The Crying Game

I hate whining. H.A.T.E. it. So when my kids burst into tears over silly things, I don’t like it. With Daughter having just turned 3 we’re teaching her when it’s OK to cry and when it’s not. Still in that I’m-a-toddler-so-I-want-what-I-want phase, she tends to whimper when things don’t go her way. If I unbuckle her and she wanted to, welcome to Melt Down City. It’s starting to make me crazy, because I try, as much as possible, to me a comfort and understand where she’s coming from, but there’s a point where enough is enough. We have reached that point.

Hubby and I have been more direct in correcting her when she cries. Last night it was over me picking up her pillow pet. Off to the corner for her! She has started saying Please after “I want to do that!” so it’s now “I want to do that, PLEASE!” It’s a start, at least.

But Son, now 7, should know better. Last week he cried at the bus stop because I forgot a pen for his Boy Scout popcorn order form. A pen. Which they have at school. Everywhere. This morning he cried because the end of a movie came on and I told the kids to dance to the credit music. He didn’t want to. Me: “Come one, get up an dance! It’s fun!” Him: pouty face. This went on until he burst into tears. It’s not like a fired a gun at his feet while chanting “Dance, coward, dance!” So this turned into a time out, which turned into sobbing, which then turned into Son cleaning his toys while Hubby, Daughter and I played Monopoly Jr.

I don’t get it. I get the 3 year-old crying. I want her to learn that, especially as a girl, she can’t just turn on the waterworks to get her way. That’s not going to get her far in life. But Son? I know he’s still a kid, but he’s got to get a grip on his emotions. It’s the one area we’re struggling with. He’s a smart kid and does well academically at school, but it’s the emotional development that we’re all struggling with. I’m determined to help him so that he’s not in the board room at 30, crying because his boss grabbed his pen.

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