Hi all - my dd1 has just turned 3, so I guess this question belongs here, rather than in the toddler forum.
DD1 goes in cycles with whining and crying when things don't go her way. Often, the crying starts immediately as soon as she doesn't like something, without any warning or us having any idea what she is upset about.
For example - at dinner today, I picked up a purple cup to put it in the dishwasher, as it had been brought in from the car and was dirty (it was a sippy cup). DD1 immediately started wailing and carrying on....it took at least a minute before I figured out she had wanted that purple cup!
When we have episodes like this (it feels like it happens all the time), dh and I both explain that we'd like to help, but can't understand what she is saying until she calms down (often true). And we remind her that we need to talk nicely to each other, that we want to help her, etc., etc. Sometimes, she'll immediately turn on a 'nice' voice to ask for what she wants. Other times, she'll tell me she's NOT going to talk nicely, etc. (this has been happening more often recently).
I really am not sure what to do. She doesn't get what she wants when she whines/cries for it. We do encourage her to tell us what she wants/needs and we'll try to help her, etc. When she asks 'nicely', we'll generally talk about her desires and see if we can accommodate them (we usually can) - but then I wonder if that is teaching her that it's OK to wail and scream first, and THEN ask nicely and get what you want?
I'm really confused about the best way to handle this, and the crying and carrying on can make me want to scream...
Any advice/suggestions/etc. would be greatly appreciated.