Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Okay, this one's for real...

We have a crying disease at our house.




I seriously have 2 kids that cry all the time. Okay, not all the time, like they lead miserable existences, but like, if they don't get want they want, then they just cry. And cry. And cry. And cry.

Until, I honestly cannot remember what they were crying about in the first place. Seriously. I will realize that Seth has been whining and crying in my vicinity for upwards of 30 minutes and I will try to figure out what started it. And half the time I can't even remember.


This is what I've tried:


1. OBVIOUSLY: addressing the problem. With the 4 year old, she's usually just mad because she has to do a job, or can't do I want, so she begins to wail. And I usually can't give in so what then? With the 2 year old (despite above average verbal skills) he usually can't or won't tell me, what the problem is...



So this doesn't work all the time.


2. I try the Positive Parenting method of: only reinforcing the GOOD behavior--so I just ignore them. I pay no attention and hope it goes away. But the next 20-40 minutes of having a whining sobbing snotty blotchy kid in your ears, is really REALLY hard to take. (And then I go to #4) I do try to notice and compliment when they react without crying, but it doesn't seem to be working.


3. Ryan sends them to their rooms ("If you need to cry, you need to do it somewhere else.") It sort of works, but I feel like I'm stifling emotion and teaching them they can't express themselves? And plus, half the time, I don't want to stop what I'm doing to remove them. And then I just hear them crying from up there anyway.


4. Yelling "STOP CRYING RIGHT NOW!" Guess what? That doesn't really work, either.


So any ideas? Send them my way. If you don't want to put in in the comments section (OR YOU AREN'T COMMENTING WHEN YOU VISIT--how rude!), you can email me at jessicaromney@hotmail.com.



Thanks!

23 comments:

Paige said...

I was just going to email you today because my two year old wakes up from her nap and cries for two hours, unless I carry her around like a tiny baby. If I sit she tells me to stand up. She didn't cry today when she got up because I immediately gave her candy. I need help.

My dark haired daughter cries every morning about her outfit, her hair, her breakfast choices, her packed lunch, and her shoes. I've offered her any toy at Target if she doesn't cry ONE TIME the whole morning. It's never happened.

I need help and was going to come to you for advice. Now maybe your people can help me.

Paige said...

I'm FIRST! I had to say goodnight to my tired husband instead of join him, but I'm still first!

Nortorious said...

Send them to Paige's house. They will either be summarily punished or ignored.

Stie: My Favorite Things said...

We are reading all the same people - it's time we met! Thanks for stopping by my blog and for your kind words. I will definitely be back here to yours.

As for the crying thing, my kids did that for a while, but kind of grew out of it. My daugther (I have two boys and a girl) still cries all the time. But that's okay, because so do I. But eventually she got to a point where she only cried over really important things - like hurt feelings and the wind blowing the wrong direction. We've made progress.

Rochelleht said...

OH! I could have totally written that whole blog. Except the 2 year-old part. Thank goodness, I don't have one of those. But TRUST me, the 4 year-old totally makes up for it. I'm waiting for good suggestions, myself, as mine is currently in her room screaming because she has to clean her room before preschool. She says she needs help. Apparently, she didn't notice when I put all the dress-up clothes, dirty clothes and trash away for her while she sat on the floor and watched.

Ah, motherhood!

Brown Sugar said...

I heard about people getting Botox injections in their armpits because it reatrds sweating maybe it will do the same for crying.

celiafae said...

This is a gut wrencher, huh? I'm with Ryan. Put them away until they shut the heck up. I personally lock my older kids outside if they won't stay in their rooms and cry. I think the neighbors think we are running a torture camp, but so far they haven't called CPS. It is especially effective when I shut all of the blinds so I can't see them.

That Jane, she may be crying but she is still adorable. When you take pictures of your kids crying, does it make them cry more? It does at my house.

Denae said...

I like crying pictures. Everything you're already doing, I'm doing too and it only works sometimes. I lock some of my kids in their rooms for awhile when they are throwing fits. I tell them they can come out when they stop crying and they usually stop after a few minutes. Then I go in the room all cheerful and praising and give them big hugs. But if it starts again put them back in. Good luck!

Penny said...

I thought it might be cute to get the perspective of a 7 year old. So, I asked him (Tyler), if you have a 2 and 4 year old and they won't stop crying, what do you do? He said, "tell them it's ok and give them a toy" BUT THEN HE SAID, "Oh, I know, pray." How cute it that? Then he added, "You don't just pray when they start crying, but only if they won't stop."

Anyways, I heard somewhere that you put kids in time out, somewhere away from everyone, but not in their room. In an uncomfortable chair and tell them "time out starts when you are quiet". Then don't start the timer until they are quiet. If you start it, and they start to cry again, all you say is, "time out starts when you are quiet." And start the timer over when they are. This actually has worked for us. Sometimes they end up being in a chair for 45 minutes - an hour (bonus), when they could have just been in for 10 minutes. Then I can say, "You've been in here for 45 minutes. If you would have just been quiet, you could have been out a long time ago." After doing this OVER AND OVER AND OVER, you want to shoot yourself and anyone else in your house that cries, but EVENTUALLY they get it. It is a lot of work and frustration, but it the long run (the very long run) it is worth it. Just like anything, I think the key is being consistent. Also, you are not supposed to "engage" them at all, just that one phrase and that's it. Hope that helps...

