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My 3 year old will not stop crying

My 3 year old cries about everything. She came in the house last weekend crying because she said the wind blew her hair. She cries because she needs to go potty. She cries because she is asked questions like "why dont you want to go outside?" She is driving me crazy. We have tried putting her in time out. She would go there several several times a day. We have tried putting her to bed. We have tried talking to her and telling her to tell us whats wrong and use her words instead of crying....Please if you have any advice that would help. I have never seen a chils so whiney!

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Asked by endlesswonder87 at 2:22 PM on Mar. 14, 2011 in Preschoolers (3-4)

Level 3 (14 Credits)
Answers (12)
  • Try some sort of point system,, Tell her..(when she is calm) that she will have 10 points when she wakes up and she need 5 points left for a "special" thing.. (dollar store item, treat, craft) whatever you think will work. You can change the point amounts depending on her, only you know if you should allow her 3 points to be taken or But it can't hurt. And change it day to day.. Today you will need 3 points to get a treat and your starting with 5 today, or starting with 15 the next and need 7 or whatever. If you keep changing the point amounts it will allow you to change it as she gets better. GOOD LUCK, i'd be going

    Answer by JenzAmomOf2 at 2:28 PM on Mar. 14, 2011

  • i have a 3year old to and all she does iscry i have tried time outs tobu itdont work

    Answer by proudmom487 at 2:36 PM on Mar. 14, 2011

  • That might work with my 5 year old but madison is only 3. I dont think she would understand. And also i dont think she could make it if i gave her 30 points. Like i said she cries over everything and lies. im out of ideas and will take any advice and this is worth trying but im not sure if she is mature enough for that

    Comment by endlesswonder87 (original poster) at 2:37 PM on Mar. 14, 2011

  • Have you ever heard of the Feingold program? The idea is that behavioral issues (such as whining) can be caused by food additives or even foods and non-food products that your child is eating or exposed to on a regular basis. My family has been using the program for almost 11 years now and it really has been a miracle cure. If the problem is really red dye (or whatever other additive(s)) then no amount of behavior incentives, time-outs stickers or spankings will ever fix things. More information at

    Answer by DrRama at 2:47 PM on Mar. 14, 2011

  • Dont put them in time out for crying! Shes just sensitive. I would talk to your doctor about it.

    Answer by jmgblair10 at 2:48 PM on Mar. 14, 2011

  • I HIGHLY recommend the book "Raising Your Spirited Child". It's been very helpful for our family, and frankly, I think EVERYONE should read it even if their child doesn't "qualify", all of the methods are helpful in different ways. Mostly, it gives some great tools in understanding a child who has a different temperament and sensitivity than you.
    I do think that punishing crying is not going to help. At that age, she may just be genuinely that sensitive...or even having sensory issues. If it is for attention, then your strong reaction could be feeding into it.
    What I have done with my son when he whines (which is normal at this age) is to play "I can't understand"or "i can't hear you" a silly way...and I won't "hear" what he says until he asked properly or uses a calm tone etc. It works for us most of the time, unless he's really tired. Even i get super whiney when I'm tired LOL
    Good luck!

    Answer by boomamma at 2:51 PM on Mar. 14, 2011

  • Our family is already on the Feingold program. But she is only here on the weekends. And her mother could never get the food right. She would never take the time to try. She consoles her when she cries because the wind blew her hair

    Comment by endlesswonder87 (original poster) at 3:08 PM on Mar. 14, 2011

  • Maybe she is over tired. Does she nap?? Does she go to daycare for the whole day? Sounds like she needs more rest.

    Answer by ILovemyPaulie at 3:29 PM on Mar. 14, 2011

  • With all of the parents and children of that age, I tell them the same thing. If you know it's something serious, then of course answer her. If you think that maybe she doesn't know how to do something, teach her. But if it's just whining for the sake of whining, ignore it! She's whining because whining always gets a response. When you think about it, no one keeps doing a behavior that doesn't get attention! Ignoring sounds easy but at first it isn't! But if you try to ignore and she escalates into a forced cry and then you feel badly and answer, you've just taught her another technique which is: Keep it going until it works! You may have to walk into another room to get away from it at first but you can do it! Just tell her whining hurts your ears and to talk in a regular voice. If it's forced crying, tell her when she's all done crying you will speak with her. Be strong. She'll see her technique doesn't work!

    Answer by AlisonAstair at 5:19 PM on Mar. 14, 2011

  • It could just be a phase. Make sure she is getting enough positive attention and praise when she does things right. Plus tons of hugs and kisses.

    Answer by elizabr at 7:45 PM on Mar. 14, 2011

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