Toddler Cries Excessively

I am a mother of two. I have a 4 year old and a three year old. My 4 year old Zoey is no problem and is very well behaved, but my 3 year old Ashlyn cries over everything way more than a 3 year old should. She is very clingy to me and will not ask her dad for anything. She always asks me and she cries over everything from her sister playing with a toy she wants to not being able to put on her shoes by herself. When we try to tell her that everything is OK and to stop crying and use her words she somewhat calms down, but is still upset over the situation and continues to whine.

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I don't know what to do because everytime we put her in timeout when she cries for no reason she comes unglued and starts screaming and can easily scream for an hour and will often hyperventilate herself or throw up all over the floor from such excessive screaming so I am afraid to put her in time out. The other day we had to lock her cat in the bedroom so my neighbor could bring his dog in our house and she got upset because I told her that the cat had to stay in the bedroom for a couple of minutes and she instantly started crying. I tried to sooth her and told her that she could play with the cat in a few minutes, but trying to comfort her did not help and she just started crying harder and harder until she was crying so hard that she threw up all over my couch.

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She is easily bored and when she has no one to play with she constantly whines and cries. She also does not listen at all if we are telling her something. She will look at us, but it is like we are talking to a wall and often if we ask her if she understands what we said she gives a blank look and does not respond to us. Even though she absolutely knows the difference between yes and no she will often say yes to all our questions even if we ask her if she wants us to spank her.

I'm wondering if all this behavior is because she is having trouble controlling her emotions. Believe it or not this has been a struggle since she was born. When she was a newborn she screamed excessively and we thought she had colic, but the problem did not go away and as she gets older her excessive crying over everything has not improved. I understood when she was a baby and thought that maybe she was just gonna be a baby that cried a lot. But now she is 3 and excessively cries about everything and has trouble calming herself down. At this point any advise will be helpful.

By Ella

June 15, 20110 found this helpful

I don't have any experience in raising girls. We had one son and boys seem to be a lot easier to raise.

It doesn't seem normal for a child to whine and cry over every little thing. You'll have to really get a handle on this, because as she gets older it will get worse and not better.

I advise you to take her to a doctor and see if there is anything medically wrong that can be corrected with medication.

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June 15, 20110 found this helpful

Even though your child does not show signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder. I would have her seen by a DAN doctor to check out all her levels. Some children are more upset over stimulation than others are. There could be food issues, or allergies present or functions that are not working, sometimes this behavior is a sign of too much or too little of certain foods. I suggest a DAN doctor which stands for Defeat Autism Now, because they are the only doctors that really have a nutrition protocol that really helps children.

Blessings,

Robyn

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June 16, 20110 found this helpful

I think you should have her evaluated to see if there is a problem other than just three year old. AND I wouldn't give preference to a neighbor's dog over my own cat. Why can't the neighbor leave her dog at home? Especially when she sees it is a problem to bring her. I am not talking about the child crying because her cat is locked up. I am talking about the dog making it necessary for the cat to be locked up. Sounds like the dog doesn't behave well.

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June 16, 20110 found this helpful

I don't think you're going to get any helpful hints from anyone out here. I would suggest seeing a doctor; maybe two, one for physical and a child psychologist. We have a couple of children in our family who have their problems, and it may take a while to find an answer. So pack your patience and get going to the doctors.

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June 16, 20110 found this helpful

Her problem might be a "response" from some food problems., not exactly allergy. Could you see with a MD in naturopathy, or Homeopathy. Homeopathy solves many problems the gentle way and children love the pellets, so it is no difficult at all for them to take it.

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June 16, 20110 found this helpful

Sometimes there are things we can't fix on our own. I would start with her pediatrician and take it from there. And always remember that consistency is very important.

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June 16, 20110 found this helpful

First thing, I would suggest is have checked by a reliable pediatrician to make sure there is nothing physically wrong, other than that it sounds like she knows how to push your buttons, quit worrying about keeping her calm, and trying to soothe her, you need to practice some tough love, she is in control and you are not, she needs to understand its your way or no way,if she wants to throw a fit let her and ignore her, put her in her room and walk away, if you do this enough times and consistently she will quit this ridiculous behavior, but you need the backbone to carry it through, your job is teach her,discipline her and love her, not make her happy.

