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Since I stopped saying "stop crying" ds has started to cry/have fits WAY more often and for way longer. It's been 5 days since I posted this post http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=755404 and started responding well (imo) to crying.

I had even thought to say in my post that he rarely cries. It wasn't uncommon for us to go a couple days without a big cry or upset. (now the whining was a different story...). I would try to empathize, give information, and find solutions.
This increase in crying DEFINITELY happened in the last 5 days. Not a day before. And it's a different crying. This crying is "crying because I want you to focus on how unhappy I am." Before, it always sounded like genuine sad crying.

In the last 5 days, he's had a fit at LEAST once a day. In the last two days, there have been 4 major cry fests that lasted more than 10-15 minutes. One because I went to the bathroom (though he was fine with it at first, and it's not been an issue for us for a year).

Is this related? It makes sense that crying longer is related to my not telling him to stop. But crying so much more often? And about things that he wouldn't have been so upset about before?
Is it just a coincidence? He is 3 yo...

My reaction now is perhaps a little "cold." I emphathize, give information, and try to find solutions. After that, I hold him if he wants, and make myself available if he wants held, but if he doesn't I do other stuff in the room. Every couple minutes, I might try another solution, to see if he's ready to move on. I don't get upset. (evidently, I've done a really good job letting go of the "fix it" attitude, which caused me frustration when I couldn't)
I can see how my previous reaction would be somewhat more emotionally satisfying for him (in the moment). At least I'm reacting emotionally to him.
I know that in the past, when I've wanted boyfriends to communicate with me and it seemed like they were ignoring me, I'd pick fights. It didn't feel good, but it was better than being ignored.
I'm not saying that that means that it's a better (or even good) way to respond. Just wondering if that has anything to do with it?

(btw, if it makes any difference, dp tries to "fix it" because he doesn't like the sound of crying and he doesn't like ds to be sad. But he will just let it go if attempts to fix it don't work. The closest he comes to telling ds to stop crying, is telling him something like- crying won't help the situation, and that's rare that he says that.)

Is what I'm doing fine? What's going on here???
 

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Well I'm no expert but it sounds fine to me! First off, it's the age - I think at 3, they get so much more upset about things out of their control...so some of it might be that.

But maybe he just feels safer crying now - he knows it's not forbidden and he can cry when he feels like it?

If he's looking for more connection from you by crying, maybe you can talk about ways he can get your attention - "mommy can I have a hug?" kind of stuff? When my DD (almost 4) does the fake cry thing, I try to give her words she can use to get the attention she needs...we're still working on it!

Anyway, it sounds like it's much healthier and I'm sure the crying will diminish over time - it's just an adjustment period to a new way of doing things....

good luck - you sound like an awesome momma!
peace,
robyn
 

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I remember reading somewhere (I think in "Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves")that when you show a child that you are a safe person to express feelings with, that the expression of feeling initially intensifies. After reading the book I was determined to no longer try to stop DS (almost 3) from having tantrums. I never said "stop crying", but I tried so hard to fix it, and said "you need to manage your feelings" and things like that. I always tried to be gentle and calm and loving, but the message was always "stop... because Mommy can't handle you being upset". The next time my son got upset, I said "it's OK to be angry and have big feelings and Mommy won't stop you from expressing them" and he punched me in the face! My son NEVER hit me in anger (only in a playful way when he was ove!rexcited) before! For the next few weeks, everytime I would validate his feelings during a tantrum he would physically attack me. I absolutely believe he was testing me to see if I really meant what I said about it being OK to express his feelings. I think that your ds is either finally letting out a lot of pent up feelings, or he's testing you to see if you will hold to the new way of doing things. His crying may even be somewhat contrived to see if it's going to be safe to let up his real feelings when the need arises.

I totally understand about the new way of dealing with feelings seeming cold. I struggle with this, too. It somehow feels rejecting to not "fix" a problem or make ds feel better. It doesn't help that my dh thinks I'm making things worse by encouraging DS to express his feelings. It DOES prolong the expression when I validate, unlike distracting or negating which shuts down the expression and send it underground, so dh thinks I'm mean to "remind" ds of why he's upset.

It's sounds like you are doing a good thing, even though it can FEEL wrong. When DS hit me at least I knew the new technique was having a clear effect, though I wasn't 100% sure I was doing the right thing. He has stopped having so many tantrums, and rarely tried to hit me anymore. He even has started bringing up things he was upset about earlier to talk them over with me again! "Mommy, I REALLY wanted that toy!" So I think he's realizing I'm a safe place to talk out his real feelings. Hurray!
 

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It may be that he's now got some 'pent up' crying to get out, and now that it's 'safer', he may be letting it go.

On the other hand, he may just be 3 going on 3 1/2. Dd is getting close to 3 1/2, and we have had 3 maybe 4 major tantrums in the last 24 hours. I'm talking the lay-on-your-back-and-kick-your-heels-and-scream kind of tantrum. One because I asked her to get off the bed when I was resting because she kept kicking me, one because I inadvertently washed the caterpillar stamp off her hand, and one when Dad flushed the toilet and she'd wanted to (mind you, she was no where near the bathroom at the time, she'd been out of the bathroom for a good 3 minutes, because she'd wrapped up the toilet paper in a blanket and was pretending it was a 'present').

I have to say that it was hard not to laugh seeing her lying on the floor, screaming "I want my pee back! I wanted to flush the toilet! I want my pee back!"
 

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i forgot who wrote it but i really enjoyed " siblings rivalry " or something like that.. i know it tackles problems when you have 2 or more children but it would help i'm sure... there are many ways hwo to comunicate with children without them mis understanding. .
 

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Dd sometimes cries for 'no reason' and when I ask her about it, she tells me that she still has tears inside from x situation (usually something that I had thought was minor at the time and had long considered resolved). I agree with previous posters that this is probably a pendulum swing because he feels safer expressing his feelings and wants to test that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
On the other hand, he may just be 3 going on 3 1/2. Dd is getting close to 3 1/2, and we have had 3 maybe 4 major tantrums in the last 24 hours. I'm talking the lay-on-your-back-and-kick-your-heels-and-scream kind of tantrum. One because I asked her to get off the bed when I was resting because she kept kicking me, one because I inadvertently washed the caterpillar stamp off her hand, and one when Dad flushed the toilet and she'd wanted to (mind you, she was no where near the bathroom at the time, she'd been out of the bathroom for a good 3 minutes, because she'd wrapped up the toilet paper in a blanket and was pretending it was a 'present').

I have to say that it was hard not to laugh seeing her lying on the floor, screaming "I want my pee back! I wanted to flush the toilet! I want my pee back!"
I'm sorry, but that is sooo funny. lol.
I struggle with not laughing at those tantrums with ds. I try really hard, I swear!

The last couple days have been back to normal, so maybe it was just testing out my new reaction. That and a combo of being 3yo. fun fun!!!
 
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