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happysmileylady

Thoughts on kids screaming while playing outside

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My kids and the neighbor kids have all started playing together fairly well after the neighbor kids get off the school buses (different ages, different schools so different buses.  Anyway, they will run around the 3 yards playing hide and seek or ride bikes around driveways and sidewalks etc.  Apparently, this requires much screaming.  It's very obviously screaming related to playing, and it's outside so I feel like this should be ok.  On the other hand, even though I am inside, with the days as nice as they are, I have all the windows open and I can still hear all of it as if they were screaming in the house.  And it's not just loud boisterous play, which wouldn't bother me in the least.  It's straight screaming.  

Now, to be clear, it's not just my kids, it's like all 6 of them.  And it doesn't seem to bother the other moms, both of whom pop out to check on the kids every so often, as do I.  So, maybe I need to just shut my front windows and/or deal with it?  

Do you guys allow your kids to scream while playing outside?

Edited by happysmileylady

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The sound of kids running around screaming doesn't bother me at all, it means they're happy and having fun and getting exercise. I kinda like it actually. When things get too quiet is when I feel like I'd better go see what they're up to, lol.

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4 minutes ago, Corraleno said:

The sound of kids running around screaming doesn't bother me at all, it means they're happy and having fun and getting exercise. I kinda like it actually. When things get too quiet is when I feel like I'd better go see what they're up to, lol.

Same here.

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Playing outside during daylight hours?  I think screaming is fine.  It's about the only time/place I think screaming is fine, short of danger.

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The sound of kids playing doesn't bother me, but constant screaming is too much.  We have a few neighbor kids that scream a lot and it bothers me. Part of it is I can't tell if something is wrong or if they are just playing.  One time DH and I were very concerned that something was wrong with all the screaming so he went over to check, but about the time he got there the dad had just come out to tell them to quiet down.

I have taught my kids that screaming is for emergencies, boisterous noises and loud play are fine, but not screaming.

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8 minutes ago, Loowit said:

The sound of kids playing doesn't bother me, but constant screaming is too much.  We have a few neighbor kids that scream a lot and it bothers me. Part of it is I can't tell if something is wrong or if they are just playing.  One time DH and I were very concerned that something was wrong with all the screaming so he went over to check, but about the time he got there the dad had just come out to tell them to quiet down.

I have taught my kids that screaming is for emergencies, boisterous noises and loud play are fine, but not screaming.

Yeah it's the straight screaming all the time that's starting to bug me.  Shouting stuff like "Look Out!" and "On Your Mark, Get Set, Go!!!" doesn't bother me in the least, crashing, etc etc, that's all fine.  All the straight screaming is getting to me.

21 minutes ago, Corraleno said:

The sound of kids running around screaming doesn't bother me at all, it means they're happy and having fun and getting exercise. I kinda like it actually. When things get too quiet is when I feel like I'd better go see what they're up to, lol.

 

16 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

Same here.

 

12 minutes ago, Where's Toto? said:

Playing outside during daylight hours?  I think screaming is fine.  It's about the only time/place I think screaming is fine, short of danger.

 

8 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

Shut your windows.  They are using "outside voices" appropriately. 

It's totally great to have them all outside playing, and playing with neighbor kids,  riding bikes, it's pretty great really.  And yes, it's all daylight hours.  Everyone's starting to come in around 5:30/6 most of the time, for dinner, getting ready for bed, etc.  I am not really sure how many kids there even are in the neighborhood because kids are so rarely outside around here.  

But, yeah, sounds like it's mostly just a grin and bear it situation, so I will.  I will just shut the front window and do my best to not hear it. lol

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I agree with @Loowit. Especially when they are on the trampoline, I've told them they are only allowed to scream as if they are dying or severely injured if they are actually dying or severely injured.

The screaming I'm talking about goes way beyond outside voices or playing. It really sounds like someone is hurt or being tortured by another kid or something. There's only a couple kids who do this, but it makes me think someone is hurt or being hurt every single time.

I don't mind loud playing, laughing, shouting, fun noises, outside voices...this is not what I'm talking about.

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Really loud kids don't bother me. Yelling and shouting as part of playing doesn't bother me. Constant, wordless screaming does bother me. 