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June 16, 20110 found this helpful

Mama,

I'm going to repeat what the others have said. Your child needs to see a doctor and psychologist. I also agree about the neighbor's dog- it shouldn't be allowed in your home if it disturbs the cat in any way. Every day, give each child some of your one-on-one attention early. Spanking won't help your child stop crying. Praise your children every time they practice good behavior-say something like, " I like how you are playing nicely" or "Wow! I love how you asked for that without whining or crying."

Create a chart. Give a smiley face every time you catch them being good. Let them know what reward they will get when they get so many smiley faces.

Good luck!

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June 16, 20110 found this helpful

I agree with robynfederspiel. I think she has the best adivse so far and it does sound like there is more stimulation than the child can process. Good luck to you in finding the right evaulation for your little girl's problems.

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June 16, 20110 found this helpful

I agree with the posters who have suggested that you see a doctor to see if there is anything medically wrong with your child. However, just from what you have described, it sounds to me as if this is attention getting behavior. The incident with the cat as an example (and as a cat owner, I can't see that it would do the cat any harm to be put in another room for a few minutes if there is a strange dog in the house -- the cat might even prefer it!!!) -- this was nothing to be upset over, and certainly sounds like an episode where she just kept on until she got her own way, or created such a fuss (throwing up on the sofa) , that all attention was on her. You've said that you've had to stop using time out because she throws such a fit. This seems like very willful and spoiled behavior to me. My oldest son used to throw temper and crying fits over being sent to his room for a time out (thank goodness, no throwing up), but it was his strong willed behavior. One time when he was five, he cried and cried "I want my own way, I want my own way, I want my own way!" -- was there anything wrong mentally or physically? NO,. He was just extremely strong willed. I suggest you find some books such as "the Strong Willed Child" and "How to talk to KIds so Kids will Listen, and listen so kids will talk". I have forgotten the authors, but there are many good childrearing advice books out there. Some children need more attention than others and your daughter sounds to me like she has chosen this way to get your attention, to manipulate you, and to get her own way. I am sorry if this sounds mean, but after having a strong willed child myself who was difficult to deal with followed by two easy going children, I don't think it is helpful to simply suggest the child needs medication or to blame the neighbour's dog.

By the way, what is your 4 year old doing when the younger one is pitching these fits? And if you are not around at all and dad is in charge, how do things go?

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June 16, 20110 found this helpful

Your predicament and the other posts I've read remind me of a time when my niece was around 2 or 3 and was not getting her way at the grocery store. She threw herself on the floor and starting screaming, kicking, flailing her arms, and making quite a disturbance. My sister decided that she didn't know that kid and just took the cart and walked away. My niece, realizing that she wasn't getting any attention, ran after her mom, caught up with her, and said, "Where did you go?" Needless to say, she never pulled that again, at least, not in the grocery store!

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June 16, 20110 found this helpful

Do you give her cow's milk?

If so, It may be a lactose allergy. My daughter would cry uncontrolably when she was 11mo - 18 months when I stopped breast feeding her (she was fine when it came to water or juice so she wasn't missing the breast) and gave her a little bit of regular milk, I had tried whole, 2%, 1 % and skim all with the same result. And because I was on Wic I couldn't just get the lactaid I had to wait the whole next month with a Dr./np's note b4 they would allow me to get it.

