12 answers

My 5 Year Old Son Is Crying About Almost Everything...

So for the past couple of days my son has been on a crying spell. Don't know why and it's getting really old. For whatever reason he'll start crying when he doesn't get his way or when he doesn't like what is being said. I have tried to ask him why he is crying and he's normal response is I don't like what you say mommy. That is getting old as well. My mom even talked to him last night about the crying and how he should act like a big boy. I've tried to ignore it but then it gets worse. I've tried to talk to him and tell him that if he's good, good things happens. So far he has T.V. taken away till tomorrow night. I don't know what to do. He did this same thing a couple of weeks ago and he ended up getting a lot of his toys taken away. He got them all back knowing that if he started acting up again they will be given away and he can't get them back. He's 5 years old and a good kid. Just the crying needs to stop and I'm running out of ideas about how to help him and how to change this behavior he thinks he can get away with.

*Ok let me rephrase what happened a couple weeks ago. There was more than crying to it. He wasn't listening, not doing what I asked him to do and pretty much he wasn't getting his way. I'm not in telling him boys don't cry. I'm trying to raise him in a way that he knows it's ok to show emotion. The crying is when he doesn't get his way or he doesn't like what he hears. I'm very open to him about his feelings. I do talk to him about his feelings so that I can get a feel of what's going on in his head. Again I am NOT telling him boys don't cry. I much rather his express himself with emotions than not have him express emotions at all.*

*My son does have a cool down spot and it's in his room. I walk him in there, sit him down and try to talk to him. If he keeps crying I tell him that I'll be back when he's calm and we'll try to talk again. I'm not trying to be a "bad mom" to my son. I do talk to him and love up on him. All I know I can do is love up on him and tell him that no matter what I will always love him. All I'm asking for is advise on how to go about him talking about his feelings and showing them in a way where he can get across what he wants/needs. That's all I'm asking for.*

1 mom found this helpful

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Well after sitting down with him days before I typed this out he was telling me nothing was bothering him. This morning though he finally told me what was bothering him and I sat there with him listening to what he had to say. I told him that he could tell me anything that is bothering him and not to hold it all inside. He didn't tell his daddy what was bothering him. So I think this is a good start for us. I'm still going to look up the book that one of the mom's suggested and read it. I'm hoping that he continues on telling me what is bothering him no matter how small it is. Thanks.

More Answers

Your post breaks my heart. Your son is only 5 years old. It seems from your post that you are punishing him for being unable to communicate whatever is hurting/bothering him in an adult manner because "his crying is getting old". That is so sad. I feel bad for him.

You really need to work with him to get him to communicate what he is feeling. Has something changed at home? New baby, job, something significant? Something at school? There has got to be something going on in this boy's world to make him suddenly start acting like this. And this change may seem insignificant to you, but to him, it is obviously noteworthy. It could be simply he is feeling a little more emotional lately. Adults are entitled to that, why aren't children? Maybe he feels your annoyance?

You also state that he did this a couple weeks ago and you took things away from him at that point, but that he started acting up again. So, I would say taking his toys and things away is not working.

Talk to him, but don't expect him to act like an adult. And I would stop punishing him for his lack of communication skills. That is all this crying is
(again, based upon the facts shared here). You have given us no indication he is "acting out" or misbehaving other than crying.

4 moms found this helpful

I agree with the other poster - if this is not his usual behavior then he may be getting sick, getting teeth or molars, having a growth spurt, seasonal allergies, etc. I am cranky too when I am tired or don't feel well. Has he been sleeping well? Hard to say what to do unless you have the whole picture. And sometimes you can't pinpoint "this hurts" but you are just "off". If you perceive he is just acting spoiled and wants his way, then you are doing the right thing. You may a try a totally different approach and give him a great big hug and cuddles and tell him you just want him to be happy and you love him. Some kids are super-sensitive to tone of voice or volume (mine are) so perhaps you are projecting anger or annoyance without being aware of it, and some cuddling might counteract that. But this super sensitivity is evident from birth, at least in my kids. Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful

I agree with both Mommas, Teenmom and CaWriterMom. Your little guy sounds like there might be something underlying there. Allergies, growth spurt, teething, getting sick, not sleeping well...Even down to a change in school, friends, etc.

Next time it happens, just squeeze him in a big hug and tell him how much you love him. Sit on the couch with him and rock him back and forth.

Try it a few times. It may take a while for him to understand that you aren't going to punish him and that he's being understood.

2 moms found this helpful

Why punish him for being over-emotional. That sends the wrong message. 5 year old children cannot articulate their emotions and can cry for a variety of reason - happy, sad, frustrated, scared - you name it.

Instead of taking away privileges, teach him the words he needs to express himself. Ask him leading questions when he cries. "Are you hungry" "Are you mad" etc. Teach him how to calm himself down - "okay, I know you are upset, but Mommy can't help you figure out what is wrong when you cry like this. So, let's take a deep breath, out with the bad in with good" Once he learns how to calm himself down, and you teach him to better articulate his feelings, the crying will cease.

So ease up on him, teach him better ways to communicate, and he will grow up being able to handle and express emotions.

2 moms found this helpful

Any signs he may be getting sick or have an ear infection? If this came on suddenly, that might be what's going on. Our daughter was super fussy last week (lots of time outs) and then got a fever and threw up on Saturday.

2 moms found this helpful

I'm pretty sure your son would like the crying to stop, too. For him to be able to do that in a healthy way, without denying or suppressing his feelings, you (or a professional) will need to help him get to the bottom of his unhappiness.

This isn't happening without some cause, and whether that's patterns that have developed in his life, or a chemical imbalance in his brain, he can't just make it go away. He has even less emotional control than an adult, and I don't know a single grownup who can make their feelings change at will. Punishing to change a feeling doesn't work – it can just cause the feelings to go underground. But they'll eventually emerge in some other way, and the connection can be invisible and even more puzzling.

I hope you will get a wise and very readable book called How to Talk So Kids Will Listen, and Listen So Kids Will Talk, by Faber and Mazlish. It teaches a series of really simple techniques that can help you draw out your son, help him find the basis of his unhappiness, and even help the two of you find solutions. Kids can be pretty amazing problem-solvers when they are given support and some basic tools.

Please try the ideas in this book. You may end up wondering how you got along without it. (I've used it for the last 2.5 years with my 5yo grandson, and it's pretty fantastic.)

2 moms found this helpful

Another workaround for him not really being able to communicate his feelings is to give him alternatives for what he can/should do in these situations. What ways would be acceptable to you for him to express those feelings? Some parents would not allow any expression of displeasure at the things you've mentioned (not getting his way or not liking what he's being told), but kids his age need some way to express their feelings. If they express it in the acceptable way (I always tell my son to say that he is disappointed or angry--he is also 5), then you can validate that. "I understand that you are angry about ___, but we still have to get ready for bed/leave the park/whatever thing he doesn't want to do." Really, about a year ago my son would cry at the drop of a hat. Every single thing set him off. I understand how trying it is. But now he rarely cries without a very good reason like being hurt or sick or something. So it may be that he will grow up a little, get better at understanding and expressing his emotions, and he will basically grow out of it. The only way I can see to speed that up is to teach him how to express negative emotions.

2 moms found this helpful

How is his sleep? I am a firm believer that lack of sleep can dictate behavioral problems. If he hasn't been sleeping well lately, this might be a cause. Besides that, I agree with the other mommas( allergies, getting sick, etc. ). Sit your child down , face to face, and talk to him in a loving way. Do this for several days, try to get to the root of the problem and hopefully things will get better. Good luck to u!

1 mom found this helpful

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