Fake Crying. How to Curb It to a Full Stop.

Updated on August 28, 2009
J.V. asks from Las Vegas, NV
5 answers

Hi every body! I'm hoping you all are having a wonderful day. Now lately my son has been doing a fake cry for whenever he doesn't like something. For example tonight at dinner I told he had to try what I made and he was to eat the rest of his dinner. It started out fine until I told him to eat up his apple sauce and that I would like him to try something new. I don't even know how to describe his fake cry but it is one that really gets under my skin. I've tried to talk to him about every time he starts or I ignore him until he stops. I've even tried time out but he keeps it going when I tell him I'm not starting the time. I'm not sure what to do about it. I've taken away toys as well and cut dinner short if he starts it then. So have any of you guys gone through this? If so what worked for you? Please I would love to stop it now because I find it so very rude for him to do.


1 mom found this helpful

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So What Happened?

As of right now he has stopped the fake crying but I will try the stuff that you guys suggested. I'm even reading Nanny to the Rescue by Michelle Larowe to get more ideas on how to handle the situation and other situations. Thanks to all the moms.

More Answers



answers from Honolulu on

Well, you are not alone as most kids do this.
Even teens do this... so although older, they still have it in them. LOL

Anyway, try not to show that it is irritating you... try to stay neutral, show him proper ways or tones of voice to get what he wants or requests.
I always tell my son, who just made 3 years old: "Say it nicely, I know you know how...." and then, I make a poker face and wait. But I don't show irritation. I also taught him the word "respect." Then I wait... and then he giggles and says it nicely... just like he DOES know how. Then all is fine and I praise him. Then I reinforce "we are a team, right? Thanks for helping Mommy, & talking nice..." and then he tells me "My Mommy happy now...." and then he smiles and give me a big hug.

If my son does get whiney... well, I ignore it and reinforce "how do you ask politely???" and then I wait. And I wait. I wait and do other things... but I don't use any rewards/punishments such as food or time-outs etc., to get my point across. For my son, just knowing that I am either "happy" or "cross" is enough of an incentive for him. And then that way, he can become self-directed about it and yet still "express" himself.... but in a 'nicer' way. So he is learning about more positive communication.

MOST kids will whine at various ages. In different ways.
3 years old, can be hard... especially with communication and moods. So instead of concentrating on "rewards/bribes" or "punishments"... (for me), I concentrate on teaching positive/effective communication instead... and showing that it gets results. Good results. And I praise for it.
I allow for transgressions to a point.... meaning, as long as my kids are trying "their best...." then that to me, is a "result" I am looking for. I don't expect "perfection" EACH SINGLE TIME... but just tell them "try your best... how can you say it differently???"

And, when my kids are "faking" it... I tell them "I know you are faking it..." Period. Then they know they can't yank my chain or press my buttons. I also tell them "I can't read your mind... so tell me, nicely, so that I understand..." what you want.

Or, I tell them "how can you problem solve that? If you don't like something or don't want something... then how do you say that, INSTEAD of whining?" Then I wait. Then they think and I see their wheels turning... then my son, will typically change his tone-of-voice. And he gets proud. Then we 'high-five.'
That way, they can be a PART of the communicating, instead of being just talked "at" about it. Then they learn.

Kids will learn about "rudeness" and HOW to be polite over time, but not over night. At this age, they are still learning about socialization and are not experts yet.

A real great book is "Your 3 Year Old" which you can get from www.amazon.com It is a series of books for each age-set and describes the quirks/behavior of each age in an easy to read way. Although written years ago, it is STILL very pertinent.

Just keep reinforcing, in positive ways, about being polite and HOW to communicate. And yes, even if it means ignoring it until he stops, then do so. OR, ask him "WHY do you do that???" and in the case of my daughter, she's given me explanations I never would have thought of... sometimes she is just fed-up with me too... because maybe previously in the day, I was too busy to recognize a need in her. And then, she acted out about it, later. A 'delayed" reaction to it. So its interesting.... and I learned from her too.

