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"Making up" stuff to be upset about

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Does your dc do this? The other day ds1 (5 in august) started crying and whining about going to a restaurant, right after dinner. Next day there was a big drama because he suddenly wants to have a baby dolphin : When I tried to comfort him, and asked what we could do to make him feel better even though we couldn't have a baby dolphin he said "eat a cookie". I guess I asked the wrong question...
I kinda think he feels sad/ upset/ cranky for some reason, but cannot pinpoint/ express it, and therefore has to "invent" a reason to cry. Does that make sense? How do/ would you handle similar situations?
post #2 of 4
All 3 of my kids do this, even the 2 yo

My 2 and 4yo do this mainly when they're tired. I try to distract. If it turns into a full scale eruption and there's nothing that's going to work I try to ignore. Sometimes I think they are just trying it on for size !

My 7 yo will often do this but w/her I worry that she is depressed. Possibly has low blood sugar? She often tells me she feels like crying but she doesn't know why. There's usually nothing i can do to jolly her out of it. Sometimes if she eats her mood lifts.

For all 3 of them a little extra shut eye always seems to help!
post #3 of 4
Yes, I think that makes a lot of sense. Even adults get upset or angry over little things when really there is some bigger underlying issue bothering them.

I'd say just to recognize his feelings of sadness and comfort him. Validate that his sad feelings are ok to have. Hold him if he likes to be held. Maybe try not to reason with him about his unreasonable requests, but commiserate with him about feeling sad about wanting something he can't have.

I think I read in the book Emotional Intelligence that being able to recognize your own feelings and where they're coming from is a key to being emotionally stable as an adult and also being able to relate to others emotionally. Some people never become very emotionally self-aware, but for most children it just takes time as they grow older.
post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your replies, glad I'm (he's) not alone! I should probably try to do less reasoning - I think he knows that we can't have a baby dolphin
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