"Haha, you're it! Noooo, watch out! Stop it! Aaahh! Me, pick me, pick me! Aaahh! Marco! Polo! Ready, set, go!" <<<<< this is fine 

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!! AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH" <<<<< not fine, stop it 

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2 minutes ago, EmseB said:

I agree with @Loowit. Especially when they are on the trampoline, I've told them they are only allowed to scream as if they are dying or severely injured if they are actually dying or severely injured.

The screaming I'm talking about goes way beyond outside voices or playing. It really sounds like someone is hurt or being tortured by another kid or something. There's only a couple kids who do this, but it makes me think someone is hurt or being hurt every single time.

I don't mind loud playing, laughing, shouting, fun noises, outside voices...this is not what I'm talking about.

Yes, exactly! We used to joke that the little girl across the street had better hope nobody ever tried to kidnap her, because her panicked screams would be completely ignored. 

Happy shouts are fine. Piercing screams, as though you were just hit by a car or stabbed with a knife, are not. 

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If its continuous screaming you need to observe discretely.  There is a bullying routine where one of the mean girl type of bullies sneaks up behind the target and lets go with the ear piercing scream right into the target's ear.  Then its back to high five with the queen and on to the next victim.

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Shouting, hollering, using “outside voices” are fine with me, the ear piercing scream annoys me, it seems some kids are more prone to it than others. I don’t mind the occasional gleeful scream when you are about to be tagged in tag or whatever. One day my daughter seemed to be screaming just to see how loud she could be, I told her, “hey save that kind of screaming for emergencies so I know if there’s a problem.”  She isn’t much of a screamer so it wasn’t a huge ordeal, just me saving some of my sanity. 

A couple years ago the cousins were all over and one of them is a screamer. My daughter, age 7 at the time, told her “you need to save that scream for when you really need your mom.” My SIL was amused but also amazed that it worked. She has since used that statement for her one daughter who likes to scream a lot. 

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7 minutes ago, HeighHo said:

If its continuous screaming you need to observe discretely.  There is a bullying routine where one of the mean girl type of bullies sneaks up behind the target and lets go with the ear piercing scream right into the target's ear.  Then its back to high five with the queen and on to the next victim.

No, it's nothing like that.  Mostly, it's just running around chasing each other, like tag, sometimes they pretend that they are going to crash into each other on their bikes, sometimes it's just a screaming contest to see who's the loudest.  

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 No screaming here, I poke my head out and yell at them if I hear it and it’s more than just occasional.  Yelling and talking in varying volumes is fine, but they know screaming is a direct message to mom to come because of injury or whatever else.  So if they don’t want me, no screaming like banshees or else.

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I've never had any trouble telling the difference between screaming for fun and screaming in genuine distress. Screaming is fun for kids, it's a way to let off steam, and it's fun to see how loud you can scream in the same way it's fun to see how fast you can run or how high you can swing or how long you can hang on to those spinning things going as fast as possible before you get flung off. It's about finding and enjoying the limits of your physical self.

I miss hearing kids running around outside screaming. I miss hearing DD and her friends singing terrible pop songs totally off key at the top of their lungs and giggling like lunatics in the back of the minivan. I knew the time would come too soon when I'd have all the "peace and quiet" I could ever want, so I soaked up all the screaming and the bad singing and inane giggling while I had a chance.

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I have two screamers. I can remind them gently, redirect them, punish them, 'logical consequences', holler at them, whatever... They. Still. Scream. Inside outside, doesn't matter.

Believe you me, it hurts me more than it annoys anyone else. 

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Mine occasionally scream like that during outside play. I ignore it, but once I ignored it and it turned out to be a bloody injury requiring a Dr. visit and X-ray, and I felt really bad. That’s when I started to tell them don’t scream like that if there’s not blood or broken bones involved (or a fire! Fire would also merit screams)

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Loud playing with the occasional screech seems fine.

Screaming that actually triggers alarm is worth curbing.

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I'd probably tell them to dial it back. "Kids, that screaming is too much.  People can hear it inside houses, so you've got to keep it down a little". 

