My otherwise mild-mannered son who just turned 5 has a habit of making vocal outbursts like a crazed lunatic or someone with mental problems. It's usually excited yelling or forced laughter during play. He routinely gets spanked for it after an appropriate count, but still persists. We have a 3.5y daughter who is his best friend (they egg each other on a LOT) and a 4mo daughter. I empathize because he's been screwed out of a normal school year going on 18 months now (forced to wear masks, outdoor programming, school shut abruptly, switched schools midyear, etc.) at a formative age. He also usually gets the brunt of the discipline when there is strife between him and his sister.
I recently thought I had identified the source of this behavior when, in a particularly clear moment, he told me: “Manny does it.” Manny is a teen on YouTube who races hot wheels. My son is obsessed with cars and will race his own hot wheels for hours by himself (though he prefers others to watch him). In comparison to a lot of trash on YouTube, Manny is pretty tame – never swears, Christian, family friendly, etc. Anyways though when he cited Manny I cut him off from watching his show altogether. I’m somewhat regretting this move since it might teach him to dodge next time, and it doesn’t seem to have any particular effect on this behavior.
Overall, he is a good kid but this habit drives my wife and I up the wall.
Thanks for your consideration!