4.5 year old daughter cries all the time...

Kelly - posted on 04/19/2010 ( 11 moms have responded )

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Hi all,

Wondering if we're alone here, or if there are others who have gone through similar things with their children, and what you've done about it...

Our daughter is 4.5 (will be 5 at the end of August) and I kid you not, she has cried every single day of her life. Not one single solitary day has gone by when she didn't cry. Some days are better than others, but they ALL involve crying. She cries about anything and everything...

We've tried ignoring it; we've tried plying her with extra attention; we've tried yelling; we've tried time outs; we've tried talking out her feelings; we've tried so many things... but nothing seems to make any difference...

Any thoughts? Advice? Similar stories?

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Iridescent - posted on 04/19/2010

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Ours didn't stop crying daily until they were 7 years old or so. It got less and less each year, and now the oldest (11 years) cries 1-2 times per week and the next (8 years) cries every other day or so, sometimes several times per day. Our youngest 3 (3, 3, 2) cry multiple times every day. It's just something that very gradually transitions. They don't know how to handle the emotions they're dealing with and it takes many years to learn. If it's constant all day crying though, have her see a doctor. Depression can start quite young and children as young as 5 have committed suicide. http://www.healthyplace.com/depression/c...



Correction - 6 years old.

http://blogs.seattleweekly.com/dailyweek...

Phyllis - posted on 04/19/2010

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At this age kids are just learning about emotional control. I have an almost 5yr old that melts down every 5 minutes. I try to make sure that he has a routine and that before we go somewhere he is fed, watered, had a pee, and that he is not overtired. That cuts back on the freak outs. If he cries or freaks out to get what he wants, I tell him very calmly that his behavior is not acceptable, and that if he wants my attention, he needs to calm down and talk/ask nicely. And then I completely ignore him until he does exactly that. If you are consistent, it should help. I know if I backslide and don't follow through he picks up on it instantly and gets worse. If its her feeling sad, then all you can do is give her a hug and let her know you are there. Hope that helps a bit. Oh, and give her choices in any way you can. Red cup or blue, shoes or sandals, carrots or broccoli. The more control she FEELS she has, the less she will feel like crying.

Phyllis - posted on 04/22/2010

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When getting her to use her words, it is important to give her the words she needs. Saying things like "I see you are upset. Can you tell me why?" or "I think you're feeling sad, maybe we can help you feel happy." can help show her the words to describe her feelings. Sometimes not being able to find the words makes everything worse.

Kim - posted on 04/19/2010

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Our daughter is the same she is 3.5 yrs. Everyday is drama. We do timeouts and definitely do not give in to her every whim. We also give her choices A or B. They are just testing the waters - seeing how far they can push and get. Be strong don't give in and remain calm but firm when dealing with it. Be consistent. Good luck!

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Lizeth - posted on 04/22/2010

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I had the same experience with my second child, ´till he was 3 years he cried every day and I didn´t want to compare him with my first one but I saw they were extremely different(eventhough all children are different) I went to different experts until I discovered he has Asperger Sindrome, a kind of autism, and they need to have a routine, among other especial things, that let him feel everything was under control and he stopped crying. Maybe your child has a especial condition and you need a doctor.

Kelly - posted on 04/22/2010

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I'm a very emotional person as well - guess it should come as no surprise that my daughter would be... LOL I plan to focus more on getting her to use words, and on 'ignoring' the crying and letting her know that I can't communicate with her when she's crying.

Kelly - posted on 04/22/2010

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You know if she is not getting rewarded for it she probably just expressses herself more through tears. I have one of my boys that feels things much deeper. Some will "wear their heart on their sleeve". With some others it may be temper tantrums, eye rolling, back talk, physical expression...etc. I guess I would just reinforce her use of words and it may or may not improve but eventually with age she will control it better. Just say when you are done crying you can come talk to me about it and continue with what you were doing. Unless you feel the tears are more appropriately expressed and needs immediate attention. I cry myself when I am angry, frustrated, touched emotionally by something and when I'm upset.

Kelly - posted on 04/20/2010

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Phyllis, Amy, Kim, thank you for your responses!



Especially this, Phyllis - "I try to make sure that he has a routine and that before we go somewhere he is fed, watered, had a pee, and that he is not overtired. That cuts back on the freak outs. If he cries or freaks out to get what he wants, I tell him very calmly that his behavior is not acceptable, and that if he wants my attention, he needs to calm down and talk/ask nicely. And then I completely ignore him until he does exactly that. If you are consistent, it should help." I also like the idea of giving her a greater sense of "control."



I do think we need to be more consistent in our approach, and yes, be calmer in our response to her. I hate being a "yelling mom," but so often find myself frustrated to the point of exasperation...



Amy, I don't think we're dealing with depression. She doesn't cry non-stop. She's just very easily set off. It's almost like she feels she needs to cry to communicate - if she doesn't like something, she has to cry while she's telling you. If she's tired, she cries. If she's angry, she cries. If she's trying to get your attention, she cries. etc. etc.



So... big deep breath... time to work on more consistency and parent-calm... :-)

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