Question: My 19 month old son has been crying/whining over everything for the past 4-5 months. It is really beginning to wear me down. Nothing I do makes him happy.
The thing is, his cry really isn’t a cry at all (although it does sound real, there are no tears) and he can turn it off in a split second. I call it a fake cry, but he does it constantly. If he can’t reach his drink, he cries, I try to put on his jacket, he cries, I tell him no, he cries. Anything… everything… he cries. I don’t know what to do anymore.
When it first started, I tried ignoring him and got nowhere. I have tried talking softly to him. I have tried diverting his attention and I get nothing. I am at my wits end. I just want to cry because I feel like such a horrible mom and I don’t know what to do.
When he is happy, he is a wonderful little boy but he can go from happy and laughing to screaming and throwing a fit in a split second. And when it starts, it is next to impossible to get him back to being a calm, relaxed child.
Please help me figure out what to do with him.
Answer: Dear Stephanie:
I can understand how frustrated and tired you must be. Have you checked to see if he is getting his two year old molars in? Sometimes these back teeth can make an otherwise happy child quite whiny for several months.
If not then let’s try a few things. Really make over him when he is doing what you want him to do. When he doesn’t whine really notice it and let him know how proud you are of him.
Next, let him know you want him to use his words and his big boy voice. Also, make sure he has plenty of words to express his frustration. Often children create in us the same feelings they are feeling. As frustrated as you are he maybe trying to communicate how frustrated he is in communicating with others.
Do you do any nightly massages with him? Check his routine, is it consistent? Try reading prior postings on routines for children.
M Kay Keller