But Lactaid fixed the incessant crying at the time. Now my daughter is 14 and drinks regualr milk constantly with out any problems. Other than normal hormonal and attitude problems :)

HTH,

Dahart

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June 16, 20110 found this helpful

My advice is to avoid medications at all cost as you will have more problems later and wish you had not. My 3 nieces were difficult when I had to take care of them I raised all 3 of them at some point and when they left me, even their teachers and other family friends noticed the vast improvement in their focus, learning skills, and behavior . They would cry and have tantrums when they did not get their way. First of all, you need to have structure and a schedule so she feels secure. Meals, playtime, age appropriate chores-helping you dust, picking up toys, etc, Read to her at bedtime after a warm bath and a few toys in the water. During the day sing nursery rhymes and when you are working. be happy and create a happy home. Contrary to some advice, a happy home where children feel loved and secure is important. During tantrums, calmly say when you are finished your tantrum then we can have some fun, go to the store or have our meal. Ask her if she is finished when she is having a melt down, but do not stare. Be near by, but do not reward the misbehavior. the tantrums will become less and less. If this happens in the store, do the same. Tell her that if she wants something she should ask for it, not have a tantrum. Again do your shopping and put her on the floor if necessary to protect her from injury, but do not pay attention. Ask her if she is finished so you can go onto the next activity, You give her control so she knows she can control herself, while at the same time she knows she is safe with you nearby and you will not reward misbehavior, but that you do love her and want the best for her. If she makes mess, then require her to clean it up with your help. Do not raise your voice or lose control. This does work, but you must be consistent and all persons in the house must do the same. I would advise you to first get a good physical exam, and if there are no medical problems, then try patience, love, and consistency.

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June 16, 20110 found this helpful

You really need to see a good doctor. My daughter has Tourette's Syndrome, and when she was small she also had chronic ear infections. She would become agitated and squall (usually in public). The pediatrician thought she had ADD, and sometimes Tourette's kids are misdiagnosed. I'm sure there are many things that can cause her distress and it would be wise to rule them out. It's a good idea to start trying to work it out now, before she starts school. I had to remove my child from school, they wanted to treat her as if she were mentally retarded. Keep searching til you find out what's going on. God bless!

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June 16, 20110 found this helpful

Your situation is similar that my best friend and I have had with her oldest son from the day he came home. l. he didn't want anything to do with her, just his dad. 2. He cried all the time and doctors said he would out grow it. 4 years old and he was a little terror. If it didn't go his way he cried, broke things, hit her etc. and only dad was what he wanted but didn't mind him either. This behavior went on till he was in the 2nd grade and I saw him on more than one occasion try to kill his little brother and when caught say I was just helping. No remorse when wrong and only he counted and what he wanted. She finally took him to a neurologist for children and they ran tests on him. He has Asperger's Syndrome, a type of autiusm. Give your daughter a very strict structured life and stick to the rules. Even this won't stop all of it but if it is it will help a lot.

Don't let anyone tell you it is adhd it isn't and that is a catch all answer. Good luck and a lot of prayer helps. Right now he is 13 and takes a medication and see's an autism mental health Dr. which he likes and when he is on his meds is totally manageable but off is still the terror. Asperger's is just now being recognized so you will have to weed out the ones who say it doesn't exist. A lot that are on different drugs have things different than their diagnosis.

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June 16, 20110 found this helpful

May I please write here to make sure the older child get her attention even though the little one is wanting it all. Don't lose her because of the problem please.

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June 16, 20110 found this helpful

Please have her checked out by a professional, This in Not normal Behavior, and there may be a bigger problem.

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June 16, 20110 found this helpful

I suggest finding a great neurophsycologist who will run a battery of tests. However, most tests are better preformed with older children. This behaviour is not normal and would not jump to the conclusion of your child being "spoiled". The problems could stem from allergies to Aspergers to OCD, ect.

Good luck and please start researching doctors, it does sound like you might need a few different ones to rule out or in causes for this behaviour.

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June 17, 20110 found this helpful

I know what you're going thru. My youngest cried for everything. You ask anyone in the family what this kid was like as a child and the answer is always, "She cried." Of course, you should follow the advice of everyone who said you should see a doctor, but If I had to do it all over again, I would calmly address whatever the problem is (the cat has to stay in the bedroom until the dog leaves; you can stay there with the cat or visit with our guests.) and then ignore the crying and clinging by placing her in another room with a baby gate across, even if she throws up. And definitely schedule times during the week when you leave and your daughter has to spend time w/her father. I wasted a great deal of time and energy being upset about this behavior, which eventually went away on its own.

