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6 1/2 Year Old Cries for Everything!

How do I get him out of this??? I get so frustrated with him because he does this for everything! when he was little his my husband and I would give in to his crying and give him what he wanted...but now its annoying! When I ask him to do something for me, he cries. When I tell him its time to do homework, he cries. Time to eat, he cries. When he asks for something, he cries!
He does this at school too!
Any suggestions!?

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What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Once again, I want to thank everybody on the beautiful advice that was given to me! I realized that he wasn't really crying, but whining. I now use an as-a-matter-of-fact voice whenever he whines and let him know that it needs to change before I give him anything. He will then compose himself and ask in his "big boy" voice and always has to say "please". He's been doing ALOT better. I am forever grateful to you all!

Featured Answers

Tough love! Don't give him anything if he cries. Tell him he can go cry in his room and come out when he is ready to ask in a normal voice.

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What I think you should do is don't give in to his crying because he know nows that it works. if this was my child I would give her a good SPANKEN!!! that is what I will do. I think you had made a big mistake by giving him what he wants when he cries.

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I know it's hard but you can't give into him. It will be very hard on you at first but when he realizes that the crying doesn't give him his way anymore he will stop and before long he won't even start to cry anymore. Also having a time out chair or spot works wonders kids will do just about anything not to have to sit in time out, just remember that it's 1 min. per year of age and before they get up go down to his level and have them tell you why he is sitting there and that he's sorry.

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Hi C.,
I just have 2 toddlers but have worked with 6 yr olds for sometime. Maybe try giving your 6 1/2 yr old choices so he feels like he's in control. Build his self esteem by saying he's a Big Boy and you are proud when he makes good decisions. If he needs to do his homework maybe ask "Do you want to start your homework now or in 10 minutes?" Let him make the decision although in the end you get the outcome you wanted. If he chooses to start in 10 minutes and then balks, stick to your guns and calmly reiterate that it was his choice. Explain how important follow through is. Give examples on how when you say you are going to take him to the park you follow through. Be consistant. Hope this helps and good luck!

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I agree that it will take some time and definitely your commitment to deprogram this - which sounds like it's probably just a bad habit.

However, I do not agree with the advice to let him go hungry. I think that that will cause other problems and send entirely the wrong message to him and to the younger children. I think you shouldn't struggle over food.

I wonder if he is crying because of the transitions -- he's enjoying playing and suddenly hears that it's time to shift gears to go eat or do homework, or whatever. A LOT of childrne need 5 minute warnings, as in "In 5 minutes I'll call you to the dinner table. This is your chance to finish your game." And then a 1-minute warning, too, usually. This allows the child to shift gears and be ready to do the next thing. This might help with some of the melt-downs.

Beyond that? I don't know your son, but he is 6, so if he's a typical six year old, he's able to reason about things pretty well. I think you should talk to him about it in a calm moment, when you're not angry, when he hasn't done it recently, etc.

You might say something like, "You know, I have been thinking about something that happens in our family a lot. It's a problem and I need your help to solve it." (stop, see if he says anything, listen). "I've noticed that when things don't go your way, one of the first things you do is break down and cry." (stop, see if he says anything, listen). "That's a problem because as people get older, when they cry, the peopel around them don't want to help them out. It only makes people frustrated and even angry." (stop, listen) "Sometimes kids cry in order to get what they want - like if a mom says "go brush your teeth" and a child doesn't want to he cries until she stops asking him to brush his teeth. But that's not okay. That's a temper tantrum. And after all, everyone has to brush their teeth." (stop, listen.) "I know that crying used to work for you too in our family - you used to cry and get what you wanted, but I need to let you know that we're going to change that. You're getting to be older and also I'm just tired of it. Crying hurts my ears and when I hear it I feel cranky." (stop, listen) "I'm going to help you break the habit of temper tantrums."

