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How do I get my little guy to "toughen up"?

He's about to be 4 years old and his 15 month old sister is a good match for him! I am in NO WAY trying to get him to be a bully, I just don't want him to be sooo sensitive about EVERYTHING! Any little scratch or bump, he cries. He's extremely sensitive like me, he cries before his hair gets washed because he hates a drop of water in his eyes, he hates to hold any food that will make his fingers dirty, he will cry and pout if he can't get the food on the fork, he cries if something falls apart, he cries if his baby sister accidentally changes the channel on the tv. Even if I tell him it's OK and that I can fix it, he says I can't (I don't tolerate him saying I can't).....These are just a few examples. He needs to go to preschool and I don't want him crying over everything!

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Asked by TylersMama05 at 10:55 AM on Aug. 24, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (31)
  • Some children are more sensitive then others and I think that you should just accept that he is different than his sister and that he needs a little more TLC when something goes wrong. You shouldn't try to change his personality. I understand that he is a boy, but some boys are sensitive and cry and others aren't.

    Answer by coala at 11:00 AM on Aug. 24, 2009

  • tell me more about your son...does he mind getting his hair cut? When did he talk and walk? Is he graceful when he walks or does he bump into things all the time or fall over frequently? Does he squint at the sunlight? Does he like playing with kids other than his sister?

    Answer by CVRsmommy at 11:09 AM on Aug. 24, 2009

  • I have totally accepted that he is more sensitive because I am that way as well. But when he doesn't even want to go climb the play area at the Burger King with his friend and cries instead, I do have a problem with that because I don't want him getting picked on as he gets older! In some ways he can be sensitive and in others, he needs to grow up. That's what I need help with.

    Answer by TylersMama05 at 11:10 AM on Aug. 24, 2009

  • try giving him more time with you.

    he just might be a sensitive soul maybe will be a minister or elementary school teacher of little ones or even a nurse. male nurses are very compassionate sometimes more than women.

    4H has great great clubs for kids, maybe his age too. Public libraries have great free programs for little little kiddies through way older people. Bookstores large ones do to.

    Be sure to praise his accomplishments whatever they are and don't focus angrily on his small or bigger hardships of personality. Accept them and ask him ahead of a potential upset what are his ideas.

    Vaseline outlining the eyebrows and nosetop and nostrils, sides of eyes too plus ears on the outside and close to side of face - doing all that (its fast and easy very easy) keeps shampoos, soaps, water from getting into all that.

    He sounds so beautiful. My adult son inhis 20's was sensitive too, now very caring and emotionally strong.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:10 AM on Aug. 24, 2009

  • CVR ~ He has no problem getting his hair cut. He has been great about it since he was 9 months old. He started walking at 14 months and didn't start really talking alot until about 2 or so. Even then, we got him checked by the county because he only said a few words and he is now in speech therapy through our school system and is doing great! He doesn't bump into things alot or fall too frequently, but he does fall.......I think that's mostly to blame for his Crocs! At times, the sunlight really bothers him. But that's mostly in the morning when he wakes up. It hasn't been much of an issue at all recently. He loves other kids but is just very shy, which is another reason I'm trying to get him into preschool in the next couple of weeks! He's a wonderful boy and I have no problem with him being sensitive......but to a point. He used to cry if we would flush the toilet after going potty and didn't have him do it! No no!

    Answer by TylersMama05 at 11:17 AM on Aug. 24, 2009

  • Anon ~ Thanks for all your kind words and advice! I do praise him all the time and I try to talk to him about getting too upset about things, but it doesn't always work! I will just keep trying! Maybe things will get better when he goes to preschool!

    Answer by TylersMama05 at 11:21 AM on Aug. 24, 2009

  • little kids never grow up at a parent's pace. Their brains, hormones are not made physcially or intellectually to do that. That's why he's a little boy. Ten year old boys, teen boys are sensitive and noncomforming to peers often.

    Love him for who he is not what you need him to be.

    cvrmommy is concerned about developmental and intellectual abilities - could be but if he's more scared in things that scare him yet in things that he is comfortable with doesn't have a problem getting into THOSE then likely ds is just sensitive now. Is sister a typical toddler yanking toys away from him? If your toddler isn't happy in a playpen then put ds in one with his toys to keep little siblings mitts away from his toys.

    nurture his strengths. He will be who he is. No matter how strong you make him there will be kids in neighborhood and school and teachers too who will pressure him. Don't add to that accept him in his home.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:22 AM on Aug. 24, 2009

  • ANON 11:22 ~ It's amazing how some of you take things! I DO love him for who he is and I feel that I love him that much that I'm concerned for him in the future! I do nurture his strengths. I know he will be who he will be, but there are times when he needs to realize that THIS IS NOT A REASON TO CRY!!! And BTW, I NEVER EVER put ANY of my children in a playpen. You actually think that's a good way to keep one from getting the other's toys? Not in this house!

    Answer by TylersMama05 at 11:30 AM on Aug. 24, 2009

  • op you are very obviously considering many many things. school is very very competitive even from early elementary. build his strength of character that he himself as he is is good and that could lessen his self pressure of being afraid. I never told my kids that kindergarten would be great and new friends would be made - I told them that kids would be nice and kids would not be nice - like you my child, i said, things from other kids and not feeling good sometimes make other kids not nice. sometimes for a little bit sometimes for a lot of times.

    We can't make other moms and families think like us in a crowded school environment. Not every child every day is sensitive to others.


    Answer by Anonymous at 11:35 AM on Aug. 24, 2009

  • Well, it sounds to me that your son has a very sweet personality and is developing just fine. Probably he is just going to need time to get used to being around other children. Is there anyway you can join a play group or something where he can try to adapt little by litte? Or go to preschool a couple of days a week and build up to full time?

    Answer by CVRsmommy at 11:37 AM on Aug. 24, 2009

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