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June 17, 20110 found this helpful

Your child sounds exactly like my son at that age. He was diagnosed with Aspergers syndrome when he was 11yrs old but before then, life was hell with him. please take your child to a doctor, just in case. it will make your life much easier since you will be taught how to handle her.

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June 17, 20110 found this helpful

I am the mother of four and the grandmother of 11. I am agreeing with all those who have said to have this thoroughly checked out.

In my grands, the 25-yo who cried all through babyhood with colic has finally been diagnosed with GERD and other medical conditions that have kept her from having a 'normal' thriving life. How can you when you're always miserable, or bordering on it?

Her cousin, my 24-yo grandson, who could be very sweet but was horrible and frustrating to be around with outrageous reactions to just about everything, as a young adult was found to have Aspergers. Without medication, and 'owning' (as opposed to denying) this, he has become a sought-after online computer help desk 'geek' for Apple. He's actually brilliant. And now, very sweet, and understood. He's found a niche where he functions at a very high level, and has found friends 'like me'.

A 25-yo step-grandson was born at less than 1 pound, and it was a miracle that he even lived. He was about four when he came into our lives. He's just the cutest thing with a charming personality, but... he can't seem to become a responsible adult. While my daughter, his stepmother, wants to have him tested to see what his actual potential might be, his dad and bio mother refuse to have him checked out. Why? Not sure. Don't want to find that there is something actually 'wrong' with him? It just makes sense to me that part of his brain might have been underdeveloped, or injured, or something. It would do him a great justice to have that recognized and treated, or adjusted to. At this point it appears that he will always be a charming dependent on whoever allows it. That might have to be his little half-sister, my 7-yo granddaughter. Yikes.

Another 24-yo grandson used to have horrible temper tantrums, but that's all those were. He's turned out to be a very high-achiever, university grad in sales and management... with no special considerations. He's just a strong-minded individual with a powerful drive. You can see his dad and his mother's brother in him. That just needed to be harnessed.

And then there are seven other grands all with unique personalities and gifts and challenges. Together they comprise a beautiful garden of colorful individuals in our lives.

The point I want to make is, do all to find out what you can about this child and how to help her to become all that God intended for her. "Raise up a child in the way she should go (her bent)..." and she will have a beautiful and productive life (my perspective).

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June 17, 20110 found this helpful

Postscript to Wondernana posting:

My colorful garden of grands.

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June 18, 20110 found this helpful

She may also have sensory processing disorder. Call your local school district and ask who handles intervention with children from 3 to 5 years old. (Birth to three is "early intervention".) They should be able to tell you who in your area provides such assistance, and you can find out how to get her evaluated (for free or on a sliding scale, depending on the state you're in); and then to get free or low-cost treatment if it is deemed appropriate. Your child does not want to be miserable or make you miserable. Something is not right, and the behaviors she is showing are her response to whatever is not right for her. The good news is, there is help out there, and it is attainable, you just have to go after it. Bug your doctor, call the school, call the dept. of MHMR. No matter what is going on, reflux, ASD, sensory processing disorder, there is help for you and your little girl! You are not alone!

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June 19, 20110 found this helpful

You've received a lot of great advice here.

This could be as simple(& difficult) as:

the fact that the 2 girls are so close in age that the younger one doesn't feel like she's getting the attention she needs,so she demands negative attention and she's getting it!

OR:every child has their own personality & comparing her to her easier going sister could be creating problems by expecting her to be what she isn't.

OR: she could have some type of disorder that needs to be evaluated. Several of the one's already named come to mind. You might have trouble getting someone to listen to you, they don't always want to try to dx a child when they are so young unfortunately. Take notes on her behavior, what she does, when, where, what led up to it, time of day, what was going on around her, etc.,etc-anything you can think of, keep notes! Talk to her doctor,if they blow you off, find another one. Call your school district as suggested, in our state(Oklahoma)they have early intervention education for at-risk kids. Check into Head Start also. Check the listing for your county health dept., they should have a mental health dept that offers treatment, counciling,etc on a sliding-fee scale.

