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My four year old has been struggling with her emotions for about two years. She cries for extended amounts of time.

Posted by tayibah

My daughter turned four 2 weeks ago. However, since 2 she has been crying and screaming for long periods of time. As she gets older the crying is getting better. At 2 years old it was everyday at four years old it is about 3-5 times a month. She is defiant at times and does not follow rules, and even everyday things at school such ast taking a nap she just refuses to do. She is very spoiled and manipulative at times asking " if I have a good day will you buy me a toy." I have tried time outs, behavior charts, ignoring, taking toys away, rewarding her, just about everything. Her teachers are very concerned stating she cries almost everyday and they can pin point why sometime she cries for 1 minute sometimes and hour. I am very worried. Is this normal? what should I do?
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Oh my dear Mommy.  Struggling to raise our children, is very normal!  I think most moms experience this roller coaster of feeling like we're doing a good job and our kids are behaviing, and then having those days when you feel like the worst mom in the world and the kids just are NOT cooperating no matter what you try! 

 I have 3 girls, adn they are all very different in temperament, adn one was easy to parent, if I stuck to the rules, and the consequences she was good.  She would push the line to see if I still meant business, but she would be cooperative after she got in trouble.  It was like she was confident again and knew where she had to behave and what was expected.

Another of my girls - oh my word!!  She is a handful!!  She is 3 1/2 now, and we are just starting to come out of the baby stage.  She is used to getting her way because I've been too tired and sick to MAKE her obey.  And now when I ask her to do something firmly, there are TEARS - tons of them.  I'm just starting to see it as humorous (something i NEVER did with the first two), and I can sit back and think - oh my good - these toddlers are sure stubborn!  So of course, with a more laid back attitude, I'm doing better - she's still just as stubborn, and seems to try to push the line every hour or so... I would like ti to be easier with her, but what can ya do?  These kids are not ME, and I can't be responsible for their choices - they will do what they will do, you know?  

 It has helped me immensely to read some books in the library on parentin strong-willed children, on the temperaments of children, and kind of like encyclopedias of children's ages and stages.  All those types of things have given me insight into my girls and also my reactions to them.  

Sometimes Mothering is plain HARD.  And we doubt ourselves too... just do in your heart what you know is right - whether that is enforcing a consequence, changing the environment, caving, rewarding, whatever.  Just do what you know you need to do, even if it is hard.  Think long term.  You can't live like this forever, and she'll have to be a responsible person in 20 years.  So aim for that, and laugh at the small stuff.  While they are flailing around on the ground and insisting that their hearts are breaking, it can be rather funny.  :)




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