Does the sound of screaming children just set your hair on end? You're not alone! To most people, the sound of screaming babies is like nails on a chalkboard. Some people even have to wear earplugs to make it through the day (it works and I highly recommend it!) One of our dad writers, Casey Boatman, shares below his top 10 ways to relieve stress when your twins are screaming — a funny and resourceful list to help you make it through when you feel like you're going to lose it!!!
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Top 10 Ways to Relieve Stress When Your Twins Are Screaming
- Find somewhere to scream! – Lock twins in room/playpen that's safe, go to farthest corner of house from said children (or outside if the weather allows), and scream as loud as humanly possible! Don’t feel the need to stop after the first bellow; scream until you're hoarse or until your heart's content! Releasing your stress lets you go back to your twins with a fresh face to try and calm them down. They can read your body language; if you’re on edge, they are less likely to respond to being calmed down.
- Head for the Highway! – Pack up the twins, put twins in car seats, and drive! If it is near bedtime or a nap, this has worked flawlessly with my twins to calm them down. I put my podcast of choice on and cruise around as long as I can. The best part of doing this with infants or toddlers, is that they don’t have a say in what you put on the radio! My wife hates talk radio, so this is my chance to listen to what I want!
- Stop and walk around! – If the drive isn’t working, make a pit stop! Walking helps calm me down, and getting out of the house is another bonus. My twins love to be at the store. Now, this isn’t the best idea if they are currently screaming, but if yours are like mine, just walking in the door to a new environment helps. This winter, their favorite place to wander around in is our local grocery store with shopping carts that have steering wheels for the kids to play with. My twins love people watching, and trying to grab stuff off of shelves!
- Go for a stroll! – I love taking the twins for a walk around the neighborhood! Although, this isn’t the best idea in the winter, in warmer times I love to take them on long walks through the neighborhood or in our local park. They love the people watching, the fresh air, and the change of scenery!
- Be silly! – No one is videotaping you, be as silly as you can! I always start dancing and singing like a dork, which usually elicits a good reaction from my twins (and makes me feel better!) I make weird noises and before long they are trying to imitate me. With my son we call it his dragon sound. It’s not so much of a roar, as a strong hiss! Dancing is my daughter’s favorite thing for me to do while holding her. It depends on her level of freak-out if it works to calm her down though. If she’s gone full nuclear meltdown, I have to try something else. But it’s always worth a shot being silly!
- 2 birds, 1 stone! – Getting stuff done around the house calms me down, I know I’m weird. So I always throw in a load of laundry. I’m not only being productive, but the twins love to stare at the stuff in the dryer/washer. This won’t really work unless you have front loading machines. They’ll stand in front of it and pound on the door as clothing spins around. The only bad part about this one is the screaming when you finally make them leave the laundry room…
- Imaginationland! – Imagine yourself in your happy place! Sitting in a lounger, on a warm sandy beach, with a cocktail of choice in your hand (or maybe a good book). You’re in a place where there are no children… an adult-only resort! You can hear the waves on the sand, maybe tropical music in the distance. And no matter how long you’re there, and how much your drink; your glass never seems to get close to empty! This is my dream location. Yours might be a Ski Lodge surrounded by beautiful white snow, sitting by a roaring fire, with a hot drink in your hand. Or it could be whatever you want it to be, it’s your imagination damnit! Take yourself away from where you are, with two midgets screaming at you, and put yourself in your happy place!
- Take it out of the forces of evil! – This doesn’t always work while they’re awake (replace always with never), but one of my favorite post scream session stress reducers is any video game that lets me wreak carnage and devastation, or mow down a bunch of terrorists! I don’t know if it’s because I’m a guy (there are girl gamers out there though!), but there’s something calming about playing a FPS (first person shooter) on easy difficulty! What better way to take out stress and aggression than fighting the forces of evil (perceived or imaginary)! This only gets better when you have someone to fight by your side, although I would stay away from playing with strangers online. The chances of being stuck with prepubescent gamers, who yell and curse constantly is very high. So either have a local friend, or play solo to save what little sanity you may have left!
- Beat them with pillows! – I’ve found that my son loves to be hit with a pillow. The harder I hit him, the harder he laughs. Now, I haven’t even tried hitting him that hard…yet, but he gets a kick out of it. My daughter likes it, but she can’t quite take the hit that her brother can. So I’ve found that I can work out a little frustration, and entertain my little ones at the same time!
- Put on a show! – I try not to let my kids have too much screen time, but sometimes it’s the only thing that will distract them. They love anything that has bright lights, and music. I’ve found that there aren’t many thing that I can stand that they like. We get the BabyFirst channel, which they absolutely love, but I find the worst thing made by man (or woman… let’s just make it humans in general. There might be something worse out there, but it’s not from planet Earth.). I randomly found that my twins could be distracted by Guardians of the Galaxy, which was my favorite movie from 2014. Check. So I put it in when they are getting cranky, and they are freshly changed, fed, and medicated if teething. It has bright lights! Check. Music! Check. And it’s Daddy Approved!
Casey Boatman is a self professed nerd and technology fan. He works full time as an infusion nurse, meaning he gives chemotherapy to cancer patients. Casey is also going back to school, with an end goal of becoming a Nurse Practitioner. Most importantly he is a loving father and husband. Visit his blog at HardWorkinDad.com.