly for me to scream back. As soon as I do, they both giggle.

Trust me, it's a whole lot more fun than either of the first two options.

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Anonymous Bill Roehl declared,

This is what I do and my wife thinks I'm being an ass.

1/03/2011 7:28 AM  
Anonymous Pat Stream declared,

Screaming with them is a highly effective parenting technique I've found. Actually, its part of a broader strategy of flanking them by being crazier than they are - throws them off every time, to see a 41 year old man being silly.

1/03/2011 10:47 AM  

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