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Okay, my almost three year old has developed something that is making me completely nuts! She has always been pretty enthusiastic and dramatic about everything, but the past week or so, any time anything touches her in a way she doesn't like, it immediately becomes an "owie" and she starts screaming! And if by chance, there's a little bit of a bruise or (heaven forbid!) a little bit of blood, watch out!


Yesterday, we were at the park and she tripped and skinned her knee a little bit. I mean, there was just a tiny bit of blood. She cried about it all the way home, and nothing I did could distract her. We tried singing all her favorite songs, turning on the radio, giving her a drink of water, kissing it better, nothing would distract her from it. If she bumps into something, drops a toy near her foot, or if her baby sister touches her, it immediately turns into an owie and is cause for tears and dramatics. She will tell us about "owies" for hours.


I'm not sure if this is a cry for attention or what. I realized I was responding to it wrong though, today, when it told her "It's okay, Abby," and she looked at me and said "No it's not, it's not okay!"
: But how can I help her to overlook those minor things and not let her day come to a standstill over a hangnailo or something equally minor?
 

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In How to Be the Parent You Want to Be, the authors suggest totally empathizing with the pain, "Wow, that must really hurt." Or "it seems like that scrape is really bothering you." Or "Did you get scared when you saw the blood?" (Couching it in a question, or "it seems like" or "it must" is important in case you're misinterpreting what's going on.)

I haven't really experienced this myself yet, but the authors suggest that when you use these empathising techniques kids get over it faster than they do when you try to help them get over it with distraction. Sounds like it's worth a try, at least. Good luck!
 
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