For example, if I get the pink sippy instead of the purple she will burst out crying like she just fell down a flight of stairs. If I set her food in the wrong chair she will scream and howl out until she is in the chair she wanted to be. If I get a princess pullup instead of the one with just Cinderella she cries, fights, and kicks like no tomorrow. If big sister (6 yrs old) touches her car seat she responds like she just got hit hard. If she wants to flush the toilet and I did she screams and cries like I just abused her or something and I only flushed the potty. By the end of the day I am so tired of hearing her cry about every little thing I sometimes start to just ignore all cries even if she really does need something. Kind of like the "Boy who cried wolf" syndrome.
What to do? Any ideas? I don't want her to be constantly crying about everything all the time and I keep hoping it is just a phase, but it has been going on for about the last 18 months and I'm getting T-I-R-E-D of it. Any suggestion?
She cries easily and with a such high pitch that it sounds as if someone is ripping her nails off with pliers. The cry is the same if she bumped her foot on the chair while climbing up or fell down the stairs. I don't have the same problem exactly with 'choices' but I get the whole boy crying wolf thing. It's takes some deciphering to find out if she got hurt...or is angry...or frustrated...
I've been trying to just hold/comfort her as I would even if her reaction to something - in my opinion - does not need to be so over the top. It's what she needs and finds comforting. It does get tiring. She cries/screeches many many times a day over seemingly minor infractions/hurts, but I really kind of think it's just who she is! I'm rather emotional and cry easily. She is the same...her emotions just are louder than mine!!
Not much advice I'm sorry to say, but am interested to hear the perspective of others!
So I was just trying to see if this might be a normal phase, or if we have created a little person who wants everything her way all the time and if we should look at ways to change how we respond, etc. and how.
Thanks again if anyone has any ideas I'd love to hear them. I don't want to just start ignoring her cries when she really does need something, but it is getting tiresome.
Hoping someone has some ideas...
A, wife to R, mom to 3 boys and welcoming a baby girl in May 2015
What is with this, cause it has got to stop!
Anyway I could go on and on... but I hear ya...
ETA - sometimes I have to remind myself to not take it personally.
Me + Dh = Dd1(9.5 yrs) + Dd2(7 yrs) and Ds(4.5 yrs)
It gets pretty annoying and frustrating. I find it helps to write down how I feel when he cries (when I have a free moment of course!) so that I can also sort out my own feelings and remember to keep this seperate from the situation (I feel this is very important...getting angry, impatient, frustrated - at my son never helps! lol). (for example, I feel failure because I do sometimes equate his happiness with my ability as a parent, this in turn makes me feel angry - with him and myself...why can't I get anything right?!...etc etc...). Once I have sorted out what my actual feelings are, I can talk with someone about them - a close, like minded friend for example. And then I can better understand myself and in turn, better realise how I can deal with the situations as and when they arise (and they often do! lol).
Some people are just emotional and sensitive. This is my son. I have learned to accept this and who he is. The crying does not bother me as much now. I know a lot of it is simply because I grew up to be uncomfortable with feelings. It is not because I am a failure as a parent. I validate his feelings often - he needs this. I also try and help him see the lighter side of life without ever shaming him for his feelings. I don't ever want him to feel like he has to bottle his feelings up or that feelings are bad or undesirable or that he has to hide his sadness and tears. I grew up like that and find it painful to cry in front of people - I wish I felt as free as he did.
I think learning how to look at a situation and work out how to solve our problems about it - without melting down into tears first (you know, oh dear, I am unhappy with that cup, I shall just tell my mum I would rather have a differnent one...rather than bursting into tears at the first thought of it! lol)...is something that just comes with time. And we can only help our children during this learning process by being open with them and listening to them and comforting them when need. My goal is never to stop my son from crying - he just needs to cry. They will get there in the end (I dont know anyone my age...that isnt hormonal lol...that just bursts into tears at every unhappiness they encounter!). Surely they have to. I trust this! (just as much as I trusted my son would eventually find his own indpendence - he did...and he will eventually sleep in his own bed, etc! lol)
Something as simple as mom having time for them one day and not as much the next (when maybe they needed that time spent more on the second day than the first), can throw a toddler COMPLETELY out of whack, and trying to get back to normalcy can sometimes be just as challenging. Especially when they're not able to communicate exactly what it is that's upsetting them (often they don't even know themselves what that is).