Putting yourself in the position of helping him break a habit means that you're on the same side/on the same team. And you can then give him friendly reminders... "Oops! Watch it, you're starting to cry! Remember we're going to break that habit?" and you can teach him alternatives, "Wait wait, hold on - instead of crying, you can tell me with words what you're thinking? I bet those tears have words... Oh! You don't want to brush your teeth? Well, TELL me that! I don't really undrstand what the WAAAAHHH means, but I can help if you use words to tell me." (He'll still have to brush his teeth, but it's better to have him tell you verbally - then maybe you can agree to let him do one thing first and then brush his teeth. Teh goal is to move to the realm of WORDS.) He may also need you to teach him some ways to get calm if he does start to cry and gets worked up. Deep breaths together. A special calming word or song or short prayer might do the trick. Something like that.

If you like this approach, then once you've very reasonably laid down the groundwork (maybe in one effective conversation, maybe in two or more smaller conversations - depending on how focused/receptive he is), you can remind him of this conversation, and you can repeat the mantra, "Temper tantrums (or Tears - wahtever word you want to use) don't work." And then make sure that temper tantrums DON'T get results for him any more.

I think it's important to keep a calm, even, loving tone and to be very consistent that when he has a temper tantrum he doesn't get what he wanted.

This works better for things that he wants that you control (he wants dessert and you have the ability to give it to him or not to), and it works LESS well for things that you want him to do that ultimately he has to do himself or at least cooperate about (get dressed).

With my own 6-year old son, I find that in situations where he is being uncooperative and is on the verge of losing it, there is usually a reasonable reason, even if as a grownup I would be able to get over it and move on. Often it's because he feels rushed or surprised at something I expect him to do immediately or quickly.

I find myself resorting more to threats of losing a privilege ("Careful - it looks like you're about to have a fit, and you know that temper tantrums don't work. I need you to find the spirit of cooperation and help me out here/do X." If he doesn't rally, then I find myself saying, "If you don't do X, then there's going to be a negative consequence." I try to pick consequences that are logical and seem fair, or natural (like, if he doesn't get his clothes on in time, we wont' have time to stop and get a croissant on our way to school). I try to be very clear about what's on the line and what he has to do to save it. I'm not actually crazy about this, but it is working for him. I still get the best results when I give him plenty of notice about what's coming up, and plenty of time to play his way from one thing to the next.

My sister (very wise, mother of 3 boys ages 8, 6 and 3) has a saying that she repeats about a zillion times a day: "Okay boys, Laugh, Have Fun, but Get the Job Done."

One upside is that your 3 year old is likely to benefit from this because she can learn right from the start that temper tantrums don't work. The one year old is little now, but when she gets there, the same mantra will be familiar to everyone.

2 moms found this helpful

Hi C., I don't know that I have any real advice but I can say that I am dealing with the very same thing from my 7yr old dtr. I counted today...she threw "8" crying fits between 8am and 4pm. The longest lasting 45 mins. straight. She wanted her computer time back--but she lost that privilege last night for a separate incident. I held my ground and did not budge. My hubby has been at work for the past 48 hours and I have been solo w/ 3 sick kids. Been to Kaiser twice in 2 days so needless to say I am frazzled beyond belief and exhausted. I actually went in my bedroom, locked the door and cried for 10 minutes into my pillow this afternoon. I felt like a failure as a mom. Right when I thought that I had figured this mom thing all out---a 7 year old proves me wrong! LOL I do feel better tonight however. Dad still at work due home in the morning. Sent my 2 older kids to grandmas for the night. Little one and I will be in bed by 8pm. Every night after a day like today, before I fall asleep, I say very quietly to myself, "Tomorrow will be better, I promise." :)

Much love and support to you.
-Sher

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Possibly try play acting skits where he pretends he has a teacher and the teacher wants him to do something. Tell him ahead of time than when he tells the teacher he doesn't want to he gets a treat (or sticker to redeem for an acivity he likes) , if he does what the teacher asks he gets two treats or stickers. Turn it into a game.
After he learns this well and it has sunk in then suggest to him that you are going to start playing this game in real life and then give him the sticker or treat accordingly. If may be difficult but when he cries for no good reason it may work to give him a short time out to rethink things. Try to ignore his crying . If it dosn't gain him attention he'll tire of it. Tell him how you want him to respond, either, "yes I will listen and obey" type of response or an "I don't want to" without crying. Give him the choice.
With these combined strategies you will probably find a change in his behavior.

