Everytime my 3-1/2yr old daughter misbehaves or wants something she cries and says

Payal - posted on 10/12/2011 ( 4 moms have responded )

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She's recently started crying for everything she wants or if she misbehaves and she starts off saying, "but I love you...so you have to give..." "But I love you...so you don't scold me, okay?" She's also constantly asks at such times, "do you love me?" while sobbing away. I try telling her that I love her the most and always will but she's too busy crying to even listen let alone understand. Why does she need this confirmation suddenly. Things at home great so why the insecurity suddenly. I have no clue how to handle this and what I should be saying to let her know that I love her immensely but can't give her all she wants always or not scold when she doesn't finish her milk for half and hour or when she hits another child and grabs a toy.
Please help!!

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Denikka - posted on 10/13/2011

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She's doing it because it works. She's getting your attention and your sympathy.
What I would do in that situation is start off with telling her that you love her.
I love you, but I need you to finish your milk.
I love you, but hitting is mean and you need to go to time out.
Stay firm though. Beyond that first *I love you*, if she misbehaves, follow through with a punishment and ignore any other attempts.
Example:
She hits another child.
*I love you, but hitting is mean and you need to go sit in time out* Take her by the hand and go to time out, set her there and say *you're sitting here for X minutes because you hit someone and hitting is not nice*
Let her cry and scream and whatever else she wants to do until she sits for her time. Then you can go over and say *You were sitting here because you hit and hitting is not nice.* Get her to say sorry, give a hug and kiss, and then you can tell her you love her again as she goes off to play.

The most important thing is firmness and consistency. Rules are rules no matter what she says or does. And the consequences for breaking those rules need to also be consistent. You do X, Y happens.

If she starts asking *do you love me* etc while you are disciplining her, you can tell her (ONCE) that you will talk to her when she has finished her time out.

She's crying for attention and to get out of trouble. Ignoring it will not harm her in any way shape or form. As long as you show that you love her at other times, she'll be fine :)

Julia - posted on 10/16/2011

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ignore her if she is crying for something she wants. tell her that she needs to use her words calmly. once she asks you nicely and calmly then do it. she is testing you! she is trying to work out what she can do to make you do what she wants. tell her you love her when she has calmed down. It is important to reassure her that you love her all the time but not in the heat of the moment. just stay calm. maintain the boundaries and she will work out it doesn't work and stop it. you will get there!

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Jennifer - posted on 10/16/2011

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Partly it's a phase they go through, but if it works they'll keep it up. What I did with my daughter was tell her that she couldn't have whatever it was she was asking for if she was going to have a tantrum. Good girls don't have tantrums, good girls use their words so Mommy knows what they are asking for. I said it a lot but got the point and stopped crying just because she wanted something.

The "do you love me" thing to try and get out of trouble is child manipulation at it's absolute best! Mine isn't saying that anymore, now she tried to say "Sorry" to get out of her punishments! You can't give in to it. She's not really insecure, she knows you love her which is, partly, why she thinks it will work.

If she's in trouble, just say "Of course I love you and loving you means teaching you how to be nice to your friends/listen to adults/be a good person etc. and you have to have your time out for hitting because hitting isn't nice."

When her time out is done, give her a hug, let her know you love her...and make her say she's sorry if she's old enough. She may not actually understand what Sorry means but it's never too early to start. Apologizing is one of my daughters worst things because she HATES doing it. She'd rather take another punishment that say she's sorry most days (unless she thinks that saying sorry will get her out of trouble) but we make her do it anyway and man does she scowl at me for it!!! lol

We love them and they are adorable and pull at our heartstrings but we can't let them manipulate us or they'll never stop!

Patsie - posted on 10/13/2011

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i have a similar problem but my son says that he wont love me if i dont... we see a therapist and she says its because he has noticed that it gets my attention and that i give him positive attention when he does this or if i am trying to get him to do something he wants i cuddle him. i am a hugs and kisses mommy all the time so i am trying to curve it. one reason i am trying to change is because now he has started to be afraid of doing things by himself. if you give in it says to them that they can be the boss of you which can put stress on a little one and make them feel afraid/anxious all the time. it sounds like she has picked up on something that gives her extra attention. i suggest that u tell her that u do love her and that it hurts your feelings for her to think that you dont, and try not to cuddle her. remember we love our children so much that we want them to be happy adults too. not just happy children.

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