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We have pool parties a couple of times a year, and we go over the rules before anyone gets in the pool.  Screaming is NOT allowed.  It's a signal for help, and if it goes on all the time, it's tantamount to "crying wolf."  The other thing is this:  as you get older, your ear drums get more brittle.  It actually causes me physical *pain* when a kid screams.  I'm OK with it when it's a quick reflex action, but not when it is just ... screaming to scream.  And it's really amazing--we ask the kids to stop screaming and they DO and lo, they have as much fun doing all the things they were doing but not screaming as they were having before.  

I know older people get ragged on for looking cranky at kids that are screaming.  It might help people to know that they are not cranky--they are in pain.  

 

(Is it "tantamount" or "tatamount"? Indoor voices, please.  LOL

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Play screaming is absolutely fine with me.  We live a block from a school.  We hear noisy kid play all the time.  I have no problem with it.

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2 hours ago, Corraleno said:

 I soaked up all the screaming and the bad singing and inane giggling while I had a chance.

I think the screaming people object to would not fall into the same category as the other two things. 

I can tell the difference between hurt/ tortured screaming and playing.  That's why I only go check if it sounds like the former. I fully enjoy hearing neighborhood playing, even if it is loud. The kids I'm talking about purposefully scream as if they are hurt in order to get a reaction from the other kids they are playing with. That is what I put the kibosh on if they are doing it on our trampoline or in our yard where I feel responsible if someone is actually hurt.

Also, parents here are pretty relaxed about letting kids run around, play in each other's yards, basketball in the street, etc., and it's not quiet, but it's not constant screaming either.

Edited by EmseB
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DH has always been annoyed by it. I don't mind it as much. There are some neighbor kids who screech more often than others. I don't shush the neighbor kids.

Were my kids that screechy? I don't remember the screaming at that pitch (or any other) but they may have been at one time. We had a neighbor when my oldest two girls were little that preached screaming is for emergencies. DH picked up that mantra from her. 

Some of the houses on the block have very good insulation. One neighbor house & ours do not. One time, both neighbor mom & I heard loud sobbing. We both figured it was the other mom's kid & waited a couple of minutes for the other mom to go out and check. When it continued, we both went out (apparently there is a certain discreet timeframe because we poked our heads out at the same time) and found neighbor #3's kid facedown in the street with his scooter & lots of bloody scrapes. His arm was broken & Neighbor #3 hadn't heard a thing. So some neighbors don't seem to mind the noise because they can't hear it.

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2 hours ago, emba56 said:

Mine occasionally scream like that during outside play. I ignore it, but once I ignored it and it turned out to be a bloody injury requiring a Dr. visit and X-ray, and I felt really bad. That’s when I started to tell them don’t scream like that if there’s not blood or broken bones involved (or a fire! Fire would also merit screams)

Funny aside...

A couple of years ago, I was deep frying some chicken.  I don't know exactly what I messed up, maybe the piece wasn't fully thawed enough, maybe it was too big, but it bubbled over and of course, the grease caught fire and it's burning up the side of the pan.  I still had the flour close by on the counter so I start throwing cups of flower at my stove, and at the same time I start yelling at DH, who is in the living room which was just around the corner "FIRE!  Fire! "  I knew that if I couldn't get it out with the flour, we needed to be out and calling 911 fast.  Dh on the other hand didn't process very fast and instead of hearing "FIRE!" and grabbing the kids and getting out, he starts going "What?!  What?! What?! "  And he gets up and comes into the kitchen to see what's going on.  By the time he got around the corner, I had probably thrown close to a pound of flour on the stove and the fire was out.  

He says ' You scared the h@LL outta me screaming "FIRE" like that.'   I was like "Um, that's because I was scared as hell and it really was a *real* fire!"  (and no, I am not in the habit of randomly screaming that there's a fire)

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It's OK for them to scream outside, but it's also OK for you to ask them to scream a little less often, LOL. 

I too am sensitive to certain noises - in particular, I can't bear to hear the same exact sound repeated more than 2 or 3 times in a row.  However perfectly normal it is for kids to do that, I have tried to train my kids not to do that out of consideration for me.

I totally understand why kids need to scream while playing hide & seek.  Bike riding, not so much.  I would just tell my kids it gives me a headache to hear too much screaming and would they please not scream all day long just because they can.  🙂

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