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Hi C.,

It sounds like he just has a bad habit since you two let it go on for awhile but I can certainly understand you wanting to break that habit now!

I would choose an upcoming event, like if he is having a birthday soon or some other event signifying him being a "big boy" (make one up if you have to!) and sit down with him and explain that because he's a big boy now, he won't have to cry for his wants and needs like the little guys do. Give him examples of a few recent times he's cried for something and then ask if he knows what a big boy would do instead. Once you've had this discussion, tell him to make an agreement with you that he will now behave like a big boy. Tell him that from now on, you will not really be able to understand him when he cries for his wishes. Completely ignore him when he cries after that (unless he's hurt of course!)You may need to remind him a few times by calmly saying to your husband, "I think I hear Johnny but I don't understand him. Now that he's a big boy he's going to use words to ask us for something. Let's see what he has to say..." Persevere until he gets it. You may also make a chart for the short term and every time he does stop crying, put a little sticker on it. Tell him that when he gets 10 stickers, you will take him for an ice cream (or whatever). When he gets 25 stickers, you will buy him a new toy (or whatever).

That's my suggestion, anyway. Good luck!

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Hi Sweetie
Congrats on your 3 wonderful children
I have had the same problem and what my husband and I did is we ignored him and we we told him that when he stops crying we'll talk and pay attention to him and yes it took about 2 weeks but it worked let him cry and don't make a big deal out of it and since you are a youth minister I suggest opening up to the 10 commandments and have him read children obey your parents and talk to him about it yes he is old enough I wish you all the luck
God Bless you and your family
Danielle S mother of 4

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How about praising him when he's doing one of the things that you mentioned without crying. In other words, when he asks for something without crying, you can say something like, "wow I'm so proud of you for not crying when I told you it was time to eat." "Great job for not crying when you had to do your homework. You're such a big boy." Basically start looking for and pointing out those rare times that he's not crying. Good Luck!

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The reality is that he cries because it works. He's learned to use it to get what he wants and he needs to learn to use another strategy. My advice would be to identify a few circumstances that you and your husband can agree that you're not going to cave in to it and then be prepared to ride it out ( the easiest things are when he wants something from you so you have some tangible object/activity that he will be able to have access to if he proceeds properly). He will probably cry louder, might head towards a full blown hysterical tantrum but you can't give into that or you'll just teach him to raise the stakes quicker. Be calm and matter of fact about it, but don't give too much attention, keep yourself busy with other things and then when you find that he's calmed himself down you can get him back on task. You might even do things like pretending that you can only hear him when he is talking in a regular voice. Most of all you have to be prepared for things to get worse before they get better and hang on. It'll be worth it.

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My daughter was doing that to us last year. I went to a parenting class and there idea was to say "You may go to your room and come back when you can act appropriately" or something to that affect. It worked so well! She wasn't allowed to come back until she could be calm and use words. We went on with life as usual as she was calming down. I hope you can find something to work for him. Good luck.

Oh, I almost forgot to add. Make that the room you send him to isn't fun. My daughter's room has her bed and books, no toys.

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It's very hard to break old habits. Your son has been taught (by you and your husband) that this tactic works. Unfortunately, you're reaping what you've sown. ;) He's old enough, now, though to understand when you speak to him. I'd recommend sitting him down and explaining that while this worked when he was young, he is now a "big boy", and is able to "use his words". Tell him that if he is not hurt, then you will no longer be entertaining his cries - that you will ignore him. Tell him that he can go to his room until he is ready to comply with your request. And then (and this is the key) - be consistent! Stick with it and do exactly what you've said you will do. Each time that he's successful, be sure to praise him. Good luck!

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HI C.-

Spend alone time with him. I know it is hard to schedule, but it is so important. There is a book called Your six year old by, Louise Bates Ames, you will love it. It is a easy read and explains so much about where six year olds are! best of luck!

