HELP! Preschooler Inconsolable! Crying and Whining all the Time

HELP! Preschooler Inconsolable! Crying and Whining all the TimeOne of our SOS MOMs, Roshni Vaid, writes to us about her 5 year old daughter who has been consistently crying over everything. Right from waking up, to eating breakfast and to even changing clothes!
She says she tried everything to keep her happy but nothing worked.

Now mommies, there is nothing novel about the kids and the crying, is it? Crying is probably the most favourite mode of communication for the little children of all stages, right from infants to preschoolers. Most often than not, toddlers and preschoolers cry with reason, but they just aren’t aware of it. As parents, it’s vital to get to the root of the problem with some questioning, probing and even bribing.

Reasons your preschooler might be unhappy and crying –

  • She is craving for attention or sympathy. Crying is the first weapon they’ll use to gain some attention.
  • She is frustrated and unhappy about something that happened in the school or at home.
  • She is feeling insecure or experiencing separation anxiety, when she leaves the home for school or when you leave for work.
  • There is a good chance your kid actually might be suffering physically. Check for the signs that indicate her ill health. Check if she has any injuries.
  • Is she hungry, tired, or suffering from body aches?
  • Indigestion and constipation are also the reasons enough to make your child unsettled.
  • Sleep deprivation is one of the most frustrating reasons to start the kids on crying mode. Preschoolers need about 10 hours of sleep. If a child hasn’t been sleeping well during the night for any reason and also does not take afternoon naps, she will end up being cranky all the time, until she recovers from the sleep deprivation.
  • Emotional stress brought on by the relationships in school and home. Sometimes it can be overwhelming for the children to deal and be in company of different people with different natures.

How you can help

  • No matter what, don’t cave in and give the child what she wants after crying spells. A kid might be whining for some unreasonable demand, and you giving in after her tear outburst will just encourage her to use this tool more often.
  • Check for the signs of unwell being and treat accordingly. Take her to the doctor if needed.
  • Make sure your child is not hungry and not suffering from stomach ailments.
  • Make sure she gets enough sleep every day.
  • Try to distract and engage her in some interesting activities or by taking her out in a park.
  • Talk to her like you’d talk to a grown up, by acknowledging and not dismissing her feelings. Kids don’t know how to name their feelings, so they cry in frustration of not being able to communicate.
  • Talk to their school teachers or day-care providers to find out if something that happened in the school has upset her.
  • Talk to your child about strangers and people touching them in inappropriate ways. Sexual abuse is one of the most concerning reasons to make children upset, causing them to keep their feelings bottled up. Though use your best judgement and patience before you put your child through such a scrutiny.
  • If the child is suffering from the separation anxiety, deal sympathetically with it and give her some time to get over it.
  • Give hers stars or rewards for a happy and good behaviour. Positive encouragement works wonders.

One of our SOS Moms Aarti Vedpathak suggested a very interesting way to encourage a child to behave. Make up a little kid named the same as your kid and tell stories about how she behaves, how she helps, and how she doesn’t whine over small things. It might just do the trick.

We wish you good luck and hope that you sail happily through the joys of parenthood. We thank our rocking SOS Moms who poured in their thoughts.

Spanish Harlem,  Aarti Vedpathak, Amrita Yadav Vaidya, Aruna Gautam, Akhila Karthik, Maharaj Ambu, Meenakshi Singh

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