Vocally, Ranger can rival the wail of any storm siren. During his infancy we tried to weather the inevitable screaming without damage to our hearing or nerves. At two and half, we desperately needed an effective way to shut down his high decible screaming.
Ranger screams inconsolably when we had to leave the house or I couldn't fit a basketball into my pocket. Short of buying clown pants and never leaving home (though the former action may encourage the latter isolation), we needed a better solution.
We checked out a library copy of Harvey Karp's Happiest Toddler on the Block, but I couldn't implement toddlerese or physically mirroring toddler tantrum behavior. I was embarrassed just watching the adults on the video. Such behaviors threatened my remaining vestiges of adulthood. It also seemed counterintuitive: don't we want our kids to eventually join the adult world rather than all of us moving to Planet Toddler? Needless to say, the video was returned long before its due date.
So Ranger wailed on- frightening livestock, deafening dogs, and sending people scrambling for storm shelters under clear skies... every time we ran out of yogurt or no, he could not watch Busytown.
My mom came over for one of these afternoon operatic solos. I don't remember the cause of the incident, but I was so embarrassed. My mom's a great elementary school teacher and a super-great mom, so it's mortifying that I can't get my son to stop screaming.
She's actually a second-generation super-great mom, but we'll get there in a minute.
So Mom took Ranger on a walk around the kitchen and he returned calm... and quiet?
It was amazing and mysterious.
Later, I decided to ask how such magic was accomplished.
Her reply- feel free to take notes:
It's something my mom used to do. You lean in really close and whisper "Ranger... Ranger... I want to tell you a secret. (long pause.) Do you want to hear my secret?"So what's the secret?
It could be anything. "We're having pot roast and potatoes for supper." "I love taking walks with you." "When you put your shoes on, we'll go see Grandpa." "You're very special."Seriously, that actually works?
Well, my mom was always able to distract me with it... well into my 20s.Jim and I have been experimenting with this, and it seems to work with great consistency. The bigger the blowup, the more times you may need to quietly repeat the offer to tell a secret...
***This is the independent opinion of the geek parents at Baby Toolkit, (c) 2006-2008. We have no relationship with Harvey Karp (and little chance of one now, I suspect) and we happen to be closely related to and greatly esteem Ranger's Grandma who normally isn't selling anything beyond a love of Lewis & Clark, mathematics, and the Iditarod. Your mileage may vary.