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I agree w/everyone else....he's doing it cuz it's worked for 6 years so why should he stop? You need to nip it in the bud cuz not only he is way too old for this behavior, he's setting a bad example for his younger siblings.
So, the key is to be consistent & do not give in. You & your husband should sit down w/him him & tell him how you expect him to behave at home & in school. That this crying behavior is no longer acceptable nor will it will tolerated. Let him know that neither of you will no longer listen to or respond to him when he's like this & that he can either go to his room to cry, or he can act appropriately. Maybe set up reward chart of some kind: every time he talks to you w/o crying, he gets a star or a sticker. Talk w/your son to see what reward he wants to work for & then set the anount of start/stickers he needs to earn it. We have a 7 yr old & do star charts on & off. He always comes up w/the reward & it's usually not a toy, he wants mine or my husband's time. Maybe in the beginning set the expectation of stars low so he gets the reward & the concept & then slowly raise the bar of expectation. Also, lay on the praise thick when he talks w/o crying. In the beginning, do both of these for very everything even the shortest of sentences or requests so that he gets the idea. Eventually, you should be able to taper off on the praise & start chart as he'll know what is expeted of him. Tell the school what you're doing so they can try something similar there, too. Make sure your husband is on board & any other family members or adults who come in contact w/him so they won't respond to his crying. Again, the key is consistency....don't give in & stay strong! Good luck & hope this helps!

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It sounds like the crying worked for him for alot of years so it will be hard to now change your families pattern but not impossible. It will take alot of patience on your part and a boundery that says this behavior can never work again in your home. That means the younger ones too. So with lots of love and careful thought to what you say no to or what you ask him to do, you need to be ready to stick it out and not give in ever, ever again.Every time you have given in has cemented it in his mind that it works. You might want to start on the weekend or when ever your husband will be home for a few days to help. Kids have great endurance and when you change the pattern of responce he is not going to give up easily. I would even talk to him about this new family way so he goes into it knowing mom and dad have made a new rule. He is old enough to get this.Make it a special time with mom and dad so he sees you are united. Tell him he is special to you and getting to be such a big boy and that it is important for him to not cry to manipulate situations. Tell him how you feel about his crying and how you see it affecting him. Let him know what will happen if he starts crying such as going to his room or a chair. Once you make a decision and he cries about it reasure him that you hear him but you are not changeing your mind. And stick to it. You can tell him to remove himself from the room to his bedroom if he can't stop the tears. He needs to learn it is not going to work any more and the first place will be at home. As far as school I don't know the dinamics there so I can't say. Try to not get emotionally involved when he starts the crying. Talk to your self, reasure your self that you are the only person who can teach him differently.Learning this will make his life better even though it's painful to stick it out.remember it's all he knows and he will learn differently with you. Good luck . I was reminded of something after reading other responces which there are some great ideas by the way, And one thing I did with my son because I always say he got all the drama, is I asked him how he would feel if everytime he asked me for something I bursted out whinning and crying. Like mom can I have breakfast and I start thrown a tempertantrum. This Has made us laugh together ,he thought it was funny to see mom act like that and he saw how it was when he acts like that. So this was a great way for us to smile about it. Then as soon as I would hear the attitude coming I'd say oh do you know what I hear and he gets a smile and can correct it. He is 8 now and wonderful.

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Does crying get him out of doing stuff? I'd say be firm about following through with making him do what you've asked even if he's crying. If you tough it out, it'll probably only take a couple of days until he realizes that crying is not working for him anymore. Kids learn really fast. You sound like you're very patient and your son will learn quickly with your guidance.

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I know it's hard but you can't give into him. It will be very hard on you at first but when he realizes that the crying doesn't give him his way anymore he will stop and before long he won't even start to cry anymore. Also having a time out chair or spot works wonders kids will do just about anything not to have to sit in time out, just remember that it's 1 min. per year of age and before they get up go down to his level and have them tell you why he is sitting there and that he's sorry.