Just be sure to acknowledge their frustrations (sometimes just saying "I can see you are very frustrated" makes a huge difference), and not give in to jumping to stop the screaming by giving them what they want (within reason) so they don't think that's the way to do it. It's a delicate balance. Hang in their, they all do it sometimes, and they all get better eventually.
Ann of Loxely - I don't have so much of a problem with it...it doesn't really bother me or make me feel good or bad to hear her cry. The bigger problem is that it annoys my husband so much that he'll make comments to her saying things like "You must be the saddest baby in the world, etc. etc." "We'll just send you to an orphanage in China and then maybe you'll see you don't have it so bad here..." and on and on, half joking, but really tired of hearing the fussing and crying on the bad days.
My DD just turned 3 last month and I'm going through the exact same thing. It is so hard, I feel like the is the worlds unhappiest kid because she is crying about something or another half of the day. It's really nice to know my LO isn't the only one.
But now how to address the problem? I've tried everything. Acknowledgement of frustration, singing, consoling, ignoring, calm time in her room, bribery, etc. She just gets totally inconsolable when she gets into these fits.
Granted, she is going through LOTS of major life changes, I just wish I knew how to help her express herself verbally, she has always been a great talker but it's just not happening lately.
When she screamed like that, we always just gave in without thinking about it. Like, when she screams for the "green" plate, we always just said "oh, excuse me!" and grabbed the green plate for her right away. She leraned the lesson: screaming = I get my way!
So now, when she screams, we just stop. Cover our ears, and say "too loud -- mommy can't hear you". We encourage her to use her words "I don't understand... try again in a normal voice". Or we'll say "pardon me?" if she didn't ask in a full sentence in her normal, polite "can I please have a green plate instead" voice.
Once we stopped giving in to the screams, and insisted on her using a normal voice, she started using it more often. She's much better now (and so are we!) at learning to always use (or wait for) her normal voice.
I have a four year old and a two year old, and they are both very big on crying, sometimes screaming, whenever something isn't just right.
The four year old has gotten a lot better, though, about asking nicely, because I do not give her things she doesn't ask nicely for.. Period.
I turned on the CD player for her and pushed play, thinking her music was in it. She started wailing at the top of her lungs. It was an honest mistake. But since she didn't say "Mama, I want to listen to my music please", we listened to the whole CD of my music (and her wailing. I ignored it.) After it was over, I explained calmly that if she wanted her music she had to ask nicely first, not wail and demand. She asked nicely, and we listened to her music. And ever since then, she's controlled herself and asked nicely when I accidentally started playing my music or daddy's music instead of hers.
We also always remind her to "use her words" and if she doesn't use her words, no amount of screaming, crying, kicking, or what have you will get her what she wants. I always warn her, "if you continue to scream that must mean that you don't want the barbie anymore, so stop of you want to keep playing with her" (after she had a fit because she couldn't get the barbie's legs bent in a certain direction and refused help), so if she continues having a fit, then poof the barbie is mine, yes, she screams louder for a minute or two, but she has really learned in the last few weeks especially to keep herself under control. We always give hugs and kisses after a tantrum and I always remind her that we don't understand her when she's yelling, that we want to hear her words.
Oh, a good sentence I tell her is "that's the problem, what is the solution?", so instead of her screaming that her shoe came untied (happened this morning), she is forced to just ask me to tie it for her, if she spills something, she has to ask me to help her to clean it up instead of screaming that it spilled. It has been really helpful in getting her to stop and think about it before she starts.
But the screaming does make me want to stick a needle in m eye :-).
|But the screaming does make me want to stick a needle in m eye :-)|
: : :
My DD went through a very emotional phase at about 3.5. The worst of it lasted about 2 or 3 months. Shes going through a bossy phase right now at 4 and 3 months. I'm finding the bossiness more annoying.
my dd is 3.75 and is the epitome of all these posts and I keep telling myself (ad nauseum) that somehow, like magic, when she turns 4 it won't be so bad (this despite the fact that she's been ,ahem, spirited since birth)
artist, toymaker and unschooling mama to dd (5/06), ds (1/09), dd (2/14)
"If I set her food in the wrong chair she will scream and howl out until she is in the chair she wanted to be"
"She clamors for choc milk or candy at Whole Food and whereas I used to agree, now I practice saying no more often,"
"I used to always pick her up and hug her and try to see what she wanted."