And sorry this was so long!

John Holly Levi & Faith said...

I liked Penny's post. I think that's sort of what Supernanny does. Do you ever watch that? I learn a lot of things from her. I think the problem with me is that I don't want to take the time to actually discipline them the way they need to be disciplined. It's so much easier to yell. ha, ha. My son was a lot like Paige's and used to bawl and bawl unless I snuggled with him for like an HOUR after he woke up. I did it for a while and then I was like, 'ya know what? That's it!!' So, I told him I would hold him after he stopped crying and he would bawl at my leg FOREVER and then after a couple looooooong days, he finally got it and didn't need me to comfort him anymore after a nap. That's just too exhausting.

Elizabeth Caldwell said...

A couple of thoughts...

I think going to your room to have a good cry teaches appropriate handling of emotion. It is not always appropriate to subject the world to your less pretty emotions - but you are still entitled to feel them. When my John is angry or over frustrated or needs a good cry he knows he can go do it in private.

So I'm with Ryan on this one. Tell the screaming young'n that you understand they are frustrated, angry, upset whatever and that they can go to their room and cry it out.

gab said...

My kids don't really cry. They just scream and hit (boys) or whine (girl). The girl can whine and whine and whine and whine. I really have no suggestions other than to ignore and walk away.

My mom raised seven kids and says that the one day she actually went sun-up to sun-down with no one crying was so monumental she can still remember it.

And then we all hit puberty...

Ilene said...

I like to sit Jackson on my lap and talk openly about his feelings. Then we hug, rub our noses together, and Jackson says, "You are the best mom ever!"


If Jackson is crying for no good reason (he didn't get the apple juice IMMEDIATELY), I usually just ignore it and if it doesn't stop within a few minutes I tell him to go to his room until he is ready to be happy. Sometimes he puts himself in his room for 20 minutes (so wonderful!). He usually then comes down the stairs all contrite and tells me that he is ready to be happy. I think him being told that he can decide to come out when he wants to helps it feel less like a punishment?

Honestly, I have no idea what I am talking about.

Pineapple Princess said...

Thanks for commenting via Lorena. We were just discussing you and her blog geneology. I think I understand how you and the Ca. sisters are related--I think.

As for the crying, I just pretend I'm deaf. My hearing only works for certain pleasant tones. J/K, I think I have blocked out some of those bad days and started entering the fog of remembrance with your blog. I just hurried to your comment area.

My kids are a little older and the crying has lessened in frequecy (but not intesity). Just when you think you have figured it all out, your older kids and relatives try to raise your youngest babies and mess everything up. Some of my daughters are great big sisters, but terrible mothers. Their children will be spoiled. And then I will "help" them raise them as a grandmother in return.

Lorena said...

I'm a nice Mom that utters:

"save your tears for something that matters" or everyone's favorite "you better stop crying or I'll give you something to cry about!"

No, in actuality, I pretty much ignore it until it comes right in my face...and then I pretty much ignore it then.

Ellie said...

My mom taught us all to "CRY QUIETLY, darn it!" Now we are all really good at bottling up our emotions and covering up feelings with sarcasm. Whatever works I say.

Bridget said...

I try to calmly tell my kids "that really hurts my ears, can you not do that?" That doesn't work so then I say "you can cry in your room." But like you've found, that doesn't always work either. Hmmm. I have no answers. Although it's fun reading everyone else's.

Melissa said...

I'm with Ryan, too. Mine are only 2 years old, but when they are acting nasty they don't get to hang out with me. Good Luck!

Paige said...

I like Penny's ideas too, but my two year old won't get the "start over" thing. Perhaps I learned locking the screamer out from Celia, but Fifi gets pushed out the sliding glass door so she can scream outside. My neighbor has kids the same age and I'm always thrilled when I hear hers screaming, too.

brooke romney said...

Wish I had a better idea--maybe only take genes from your side of the family and then all your children would be perfect? Sure makes for a fun blog entry though! Oh, and I love the bunny ears one too!

Pineapple Princess said...

PS are you related to Margie Romney Aslett?

Matthews Family said...

Since we don't want to get in trouble for reading the blog and not commenting, we'll give you our wise counsel. Our advice is based on the fact that Bart was one of those annoying, whining 4 year olds. His mom told him if he didn't stop crying she would send him to daycare and go back to work. Guess what? It didn't work.

No, but honestly we agree with doing some sort of time-out, depending on where you want to listen to them screaming. We think the key is persistence in following through every time, even when you don't want to stop what you're doing.

Good luck and we only charge a small fee for our expertise advice. Ryan can pay the bill when we see him.

Me & My BOYS said...

Glad to hear I'm not the only one.