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You might try changing the way you think about parenting. Try making you and your husband the primary family (where you and him decide when it is time to eat, what to eat, when to play, etc.) and the children are welcome additions to your family. My husband and I have 6 boys- ages 3 to 16, and we started out headed the same direction by avoiding conflicts and giving in to our child's wishes most of the time, but we started seeing that it was making him insecure- not being able to handle so much responsiblity. We decided to not give any choices to him for a while until his attitude reflected that he was stable enough to handle it. Then we would give him the right to choose between A or B. We now feel it is our responsibilty to train our children to obey right away, all the way and with a happy spirit. Trainig your child's heart is a trickey thing, but God's Word has much to say about it. A resourse that has been helpful to us is a course called Growing Kid's God's Way by Gary & Anne Marie Ezzo. L. T

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What seems to be working with my son who is 3 is when he throws a fit which I think is probably on the same lines as your 6 year old crying, I put him in his room. He absolutely hates going to his room so when I see a tantrum coming, I give him a choice of going to his room or doing whatever it is I've asked him to do. 99% of the time he chooses the latter. Granted, going to his room for a 6 year won't be as effective but there might be something else that would work for you. The only other suggestion I can make is just to completely ignore it. He learned that crying got him what he wanted in the past so now you're just going to absolutely not give in anymore. It's a habit that you're going to have to help him break and this means tough love on your part.

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The best thing to do is start them young. You gave in to his demands early. You shouldn't have. Now he just continues what you started. BUT, it's not ever too late to change that and on your younger ones also.

What worked with my son will work for yours. If he whines for something don't give it to him. Make his whining counterproductive. If he whines for ice cream then he doesn't get any and tell him he doesn't because he whined and he can eat some with the the family the next time you get ice cream and then continue eating your ice cream without him eating his. You can also add a little spat with some sort of paddle or switch to his lower leg to reinforce your no. Not a beating and don't raise your voice like you're angry. Have a pleasant smile. It will make him wonder why you are so pleasant when saying no. Keep your calm. He will test you and keep whining but if you remain your will over his you will win. He's asserting his will over yours to see what all he can get away with and it will continue a lifetime of whining or some form of manipulation to get his own way unless you start now. All children do this in some form or another. He will be happier to have limits place upon him. Anyway, I could go in more detail but let me send you to the people I learned it from:http://www.nogreaterjoy.org/

You can do a search on their site and it will bring up those topics. Or, you can order their 4 books on child training for a very low cost. Something under or close to $20.00 total. Anything you search for online for the child raising and training are in these books.

Hope this helps.

K.

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Let him know that he has to be a big boy because he has to be the big brother, and he must use his words rather than crying all the time. If he continues maybe it would be a great time to discuss this with his pediatrician and ask a professional what they think you should do. It seems to me that he has made it his way of controlling everyone by crying. It worked at home so he carried on into school. But I really think a professional would be better to give an opinion. It could be something else. Your children are important and my opinion should not count in this matter....

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What I think you should do is don't give in to his crying because he know nows that it works. if this was my child I would give her a good SPANKEN!!! that is what I will do. I think you had made a big mistake by giving him what he wants when he cries.

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It sounds like more firmness is needed. You don't need to become angry nor do you need to add on any consecquences. Simply let him experience the consequences of his own behavior. For instance, if he has perhaps a favorite show that you let him watch, let him know that he may do this once the homework is done. If he needs support then offer it without giving him the answers. When the crying begins, show no sympathy, let him know that it is up to him as to whether or not he will get to watch the program (or whatever it is) and then leave him to it. If all he wants to do is cry then do no sit there as an audience. Once there is no audience and it is up to him, the homework will get done.
Excuse him from the table when he cries and do no offer him any more food until the next meal. He will not starve. Let him know that you hope that he will feel more like eating next time.
You know that he is not hurt and you need to know that this will help him to control his own behavior and he will be much happier for it. You will begin to see results quite soon, but you must be consistent. If you cave in, he will become worse, knowing that if he just persists long enough that you will do whatever it is that he wants you to do. You can do this.

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Hi C.,

What worked for me (although I started this when my boys were younger) is to tell them I can't hear them when they're "fussing." I would ask them to use their words. And I wouldn't respond to them until they expressed themselves without being fussy or pitching a fit. Then I would give them my answer. If they responded with fussing or a fit I would be firm that the answer stayed the answer and that fussing wouldn't make it change, but if they wanted to fuss, that was fine, as long as they did it somewhere else (like their room), and that I would be very happy when they were done so we could continue with whatever it was we were doing.

