My daughter cries about everything. She will cry if she doesn't get her way. She cries when her sister gets something and she does not. She doesn't like to do her homework, but she like to play. I sometimes think that I am going to go crazy with her. She doesn't put on her clothes in the morning to go to school, I have to put them on.
By Zulaika from Houston, TX
How old is the crying daughter?
I wonder too how old she is? You mentioned homework? Is she preschool age? Is she getting enough sleep?
I read Bible stories and from the Bible everyday to my little girl. It is a positive atmosphere, loving and calm. Perhaps the Bible would be a wonderful help to your dear girl as well :)
Does she receive an "gain" from her crying--that is, does she get out of work, get her way, get what she wants, get help with her homework....etc.?
If she does, then you are just "feeding" the behavior! It is very important that you, and everyone else dealing with her stop giving in to the tears.
It is OK to acknowlege that she is not happy, but then firmly let her know she needs to do ____ anyway. "Susan, I know that you don't want to do your homework, but it is not a choice. When you finish your work, then you can _____."
She needs to learn that she cannot manipulate her way out of things with tears. Sounds like she needs a little "tough love".
If you really don't think that the above is the case, you may wish to talk to her guidance counselor about her constant crying. She may need someone to talk to outside the family. Also, the counselor can probably suggest books for you.
The flip side of the coin from other messages:
Are you giving her your time and attention? She may be crying out for it and gets it through her manipulative crying. Try and recall when it all began and how much of you was involved with her doing things and having a fun time together. Is it possible you may be unaware of backing away from her because your daughter's crying is grating on your nerves and you are pulling farther away from her. Perhaps what she's trying to get from you is doing the opposite to her instead and it's making her unhappy.
I'm sorry you're having a difficult time with your daughter. How old is she?
My daughter is in Kindergarten. Mid-February her behavior went downhill. It's like we stepped back two years in her behavior. She had a horrible, hateful attitude. She and I went to visit my family at the end of the month (so this had been going on for a couple of weeks), and I warned my mom -- I wasn't sure about visiting because of the way she had been acting. Of course, my mom was like, "oh -- it'll be fine!"
Not so much. I called Daddy and told him we needed to make some big changes and we needed to present a united front. I sat her down and asked lots of questions (Has someone done something to upset or hurt you? Do you feel well? etc . . . ). Then I explained the changes. There was going to be no TV, no computer, no video games for any of us. I had to make an exception for my husband to go online briefly after dinner because he runs an internet-based business, but he was on and off in a flash.
We unplugged and she had to find ways to entertain herself, rather than expecting/demanding that she be entertained. After a few days, we decided to play a little classical music in the evenings. We did this for a few weeks, and she settled down. I did turn on the weather a couple times (for very short periods) because we had tornadoes in the area. Other than that, we stuck to our guns. She slowly earned privileges back.
You might have to make some drastic changes. Yes, it was no fun waiting until 10:00 to watch the news (way after she was in bed), but that's okay. What we did worked, and it sent a message to her. Of course we still have occasional Kindergartener issues, but they're minor. Our caring and generally pleasant girl is back!
Sorry so long. But for a while in February, I felt like I was going mad and a complete failure. I hope you find some way to get her attention and help her to find some other way to express herself. Or maybe her outlook/attitude (life isn't always fair, but homework isn't about being fair). Best of luck to you . . . keep us posted!
I have a son like this. He cried every day until he was 8. He was never happy. 3 pediatricians told me he was fine. He isn't. He suffers from depression.
Sounds like you have been given lots of good advice. However, if nothing seems to work after a while, take her to a doctor and discuss childhood depression. I hope all goes well with her.
I agree with Blessed Assurance about the power of the Bible. Even if you only read a chapter a night together, or let her choose a Bible story from a book each evening, that would be a great "Mom and me" time for her and you. It'll also give her a solid foundation she'll never forget.
As far as the refusal to dress... maybe school's a little tougher than she expected, and she just wants to go back to the carefree, pre-going-to-school days. Refusing to dress herself may be her way of trying to avoid the inevitable.
This may seem harsh, but it may also quickly cure her of this particular behavior. Give her a set, reasonable time by whitch to dress herself (she's obviously old enough.) If school time arrives and she's still in her jammies, off she goes to school, jammies and all. At her age, I doubt she's wearing anything provocative although a robe and slippers may be a good idea. Also, a prior word to her teacher and school would be wise. A day of being teased by her classmates may just cure her.
Last but not least, I know you want to get to the root of your daughter's issue. I can't tell you to go to a psychiatric counselor; that might not work for you personally. If you and your daughter have a trusting relationship and she's comfortable talking things out with you, great. Or, if she has a trusted adult to whom she can talk (family member, counselor, clergyman, pediatrician,) go for it. I wouldn't quiz her if she were my daughter.
However, provide her an outlet to her feelings in whatever way works for you. I'm sure you'll see an improvement soon. I'm praying for you, kiddo... Jo
Don't dress her in the morning. Tell her she has 5 mins. to dress herself and if she doesn't do it take her to school in her pajamas. It will never happen again.
I too have a 4 year old daughter (just turned 4) who cries all of the time; cries that her shoes/clothes feel funny, cries for three hours after a minor fall (and the 1 hour each day until the "wound" is no longer visible, cries if she is not beside me for story time (and her sister is), cries when she does not write as neatly as she wants to. I am loosing my mind and I cannot make sense of it. I only work 1 day a week so I am always home with her and her sister and include them in everything that i do (from going to the bathroom to picking spinach from the garden) I praise her good behaviour and I have never indulged attention in minor falls (only hospital worthy stuff). I never break down and give into her crying i usually just go outside. What is going on?
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