Need help with a crying preteen girl.

Jennifer - posted on 11/04/2016 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My daughter Raeanne is crying so frequently.Being already very sensitive,not even family members dare to talk to her,for fear that she would start crying.That isn't the worst part.She would throw things around when crying and would be what inconsiderate people call a spoilt brat.

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Meredith - posted on 11/06/2016

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Oh, I was a cryer. Actually I still am, I cry all of the time. I can tell you the things that have helped me.

(1) Crying is a right brain activity (where emotions are) so one technique that has been helpful has been trying to switch to my left brain- logic side. I do this by doing very simple mathematical equations in my head when I feel it start to come on. Sometimes they are even wrong, but it doesn't matter- it just matters that I need to engage that side. So I do 2x2=4, 4 x4= 16 etc. etc.

(2) I have accepted that women cry. We do. I am actually kind of tired of being shamed by it. We have been trained at such young ages that we must NEVER EVER be angry- we should take whatever is handed and smile and be polite, that we should never complain, that we need to be complaint. All of that ingrained social behavior which starts at such a young age- 18 months and on- mean that emotions such as frustration, anger, anxiety are going to manifest as tears. Its a reality. And if we don't learn coping skills for the other emotions (or make it socially appropriate for a woman to be angry without being called abrasive or crazy) the reality is- we are going to cry. (I don't know if I would pass that all on to a pre teen but you might find it helpful).

(3) My sister (who is 30) was crying everywhere and it was mortifying. (she goes to school where I work). In her case I passed on the possibility that sometimes when women cry, it is not so much out of an attempt to express emotions but rather as a way to manipulate other people. And that's no cool. The way you can tell? If I am going to cry and I am thinking "screw you- yeah you made me cry" I am manipulating. If I am crying as quietly as I can in a bathroom stall and then flushing my face with cold water so no one can tell- I am trying to figure out how to cope with an emotion. Manipulative crying is just unacceptable.

(4) The throwing stuff- my 10 year old boy is getting hormonal already- WTF no one tells you that boys get hormonal too is a mystery to me. So we have had the crying throwing things. Crying- thats a coping emotion he has to learn to deal with. I try to do this by helping him label his emotion- because really, we should cry for sadness, but he isn't sad- he is frustrated, angry, insecure. So we label what he is feeling. He says "I am frustrated". Ok, why are you frustrated? Then I validate. Because at a level, all any human wants is to be validated. So I say- I would be so frustrated too, I don't blame you, that would crazy frustrate me. And then we see what we can do about it. If he throws something- he loses a toy (like his iPad for a day), if he continues to throw toys, he is "cut off" from the family because that is not acceptable behavior and must remain in his room for the rest of the day- and I don't care if its 10am. I will bring meals up there, I will let him play games in there. But that is not acceptable behavior in our family. We did about 2 days in his room like that- not back to back and the throwing stuff completely stopped- I would say it was on an almost daily basis and it has been probably 8 months with nothing. But I was firm about it.

I hope that helps. Some of us are just sensitive, it doesn't mean we don't have to learn to function in the real world, but its a reality. And don't worry, I have had some really great (do have) really great professional jobs and I have cried in every single one of my bosses offices. (TOTALLY wish I hadn't, its mortifying) but its all good and they love me anyway.

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Jennifer - posted on 11/08/2016

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Hi Michelle,
It has been going for a while now.Started not so severely,so I just thought she was sensitive.But as it has gotten more severe I got her in counselling.Thanks for the concern.So far she's not crying so much anymore.Let's just hope she starts talking to me.
Cheers,
Jenn

Michelle - posted on 11/05/2016

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Has this started all of a sudden or has it been going on a while?
Have you actually sat down and talked with her?
Maybe look at getting her some counselling if she won't talk to you.

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