Crying is healthy and has its place. Fussing and fits are different. I wanted them to know the difference.

I have three boys, 17, 15, and almost 13 now. They're extremely enjoyable to be around and do things with. And they know that when I say yes or no I stand by what I say. (Which means I learned to choose my battles early--thank God, because they're REALLY bright, at at the age they are now, I'm very grateful for their respect.)

Hope this helps!
K.

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Oooh, that's a tough one. Is he stressed out about the changes going on at home? .. check out the resources at gfi.org my husband and I found some great books that helped us to see what we were doing wrong and the suggestions on changes we needed to make were awesome.

R.

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I know how frustrating that is. What we've done is tell them to either go to their room until they're done crying or take them ourselves and let them stay there until they're done. We also suggest nap time (which settles the youngest down quickly). Make sure to explain that this behavior is not acceptable and that if he starts crying because he's not getting his way then he'll have to spend time in his room by himself because he's not being fair to you (or however you wish to word it to work for you).

The first day or so is going to be ugly but if you start on a Friday afternoon and work through the weekend (with plenty of ear plugs) you might have the behavior modified by Sunday night. The important thing is to stand firm and not give in.

Good luck--giving the tools to figure out how to deal with disappointment/displeasure on his own is a very important gift. :) Make sure you tell us how it goes--M.

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It's so hard to juggle everything. My sympathize with you.
What kind of consequences do you give him?
Change the dance (the way you discipline). (Children have a way to training us more than we train them!:) When you and husband decide a limit setting style, when he cries, respond in a neutral tone, don't let him know that he has power over your frustration. Acknowledge how hard it is for him and "I still need you to...", if he doesn't follow through implement consequences, it can be something that he values (losing play dates, watching TV, loss of privilege, find his currency.) Frustrate his wants and not his needs. It will get worst before it gets better, he will to test you over and over and need to know that you mean what you say. Let your "yes" be yes and "no" be no. Children need clear boundaries so that they can be secure of who they are. You can do it! A book I like is Boundaries with kids. What church does your husband work at? Let me know how it goes.
I'm a mom with 4 children. Ages 7, 6, 4, 1yr old.

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I agree with most of what I read in the comments..the best thing would be for him to be able to accept responsibilities appropriately. It is perfectly ok for him to be a sensitive soul...but crying for things that are expected of pretty much all children is not ok. I also have 4 boys and 2 girls. One of my boys is 6 and he does get a little winey at times and will raise his voice to the older siblings when they bug him. He would cry on occasion when he came home from kinder last year but that quit after a few months and he just learned to accept the responsibility of it. He will cry on occasion if he is very tired but not for things that are expected of him...like homework or chores. I will tell you that I know a boy who I met at around 6 and was very emotional...cried for every little thing....not just small tears here. Parents see nothing wrong with it....just an emotional personality. Let me tell you this.....he is 10 now...and this behavior is not very becoming. Snip it in the butt now...this will be the best thing you can teach him...The other parents gave some great advice to get you started. Best of wishes...God Bless

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Hi C.,
Try not responding to his crying. Tell him that he needs to use words. You can't understand crying. It will be hard at first and his crying may escalate and it should drop off in time. If you are asking him to do something, stick with it just pretend you don't hear his crying. I have found the hardest part of this technique is knowing when the crying is real and not ignoring real needs. I should add, be sure to give him lot of attention when he doesn't respond with crying. A good book for dialogging skill with children is "Parent Effectiveness Training" by Dr. Thomas Gordon.
Good luck,
D.
Mom and Grandma
Retired elementary and early childhood teacher
CranioSacral Therapist

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As difficult as it is, you must set the limit and do not back down. For 6 1/2 years, crying has got your son exactly what he wanted- it worked and it is how he has learned to get what he needs. He now needs to understand crying will not get him what he needs. The only way this will work is if you and every other adult in charge are consistent, regardless of the time and energy it will take to hold him to the limit. Being firm and consistent will be very difficult, but will get easier as time goes on (when he realizes crying won't work). Good luck!

