My DS is a very bright and wonderful kid. He has amazing language skills and has always been extremely verbal. He was a high needs baby, and this has continued into toddlerhood. He cries over every little thing. We have always practiced attachment parenting, very gentle discipline, and I always try to give him words to express his feelings. However, when he gets upset over something, big or small, it's like he loses the ability to talk. Also, he seems to have the same reaction to something whether it's a big deal or the tiniest little thing. He gets just as upset over getting hurt as he does over not being able to play with something he wants. This is so frustrating, because sometimes I literally don't know what set him off, and when I try to ask him about it, he just gets even more upset. I know sometimes it's due to him being tired, overwhelmed, etc., but not ALL the time.
He only stays upset for a few minutes, and then he will talk about it with me, but I feel like he's overly sensitive. My DH thinks that anytime he cries over something he shouldn't get his way, which I do not agree with. He is genuinely upset over something and I want to be responsive, but I don't want to encourage it either. I'm kind of at a loss about what to do WHILE he is crying. I really just want to help him through his feelings so maybe he feels more secure. Anyone have any advice on how to get through this stage?
Mom to Kevin, : born naturally 4-7-10
Hugs, it's so hard to watch your kids struggle! Remember that you don't have to fix all of their discomfort--they will have discomfort/upset/anger/frustration in their lives that you just can't fix and it's okay. They will learn how to get through it. Sometimes the best I can do for my daughter (esp when she was still such an early talker) is to let her know that I'm her shoulder to cry on. She doesn't have to verbalize WHY she's upset, she can just be sad. I'll ask her "do you just need to feel sad for a while?" and sometimes she'll just say yes and I'll hold her while she cries. Even if it's "my fault" that she's sad. "Oh, you really wanted to play with that indelible, staining marker. You're feeling really sad about that. I'm sorry I can't let you have it. Do you want this marker instead? No? Do you just need to feel sad for a while? Do you want me to hold you/rub your back/sing to you?" Just because they CAN talk, doesn't mean that they should have to be able to verbalize their pain in the heat of the moment, you know? I still have trouble with doing that myself! If I'm going to "give in" to the crying (because I realize that it really isn't important enough to me to weather a tantrum right then), I do it RIGHT at the beginning of the freak out saying something like "You know what, I changed my mind about that." and if I'm NOT going to change my mind, I say "I'm not going to change my mind about this" That way they can tell whether the freak out is going to change my mind and don't have to wonder if they just cry a little longer if I'll give in! Good luck!
Mama to Nell (11/15/06) and Maggie (10/9/10) . AFTER 2.5 YEARS, I AM AN AUNTIE!!! HOORAY TEAR78 and welcome Anika and Brand New Baby Boy!!!! Circumcision: the more you know, the worse it is; please leave the decision up to your son!
Much of the time, I sit and hug him or soothe him otherwise while he's inconsolable. Just recently he does not want that much, so I sit next to him and try to help him express his frustration and anger.
As far as the "he should get his way" issue: My daughter tends to get really upset about things as her first response, even if it's something I would have easily helped her with or said yes to if she'd just asked or talked to me first. If she's freaking out over something like that, I hold her and try to help her calm down by taking deep breaths. I try to voice the thing I think she wanted, and I encourage her to ask me for it in a calm voice. I'll often even feed her a line to make it a little easier. When she asks in a calm voice, she gets what she wants (assuming I would have said yes in the first place). I don't think of that as crying to get her way. If it IS a "no means no" issue, then, yes, even if she's upset, crying doesn't get her what she wants - but it DOES generally get her some hugs from mommy.
My daughter is the same age, and she cries a lot too. Her constant mantra is "No mom, I can do it myself!" Then she gets really frustrated because she can't do it herself! I keep thinking that this will change with age, but she seems like a really emotional person. Maybe this is the way with your son too. And in this world, I think being sensitive is a good thing! But it does hurt to watch your child get so upset. Make sure there are no other sources of frustration in your son's life - yelling in the home (I did not pick that up from your post) something like that. Good luck, it sounds like you are doing all the right things, especially talking to him about the episode after it passes.