View Full Version : Another Screamer debate...Stick with him or let him go?

Dayhome Mamma
03-22-2012, 05:09 PM
So I've started caring for an 11 mth old this month, full time. We did play dates twice a week with his mom here prior whom I love having as a client. He is comfortable with me and in coming here. Never has objected at the door except for a second today. But he has what seems to be an anger disposition. Not in his actions but in his tone of crying. Keep in mind he is 11 mths.
So he screams when he wants attention. Loudly and with anger. If we're feeding him and he's finished his food, he screams. When he goes to bed, he screams (his mom said the usual is 20-30min). And just randomly as he plays he makes these loud shrieking sounds. So would you say this is something I should be concerned about? Or is it just him learning about his tone of voice as he can't speak so he's testing his loudness?
He's been coming here for two weeks. And Like I said I just love his mom and would love to continue working with them as a family as I do really like him as well. It felt like we naturally bonded from the start....its just the shrieking that is bothersome, not only to me, but also to the children. Its just really distracting and I know they all don't like it as the older ones 2 and 3, keep on screaming "stop screaming!" So its aggravating them, and making them angry themselves hearing it.
In my mind these are the options; What do you think I should do?

1. I tell his mom right away this week/ weekend that although his transitioning has been going pretty smooth and he seems comfortable coming here and we love him, that we have noticed that he does have a bit of a temper and are concerned about his screaming and having it go on for a prolonged period of time. This would be something that we would both have to work on eliminating as it is affecting the other children's quality of sleep and stay within the dayhome.

2. I wait till the end of the month and say the same thing as above and that I'd like to give it another month so we can work on it but if it doesn't improve by then then unfortunately I won't be able to continue the care for him?

3. I don't say anything and try to teach him out of this behavior in the ways that I have read on here (ie, bad behavior gets no attention, I place him in the playpen and let him scream there until he learns? shower him with lots of positive reinforcement when he stops screaming?) and hope that his angry screaming has been because of his teething? (I did forget to mention that he is getting 8 teeth trying to poke their way through right now, all at the same time. Its just that I don't really think its the teething, though I'm trying to tell myself and hope that it is. I think it could really be his personality. He is sweet but also has a bossy demeanor. Like if you don't do what he wants or needs, he gets very angry and loud)

So what do you think? what would you do in general with this scenario and how would you tame a little guys anger? It just seems like he's way to young to have so much anger in him? Any feedback would be appreciated!

Sandbox Sally
03-22-2012, 05:17 PM
Totally normal vocalization for his age, unfortunately. He will grow out of it, but you deffo can be proactive. Tell him, "Ouch! That yelling hurts my ears. Use a quiet voice please". Say it firmly so that he knows you mean it. It may not work, but it has in the past for me.

03-22-2012, 05:54 PM
I would talk to the Mom about your concerns ~ his screaming is affecting the rest of the kids and they are covering their ears. I think Alpha has a great suggestion and see if the Mom is on board to correcting the screaming to saying ouch and to use his quiet voice.

03-22-2012, 07:55 PM
I choose #1 and I'm sorry that I'm always preaching to be honest with the parents and make them work with you on correcting behaviours, but it's just the only option in my opinion. It's true that the screaming affects not only you but the other children in the daycare. It's exhausting for everybody.

11 months does seem to be the worst age. I remember playfelt saying that it was easier when mat leaves were only 6 months and it's so true. By 11 months these little ones know how to manipulate their parents, scary huh?

03-23-2012, 02:22 AM
Either option #1 or option #2, I say. You do need mom/dad on board here. Children use the tonality, etc that they learn will work. He has already learned that that specific "angry" voice gets mom and dad to listen.
On the plus side, this means that he can/will learn that it no longer works.
I have to say, screaming and shrieking is one thing that makes me pull my hair out!! Because really, what do you do? You cannot MAKE them stop if they are in that mood. The best we can do is consistently make it known that it is NOT okay, and if it comes right down to it, remove them from the situation.