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Tough love! Don't give him anything if he cries. Tell him he can go cry in his room and come out when he is ready to ask in a normal voice.

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Hi C.,

My Three year old started going through that about 6 months ago and I learned to be firm but gentle with her when I ask her to do things. She learned that if she cried she would bring out my sensitive side and I would either give in or just stop asking.

I started getting down to her level when she would start crying and ask her why she was crying, and when she could not give me an answer I would explain to her that her behavior was unacceptable and crying simply because I asked her to do something was not very nice. It took a few times before I would remember right away to change my behavior first, but soon I was getting down on my knees as soon as she would start crying and soon it stopped. Not that she now does what I ask her to right away…now what she does is curl up in the fetal position on the floor and wait for me to react. Now that I know she understands what is going on though and that her behavior is unacceptable She gets a time out when she does not do what I ask her to. Usually just the mention of a time out changes her attitude. So far so good  Good luck to you!

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Hi C.,

There is a book I purchased that I LOVE called "The No Cry Discipline Solution" by Elizabeth Pantley. I've recommended it here many times. Here's the link to check it out:

http://www.amazon.com/No-Cry-Discipline-Solution-Encourag...

It provides multiple simple solutions to try and allows you to decide when it is working without feeling like a failure if it doesn't work the first time.

When my daughter cries for something I put my hands behind my ears and say "what? I can't hear what you are saying when you cry. Can you say that again?" sometimes 3 times in a row. And usually it works. I praise her good behavior and try not to react to her crying. You can tell when it is a real cry and a whiney cry. Tantrums are a whole other deal. I really hope you can figure this out for your mental health and your families. The smaller children will follow suit if they see it works.

Another idea that has worked with me is to pick your battles. Is it really that bad if he wants to eat a Reese's peanut butter cup before dinner? Yeah it is not a great idea but maybe he could cut it in half now and have the other half after dinner. I don't know the extent of your disagreements but sometimes a "deal" is a way for the child to act out his independence. I'm sure the "spanken" mom's would disagree, but love gets the best reaction. Doesn't want to take a bath before bed? Okay, but you WILL take one in the morning AND help daddy rake the leaves. You will be amazed at what kids will agree to and keep their word when they feel they can be in charge. It boggles my mind. It's a game show in my house. But my kids happy and so are we.

J. P

1 mom found this helpful

Do not get angry.
Be matter of fact.
Give him a choice. He can either do x or y, or present consequences in a nonthreatening manner, such as, if you don't want to eat, that's fine, but just know you'll have to wait to eat until I make the next meal. Then stick to it. If he cries because he's hungry you can tell him that the next meal is at xx time, and then ignore him if he continues to cry.

When you say he does this at school does it he do it only while you are there or does it continue after you leave? If it's the latter you'll have to come up with a game plan with his teacher.

The best parenting book out there in my opinion is called The Parent's Handbook, put out by STEP, written by Don Dinkmeyer. It teaches you techniques that will help you in any situation. They also have books specific to young children and teenagers but this is the basic book that covers all ground. Here's a link it at Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Parents-Handbook-Don-Dinkmeyer-Sr/d...

EDIT: Okay, this is full of suckitude, I can't respond again, so thus I resort to editing.

Annie has some good advice. The Parent's Handbook will help you with what she is talking about. She makes a good point about transitions, and sometimes it's the tone.

Also, I'm not saying let your child go hungry all the time, however there are times when letting your child skip a meal due to a decision THEY make will help them understand consequences. Example: My daughter didn't want what I was making for breakfast, I wasn't about to go through the effort of making her an entire breakfast all to herself. I told her that the food she wanted would have to wait till lunch time (she wanted ramen, I was making pancakes). She wouldn't eat a pancake, though I offered it. Thirty minutes later she changed her mind and ate her pancake. That was just this morning.

