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Rebekah - posted on 06/05/2013
Is she truly upset, or is she trying to manipulate you to get her own way (or get out of trouble)? Maybe its a bit of both.
When my son gets upset (he's 7), I try to allow him time to feel whatever feeling is going on and identify it. Kids are allowed to be angry, upset, sad, embarrassed, etc. Tears are one way to express that, and its healthy. But if it goes on for too long, or happens frequently, then they either need help calming themselves down, or redirected in case they are trying to manipulate.
Be firm and don't give in when she cries so that she knows that her tears will not reverse a punishment or change your minds when you have set limits. Give her some cues to help her manage her feelings if you sense that she is highly emotional ...for example, let her know that if she's upset she can give herself some time to be upset (in her room or on the sofa--not as a punishment, but as a "safe" place to cool herself down), she can take deep breaths, or squeeze a fav stuffed animal, or turn on some calming music, and you'll check in with her when she's calm again (or if she doesn't stop crying beyond a certain period of time). She may be seeking attention or reassurance...and you can gladly give her attention, but maybe let her know that you'll sit with her when she has calmed herself down. When she has calmed down, be supportive, loving, and acknowledge efforts she's made to handle her feelings appropriately. Validate her feelings... but also talk about how to accept disappointment and hearing "no."
I really can't have much of a discussion with my son when he is like that...he can get very irrational when his emotions are sky-high. Its much better to give him some time/space, let the feelings ebb, and then talk when he's in a better, calmer space.
Maybe its a reflection of a phase she is going through, or any other uncertainty in her life? Is she under a lot of stress? Maybe she feels a bit out of control. Talk to her when she's calm and ask her what she thinks about it! Her response may be interesting.
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