03-23-2012, 07:15 AM
You have to tell mom no matter what but maybe with her on board with any stragegy it'll improve. I guess that means I pick option #2

I would make it clear that if the behaviours does not cease, they may need to find alternate care

Judy Trickett
03-23-2012, 09:29 AM
I don't really care WHY a kid is screaming - normal or not. First off, I do NOT think it is "normal" for a child to scream every time they want something, are not getting something, or just hate doing something. It is NOT appropriate - even at 11 mths old. Sorry, some members might flame me but IME well-behaved kids who have been set up for success in daycare (not carried around to all the time, not run to for every whimper, not being allowed to control others with screaming) do NOT scream like this.

I can totally tell the difference between a newbie who is crying because they are upset being away from their parents and in a strange place (anxiety) and a kid who is just plain old mad and wants what he wants.

In the end, if a child is screaming from anger they learn, within a week or two that is NOT tolerated here or I terminate them. I will hold out longer for kids who are just upset and missing momma.

At some point, however, if a newbie is not settling in after 4 weeks I seriously have to consider terminating for the sake of the OTHER kids in my care. My JOB is to offer ALL the kids a fun, safe and emotionally supportive atmosphere. And listening to someone scream for nine hours of their care day is NOT fair to the others or me.

03-23-2012, 07:36 PM
Yes Judy is right of course, but I've suffered through months of screaming to end up with a happy child eventually. Right now I have a 15 month old boy who screamed for 4 months, ended up we diagnosed him with a milk allergy, now he's doing better. However, he'll cry for ANYTHING still, except when I tell him to STOP he does stop! His parents are doing the same thing at home because they believe me that it's really important for them to do what I do.

Imagine if I had kicked this family to the curb a few months back? This little boy might have been a whiner/cryer/pathetic wimp all his life and his parents would not have been the wiser or have known what to do without my great advice, heehee! I'm not afraid to admit it, I do a great job here!

Dayhome Mamma
03-25-2012, 02:22 PM
Thanks for your thoughts ladies. I talked to the mom right away about it, gently. I actually had no choice because my assistant had mentioned how loud he was that day and two of the children did also on separate days complain how he hurt their ears, or that he was very noisy.]
So when she brought up what they had said and asked if it was a problem I used it as an opportunity to say that yes, we have noticed that he screams and it seems to be out of anger when he doesn't get something fast enough, or that he wants. So it is something that we will have to work on to curb the behaviour just because I do see that it scares the other kids. But that it's only been two weeks and that he is teething so it could be from that. So its not a big deal yet, but if it continues for 3 or 4 mths then it might be.
The mom looked so worried she was almost in tears. So I told her not to worry about it too much yet. That other than that his transitioning has been going really well and that He's still little and has simply learnt that this "tone" gets him what he wants ( thank you mom-in-alberta for that one). So we just have to teach him how to communicate his needs a bit differently, by maybe using her "mommy voice" to tell him no, we don't scream angrily and not providing him with whatever he is screaming for so that we can also work on teaching him how to be more patient which is needed in a group setting, and giving lots of positive feedback when he does use a quieter sound or points to what he wants instead or doesn't scream.
She said oh, ok, i was really worried that he wasn't a good fit. And I said no, no, we think he fits in greatly, its just the screaming that we gotta work on so that the other kids don't get aggravated and scared. So as long as we can work on this together from both our sides it should be something that we can get through.
So all your points were very useful ladies. I definitely used your suggestion Alphagethi in suggesting that she says ouch, that hurts my ears, and teach him more firmly to use his quiet voice.
And Judy, your post gave me strength to confront the situation and tell her that it could be a problem if it continues for 3-4 mths if it is affecting the quality of the other kids stay here. (I don't have the guts to let him go after a month because I feel like he might need more time cause he's so little. But if it was someone older, like 18mths, I will definitely take your no nonsense attitude and will terminate if I find myself in that situation) I actually have one little part time girls who has been with me for a year who still throw tantrums and scream like they did at the beginning and I wish I had come across this forum then, because now I feel that I'm stuck with her as I've put up with that behavior for so long so how could I let her go? The problem is when I get good parents. If I love them, and they are good to me i find that I put up with a lot more which I hope to put an end to with new clients.

03-26-2012, 03:29 PM
Awesome! I'm so glad you laid it on the line with that Mom and asked her to stop giving in to his screaming. You are teaching this parent how to 'parent' her child, so kudos to you!

03-27-2012, 02:54 AM
Glad to hear that, so far, it has worked out.
I hope that it only gets better! :)