1 mom found this helpful

Don't do anything. My experience tells me that when a child is crying in that matter he or she has either experienced a big emotional trauma that they aren't likely to forget, or they've seen something. Or they are sensitive by nature. The last thing a sensitive boy needs is for those around him to tell him he's annoying. I do suggest giving him plenty of paper and markers and paints and crayons to draw out his feelings and what he is going through. What's revealed in the paper might give clues as to what the real trauma is.

Another big red flag is the Youth Group. It means now that extra time is being spent with other children or it could mean that there is a predator in the Youth Group that is singling out your son to tease or torment (very common in Youth Groups---my ex-husband was also a youth group minister).

1 mom found this helpful

Hi, C.. Well, I think you've identified the source of your problem already! By giving in to your son's crying, you trained him to cry for what he wants. Why not? It works! To break him of it, you're going to have to hang tough and not give in to his tears. Explain to him that those days are gone, and be prepared for the tears - he'll probably cry harder, raising the stakes in order to get what he wants. I know of some kids who are willing to take it to the point of hysteria, puking, and fits. Again, it's because it works. So, don't let it work anymore. I know some parents who use disincentives to reinforce cooperation ("do your homework now, or you will lose a privilege - dessert, tv watching, etc.") That didn't work for my daughter; we use incentives (we have a chart for marking down points for cooperation. Good points earn a privilege; movie night, a small item she has her eye on, a new book.)

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

First of all,DO NOT PUNISH THIS CHILD FOR CRYING!!!!!!! This is what he has been taught to do. Now he needs to learn not to do it. I know it's driving you crazy, but it going to take time. You will need to be calm,patient and firm with him.I would sit down with him and explain to him that the crying will no longer continue,why and what will happen when he cries unnecessarilly. I would suggest that when he cries you tell him(in a very calm tone and do this every time!) that when he stops crying you would be happy to talk to him or do what ever it is that he needs. This is the hard part, DO NOT GIVE HIM ANY ATTENTION WHILE HE CRIES!!! If you need to move him to another room pick him up calmly, move him and remind him again when he is finished crying you would be happy to talk to him. Be very careful to listen for him to stop crying, it's very easy to get distracted and tune it out.As soon as he stops praise him and ask him what it is he wanted to do or what ever it is you wanted him to do. You also need to talk to his teacher and tell he/she what your plan is to help your son to stop crying to be sure that person is on the same page.Do not be frustrated him eventually this will pass.

1 mom found this helpful

You created this problem with your son and now you have to undo it by being nothing but consistent. Your son is now old enough to understand what you say to him.

Start by having a conversation with him and telling him that the crying is not acceptable any more. Give him examples of how you want him to communicate and then begin the tough love.

1. You need to NOT give in to his crying anymore. It will be tough at first but he will get it as long as you stay consistent.

2. If he is crying and talking to you, you tell him that you cannot understand him when he is crying and he needs to use a normal voice. Do not respond or give him what he wants until he asks you nicely.

I am a first grade teacher and being consistent and strong and clear in your expectations is key.

1 mom found this helpful

This is something I'd ask a behaviorist. Obviously, he learned early on that you respond positively to his crying. You both need to be retrained. I don't know what would be the most loving way to do it, but I do know that it will be an act of kindness to help him to resolve this behavior as soon as possible and it will make your life more pleasant. It's going to negatively impact his friendships. One or two sessions with a competent behaviorist should get the job done quickly and efficiently. Ask the school counselor to suggest someone. These are learned habits. It takes 90 days of practice to unlearn (completely resolve) an unwanted behavior, so be patient with both of you.

Maybe, he is insecure about something, and need to let him talk to you about his fears. It may take a long time for him to talk about it, and I would listens to him however long it will take...he doesn't understand what he is doing wrong and wants to know how to do what is right...when he sees your frustration it makes it worse...just be firm and relax with a smile...go in another room where it's quiet. Try that...please let's me know how he is doing. I am also a Sunday School Teacher and teaches ages from 5-12...I can relate to that!

Let him cry. You've trained him to cry everytime you want him to do something he doesn't want to do. Sometimes it's easier to just give in, but then you end up with unwanted behavior.

It'll take some time to "de-program" him, but once he realizes that his crying isn't going to get him his own way, he'll stop.

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