If screaming holy hell gets you what you want, even once, it becomes a viable method for getting other things.
We've made a major effort emphasize that screaming/crying is NOT an acceptable form of communicating what you want. It's AMAZING how my DD can go from 60-0 when we calmly say "I can't understand you when you're whining/crying." In an INSTANT she stops all the drama and very clearly and calmly states what it is she was howling the second before. Once that happens then we can actually talk about what it is she wants and have a much greater likelihood of being able to calmly negotiate it. She doesn't always get the thing she was howling for, as it may just not be a reasonable request, but she HAS to make herself understood calmly and politely.
I really try to avoid concerning myself with what other people think in terms of public parenting. I hope that people with any sort of sense will understand what's happening if I have a howling small person and I'm attempting to calmly deal with them, and honestly, if you DON'T get it, and you're THAT put out, tough. It happens. My concern is with parenting as effectively and consistently as possible in a fashion that I believe is constructive. If I try to please the adults around me instead of focusing on doing my job, I'm doing my DD a disservice.
Yes, she IS doing this because she's 3, but its your job to teach her how to interact pleasantly with others. You can't just say "Oh, she's 3, she'll grow out of it if we wait long enough." Well, I guess you COULD say that, but it will be harder on both of you if you do.
They are desperate for autonomy at that age and will try to get it any way they can, whether by demanding a certain cup, by demanding no one touch something, or by refusing to use the potty or refusing to eat certain things. So I would model appropriate ways to ask for things, but at the same time give her autonomy wherever practical. I got a lower drawer at that age and put my dd's cups in it and showed her how to get her own water. She could choose what cups she wanted. I put her plates someplace within her reach so she could choose a plate and I didn't have to guess or ask her every time. But at the same time, I would say, "I understand you aren't happy. Can you tell me nicely what you want?" Repeat that, and give her autonomy where practical, and she will get it with a little time.
Mom - "What can you do about it? Do you think you could get a different glass?"
Boy - "It's too high".
Mom - "How can you get to it? Do you think if you pushed a chair over to the counter, you could reach it?"
Boy does this, gets his glass, spills the water while transferring it, and then Mom guides him through cleaning up his mess. What I like about this (and I'm not sure how it works with different kids' temperaments) is that it presents kids with a way to think through their own problems. It doesn't tell them their problem isn't valid, but rather, lets them figure out the solution and makes them feel "powerful" to solve them.
If that doesn't work, then I ignore the screaming. I tell her I'll be happy to talk with her when she's ready to talk. If it keeps going for more than a minute or two, I remind her that we don't cry and scream in the common part of the house and tell her she needs to either calm down and talk with me or go to her room.
When she's ready to talk we come up with a solution. I don't give in while she's screaming, but I will often spend that time thinking about how I can reward her using her words once she does calm down. She's just 3, and I'll often have to supply her with the words, "You're really upset that I gave you milk in the green cup." But that seems age appropriate.
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Even at that age, I would say things like, "You're upset. This screaming is not OK. I'll be happy to help you/change it/etc. when you ask me politely." And then wait for them to do it. If they seemed to need help with the words, I'd wait a minute and say, "You could say, Can you change the music please mommy?" and help them out.
Agreeing with those that say if you "give in" even one time out of 10, they'll keep waiting for that 11th time every time and do it over and over again. You can be kind and gentle and firm, without being mean. It may *feel* mean initially because she'll be throwing the fits repeatedly. But if you keep modeling the kind, but firm resolve to not help her until she can channel those negative emotions into a non-aggressive way, it will eventually work.
My own 6 and 8 year old occasionally try to pull a bigger kid version of this. I'll usually say, at this point, "Do you think that's going to help this situation?" or, "I'm positive you can think of a polite way to say that." - It's totally a normal kid thing, but normal does not necessarily equal appropriate....that's where the teaching comes in, to guide them out of it.
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