Help! My daughter is driving my wife and me insane!
August 16, 2005 7:12 AM Subscribe
ParentFilter: What do you do about an almost-three-year-old girl who screams excessively?
posted by cerebus19 to human relations (23 answers total)
My daughter will turn 3 in October. She's a great kid about 70% of the time, and smart and adorable, and my wife and I love her more than life. There are two (probably related) aspects of her behavior we would very much like to change, however.
She has serious sleep issues. She yells and screams and fights going to sleep in as many ways as she can think of. She will yell for "Mommy!" at the top of her little lungs, but when one of us goes in, she doesn't know what she actually wanted in the first place. We've tried letting her yell until she falls asleep, figuring she's just looking for attention, and sometimes that works, but sometimes it gets to the point where we fear she'll either make herself hoarse or wake up her older brother (who's four-and-a-half). She will also wake up in the middle of the night, as everyone of all ages does, but instead of just relaxing and going back to sleep she immediately starts screaming. She doesn't need anything, but she'll scream her head off just because she's awake. Needless to say, this does not contribute to a restful sleep for my wife or me (especially my wife, who's a lighter sleeper than I am anyway).
She is also one of the most stubborn children I have ever met. Try to brush her hair, or get her dressed when she doesn't want to get dressed, or tell her she needs to eat more at dinner so she doesn't wake up hungry in the middle of the night, and nine times out of ten you'll precipitate a screaming tantrum the likes of which you wouldn't believe. This morning she threw a major tantrum while my wife was getting her dressed, and ended up knocking stuff off her dresser and kicking my wife a few times. She got herself so worked up that she couldn't calm down without my help (my wife also needed some calming down, but people over 30 usually require less help in that department). It's not as though we give in to her when she throws these tantrums, ever, so we don't know why she keeps throwing them. Our son went through a phase where he threw a lot of tantrums (and he still throws the occasional one), but he realized pretty quickly that we wouldn't do what he wanted us to do just because he was getting so upset, and changed his behavior as a result. Our daughter isn't doing this, and it has us seriously worried.
Please help save our sanity! Any constructive suggestion is welcome.