I would not however, use "food" as a punishment or reward. Food is food... and it should not be brought into the realm of "emotion" based eating or not. Make meal-times "fun" and not about just eating a quota of food for eating sake. Or kids get hang-up about food and meal time. In time, they will try other things. My Mom, used to "make" us eat liver... she liked it. But not me. As a child, I hated dinner for that reason. Each person, child or not, has food preferences, and it changes throughout life. As I child, I would NOT EVER have eaten "liver" at-will... just because. I rather starve that eat that. Even now. So even if my Mom punished me for not eating liver... well then, so be it. Its not fair, though.

All the best,
just some thoughts and what I do, that have worked with my kids,

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Hi J.:
You've recieved some good responses. I especially liked what SH had to say.I will simply repeat what she had to say about childrens eating habits. It's never A good idea to force your child to eat every bite on his plate.It creates poor eating habits,and can make meal time A dreaded experience.You want your son to enjoy eating.Meals should be A calm pleasant time.At three,your son is experimenting,and should be able to relay to you,his mother as to what he finds pleasing to his pallet.There's nothing wrong with introducing new foods,and requesting he try it,but try not to take it as a slap in the face,when he doesn't find something appealing. Instead of making it an issue,or battle,take it away,and try introducing it another time. I wish you and your growing son the best.J. M

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

Hey J., know you are not alone. Fake crying, temper tantrums, fighting, it is all there.

Bewfore i begin, please understand that it is not rude when a 3 year old is looking for attention. He is 3. He is doing what he knows works to get the attention he is seeking. He may have seen it on tv or a movie or even he may have thought of it on his own. But know that one time that he did it, he got the desired result so he does it again.

#1. Don't buy into it. Say nicely and firmly, "we don't do that is this family. If you want something you ask for it." Then look at him and wait. If he continues say, "we don't do that is this family. If you want something you ask for it." Then let it be. You are the adult. you can decide what bothers you and what doesn't. Contiune about your business. When he sees you mean that to be part of the family he has to ask for what he wants, then he will do just that. But if you continually reward his negative behaviour by giving him the attention he is demanding, you are reinforcing that behaviour.

#2. Find out the trigger to this behaviour. Is it around dinner time? Is it at another specific time of the day? Is it after he eats certain foods? Is it early in the morning? There is always a pattern for behaviour. As the mom, it is your responsibilty to find the pattern and interupt it.

#3. Please do not put ear plugs in your ears. My goodness, your child will think you are trying to ignore him and he will only get louder.

#4. Taking toys away and time outs do not work. They really don't.

#5. Focus on the behaviours you want and praise those. If he came to the table nicely, tell him so. If he washed his hands, praise him. He is 3 years old. He needs to know what is right and what is wrong THROUGH MODELING AND EXAMPLES, not punishment and consequences.

#6. What is he eating for breakfast? As a nutritional family coach there is so much behaviour that comes from eating the wrong foods first thing in the morning and throughout the day. You may be VERY surprised that what you are feeding him, may kick later in the day and make him unbearable.

If you want to chat, feel free to contact me.

Family Family Coach.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from San Diego on


I know how you feel. My 3 year old son did the same thing. It sounds like your son might be doing it a bit more than mine, but it is grating on the nerves!

I started telling him to leave the table, the living room, the yard, where ever you were. Go to his room until he's done and return to us when he's ready to behave like a "big boy". I'd say something like "we don't whine at the dinner table, so please go to your room and finish there. When you're done you can come back and join us."

That really worked because it took the audience away from the behavior. I didn't scold him because I didn't want to draw more attention to it. I also didn't say anything about being naughty or bad. Just simply didn't want that behavior at the table with us.

He still tries to do it every once in a while, but he knows what I'm going to say and it usually stops him in his tracks. I hope that helps!


1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Diego on

I'd say ignore it. Every time. Get earplugs if you have to. He keeps doing it because he keeps getting your attention, even if it's negative. It'll probably get worse before it gets better, but it won't stop until he learns that it won't get him anywhere.

1 mom found this helpful