Try staying calm when she throws her fits, she might be playing off of your reaction. Let her know matter of factlly that she can act that way if she wants, but you don't have to stand there & watch her. Make sure she can't hurt herself,tell her to let you know when she's done,then walk away from her bad behavior. Maybe help her find a better way to let out her frustrations, tell her it's ok to be angry & give her a pillow to punch or teach her deep breathing exercises. My son used to get so upset & angry when he was little & he couldn't voice his anger & frustration. Then as soon as he could talk & tell us what was wrong, he settled down-he just never shuts up now! LOL!

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June 20, 20110 found this helpful

It seems llike you have a ton of advice, and I hope that you are not overwhelmed. Though my kids have beeen through many evaluations for several of the syndromes mentioned here, I don't feel it is right, based on your 4 paragrapgs for anyone to alarm you or give a diagnoses. You need a good evaluation, for ADD, self regulation, PDD etc.. In the meantime, give them both lots of love, you can build their self esteem by praising them often, even for the "normal" stuff. We tend to give more energy to the bad (yell loud when they do something wrong, but don't say anything when they are fine, or give a quiet word of praise when they are great- shouldn't it be the opposite?) A great book is "the Nurturing Heart" which is great with intense children. Good luck, Brigitte

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July 7, 20110 found this helpful

Dear Ella,

When I read your story, my heart went out to you and your family. Prayer and support are the best places to start. Many parenting suggestions that people have offered here are another good avenue to try. I have some other ideas that didn't seem to be mentioned much but could contribute to rounding out your approach to this situation.

Getting her assessed by a Naturopath doctor would be a safe bet that wouldn't get her some popular diagnosis, complete with drugs right off the bat. If you feel that she may have Autism Spectrum Disorder, I agree that you should go to a "DAN" doctor for well-rounded therapy, as "robynfederspiel" suggests.

You may also want to look into these potential influencing factors:

Overgrowth of unfriendly micro-organisms such as yeasts/fungi (Candida) and/or internal parasites (Giardia),

Wheat/dairy allergies,

Vitamin/mineral/essential fatty acid deficiencies,

Environmental allergies (dust, mold, pesticides, chemical cleaners)

Leaching mercury from "silver fillings",

Sensitivities to food additives (artificial sweeteners/colors/flavors, preservatives, MSG, nitrates in processed meats, etc.)

You may find these to be part of the solution (these are not quick-fixes, so please give them time to show their potential benefits):

Bach Remedies,

Exercise to "burn off excess emotions",

Homeopathy

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) you can learn it for free and do it yourself,

Supplementing with probiotics/Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs),

Cut out all sugars which feed bad guys in the gut disrupting absorption of nutrients,

Eliminate caffeinated beverages

Helping her get restful sleep

Seriously limiting electronic stimulation: her TV/computer use, cell phone use around her, WiFi waves, etc. (My 14 year old son's pediatrician "prescribed" no more than 1 hour of screen-time per day because it was contributing to his moodiness, anxiety and insomnia, so a 3 year old should get...)

Avoid genetically modified organisms (GMO foods)

Keep a dated journal of her behavior, what you've tried, how long you've tried it, the results of trying it. Then, plan out the next thing you'll try, for how long you'll try it and monitor the results of it. Too often we as parents try out something for too short a time and therefore don't get the results possible; journaling can help keep you on track, give you perspective and provide patterns of evidence that doctors may need to see.

One site I have found helpful when it comes to personal education is www.mercola.com. Use its search bar to access a wealth of health information. (I get nothing for recommending their site, I just appreciate what it has to offer.)

Hope this helps more than it overwhelms. Much of what our modern day society offers as technological advances and life conveniences have not been tested for the long term; we end up being unwitting participants in these unofficial and unmonitored "studies". Unfortunately, our children seem to take the brunt of the side effects of modern innovation because they are still developing.

I wish you the best and will pray for you.

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