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Issues with my three year old

My daughter just turned three in July. I have been having an incredibly hard time getting her to use words when she is upset to tell me what is wrong so I can fix it or comfort her. Anyone else having these problems? What do you do? Even if you don't have an answer- please bump this! I am at my wit's end with her.


Asked by SAHMomOf3 at 7:51 PM on Sep. 6, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (11)
  • i think that whoever said wait till the kid is two (terrible twos) is wrong. its the terrible threes!! i tell my son he needs to use his words so i can help him. i sit him in a chair and kneel down by him and ask what is wrong. that he is ok and to calm down. tell her she is safe and u love her. sometimes like the others here have said u kinda just gata let them cry it out. you know what cry means what, i know what types of cries mean with my son. if she is really hurt u will know. ect.... my son likes to hear he is safe and loved it helps him. he is very sensitive and it helps him when i just hold him. try making her laugh? distracting her would maybe help too until she calms down enough for u to make out whats wrong

    Answer by AIDEN032807 at 12:49 AM on Sep. 7, 2010

  • I would try to calm her down and tell her I can not help you unless you tell ne what is wrong.

    Answer by louise2 at 7:54 PM on Sep. 6, 2010

  • My ds,3, also just squeals and cries and screams when he is hurt or upset. I try telling him that I can't understand him and he needs to speak clearly. Sometimes it works, most times he just has to cry and just 'get over it" before I can get him to say what happened. I just hug him and tell him it's ok.

    Answer by Austinsmom35 at 8:20 PM on Sep. 6, 2010

  • Give her to words to use. If she is upset that she can't have a cookie, tell her. "You're feeling upset because you want the cookie and you can not have it. It's ok to feel upset, everyone does sometimes."
    Sometimes children need a safe place to deal with their feelings. I ask my daughter to rest on the couch with a pillow.

    Answer by Fallaya at 8:25 PM on Sep. 6, 2010

  • Oh gosh mine did this. It was so awsul. She would get so worked up, screaming hysterically, beating her feet together until they bruised, clawing her hands and belly, just really making the fit worse. I had to hold her down to keep her from hurting herself which of course worked her up more. I tried to hold her as gently as possible and i got right in her ear and calmly and quietly told her that I couldn't let her hurt herself because it was my job to make things better. It would take usually 30 min of clamin gher to get through but eventually we got there. She still wouldn't tell me what was wrong. Not to pry but if there are stresses in her life this can greatly affect this behavior. We dealt with constantly transitioning from our home to her mothers home and i know it really took its toll on her.

    Answer by GoldenLinds at 11:55 PM on Sep. 6, 2010

  • She literally COULD not tell you what was wrong because even if what set her off was as simple as hitting her thumb what motivated the fit was the release of stress she got from it on issues that were so far out of her ability to understand she couldn't tell us it was bothering her. As soon as we moved and got full custody the fits stopped. WE tried ignoring her but she could go on for hours at a time and it would make her sick. Sometimes it got extreme, we had to take her into the shower and give her warm water to get her attention or outside into the cold air to bring her out of her own mind and back into what was happening. WE felt awful trying to get through to her like what we were doing was worse but we had to calm her down. Making sure we talked about the fit afterwards was key. Emphasizing that we needed to help but couldn't because of her fit.

    Answer by GoldenLinds at 11:59 PM on Sep. 6, 2010

  • I think it is pretty typical at that age for kids to sometimes have a hard time expressing themselves when they are upset. Give her a "cool down area" or something where she can sit and calm down first and then ask her to talk with you. You could even find a book or a chart that has pictures of different emotions so she can point to the angry face or sad face to show how she is feeling if she is too worked up to really express it in words.

    Answer by KTMOM at 10:53 AM on Sep. 7, 2010

  • tried that... she just gets hysterical and will not calm down or talk...

    Comment by SAHMomOf3 (original poster) at 7:58 PM on Sep. 6, 2010

  • I do try holding her and telling her I love her and I just want to fix whatever is wrong. You are right- sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes she'll just kick me away and throw herself back on the floor. At that point, I just let her be until she calms herself down. It just gives me a headache, and makes my heart break seeing her cry so miserably.

    Comment by SAHMomOf3 (original poster) at 8:26 PM on Sep. 6, 2010

  • My granddaughters both do this. They seem to want the attention they receive by acting out. The only way I have found to handle this is to ignore the actions. They stop when they realize they are not getting a response.

    Answer by tootoobusy at 9:34 PM on Sep. 6, 2010