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She cries sooo much cries cos she spills her milk, cos she falls over (slightly), cos she can`t find a book...

I hate to say this, But i have a "crybaby"-aaaah that sounds awful... I have a wonderful, active, 4 and a little bit year old. When she gets involved with activities she enjoys them, aand whilst not shy as such is certainly reticent in new situations...looks and watches before jumping in feet first.
But-oh - she cries sooo much: cries cos she spills her milk, cos she falls over (slightly), cos her little brother won`t do something, cos someone said something yucky, cos she can`t find a book... It sounds awful, perhaps petty, but it drives me mad!!!!
And no, I certainly dont tell her off if she spills milk, i give her cuddles if she falls, i encourage her to use her use her words if soemone says soemthing not nice - I give her love, attention and encourage independence. But she must cry over a half dozen times a day, in a really winny, tone. We have talked about it and are looking at ways i can support her to use her words better.
Have you any ideas, or pointers?
thanks
klare

Sally...
Answer: Hi Klare, It can be frustrating as a parent to hear our beloved children constantly whining and crying. She sounds like a sensitive and caring young girl with a loving mother – she is very lucky! One thing I would like to know is how you react to her crying? I find human behaviours fascinating (which is obviously why I have chosen to be a psychologist!). Typically a child will not cry without an audience (except if they are really hurt, of course!). If she spills her milk and cries, do you give her attention? Or do you just get about the business of wiping it up and moving on? If she has a minor stumble, do you pick her up and cuddle her and ask her if she is alright? Or do you just say “oh dear, up you get” and move on to the next task with her? If she cries because her little brother won’t do something, do you ask her what it is that she wants and explain to her why he is not going to do it? Or do you just ignore that behaviour so she can work it out herself? Your concerns are not petty, it is hard living with these behaviours all day, but it is not in her best interest to continue this way (ie. having to always look to someone else to problem-solve and self-soothe). I am not at all suggesting that you should not cuddle her (in fact, cuddling is very important!), but maybe check the times that you are doing this, as you may be encouraging her to repeat a behaviour that you would rather she did not have. All the best, Sally-Anne
Answered: 01 Dec 2007