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My three year old cries about EVERYTHING!

He cries when he knocks over his sippy cup, he cries when his toy falls over, he cries when he forgot to take his book, he cries when I take him to go potty, he cries when I wash his hair, he cries when I offer him food, he cries when the dog is put outside, he cries when I put on the "wrong" pair of shoes, he cries when his Wall E shirt is dirty and he has to wear another, etc, etc. I could go on all day. I don't know what to do about it. The crying is sooo annoying. I feel like I have tried everything. I get so frustrated at times I yell at him to stop crying, or bribe him by telling him I will buy him a toy if he won't cry anymore. I am just totally exhuasted by his crying over every little thing. What can I do?!?


Asked by Anonymous at 4:18 PM on Feb. 21, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

This question is closed.
Answers (8)
  • This article could be of great help to you -

    Answer by ladysavage at 4:23 PM on Feb. 21, 2009

  • Welcome to the Terrible Three's- they're WAY worse than the two's. I don't know why, but they are.

    I ignore my daughter when she starts that, because there is just no reason in the world for her to be melting down like that so many times in one day. Eventually when she realizes that nobody is paying her any attention, she'll stop.

    You need to explain to him, in a calm voice (which is hard, I know), even when he's yelling and screaming over you, that you'll listen to him when he calms down and can talk to you in a normal voice and tell you what he wants. Until then, just walk away. He'll eventually get the message that screaming, yelling and crying will get him nowhere fast.

    Answer by .Peaches. at 4:21 PM on Feb. 21, 2009

  • OP here- That is the weird thing. He isn't throwing temper tantrums. He is not screaming and yelling. He is just flat out crying. Like very sad crying. The kind of crying kids do when they realize their mommy is leaving them with a babysitter. I feel terrible and so sorry for him when he does this. It is just so sad, but in high doses it is sooo frustrating.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:25 PM on Feb. 21, 2009

  • The threes are WAAAAAY worse than the twos. Maybe he has an underlying problem, like a toothache or gas. Try talking to him or distracting him by doing something else at the same time you are doing something that normally upsets him. For example, Ask him to do something for you while you let the dog out. Ask him to go in the other room and retrieve something (like a kleenex) and let him know how helpful he was so he doesnt notice that the dog has been let out. Just an idea. I never really had that problem.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:39 PM on Feb. 21, 2009

  • OK, because my 3 year old screams lol. But she doesn't do that for long because I give her 'The Look' and she knows Mommy means business.

    Is he a sensitive child? Sensitive children tend to get irritated and frustrated with the world around them and just resort to tears more often. I know-I was a sensitive child and still am (I don't cry like that anymore though lol). Maybe he's just at a loss of understanding that's just the way it is sometimes.

    Answer by .Peaches. at 5:08 PM on Feb. 21, 2009

  • Is he alone with anyone else during the day?? Maybe he's gotten yelled at for it??
    Otherwise, I would just say he's just trying to be more autonomous, and knocking over whatever, ect, upsets him because he really wants to do it on his own, but when these "bad" things happen it makes him feel limited.
    Just calmly say: "It's okay, we all spill, why don't we clean it up together?" As for the rest of it, explain what you're going to do as you're doing it. And for the clothes, do NOT let him change his shirts unless YOU think it's necessary. You don't want to fuel OCD, and allowing him to change constantly whenever he wants can do that.

    Answer by mrseum at 5:11 PM on Feb. 21, 2009

  • he needs more sleep.

    Answer by princezzmommie at 6:26 PM on Feb. 21, 2009

  • It sounds like he is extra sensitive - also a form of "spirited" children. You may get some use out of reading Raising Your Spirited Child by Mary Sheedy Kurcinka.  I would try reflecting back to your son the emotion he is experiencing, that you understand why he is sad, and then help him understand the why's and how's of life.  And when you are frustrated, just make sure YOU take a mommy time-out.  Also, just keep talking to him calmly whenever you are doing something or going to do something.  If you know something's going to happen that will make him upset, let him know if advance what it is and that it's okay to be upset.  But life will happen whether we like it or not.  Alas, it's something we must all learn!


    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 6:36 PM on Feb. 21, 2009