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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
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Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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My 4 1/2 year old daughter is a self proclaimed cry baby.

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My 4 1/2 year old daughter is a self proclaimed cry baby. She cries about nearly everything. She is my youngest and I have a 6 year old daughter and a 7 year old son. My son is very sweet, quiet, and not really interested in what the girls do. My six year old is a button pusher and does whatever she can to antagonize my 4 year old. They love each other one minute and dislike each other the next.

I've noticed that my little one cries the most at the beginning and end of the day when she's most tired. She goes to preschool and never has a problem there. At home she seems to cry/scream most and it drives me crazy! Many times she will hurt herself or will be upset because my 6 year old teased her and just stand next to me screaming but not using her words. I have refused to discuss with her her issue while she's screaming, but that usually results in her feelings being hurt and more crying.

Any tips to help me resolve this would be great. I'm sort of desperate here! ;)
Hello and Thank You for consulting Just Answer. As a Parenting Expert and Mentor, I am here to assist you. First of all, sit back and take a deep breath. You are not alone in what you are experiencing. Your daughter's actions are manifested out of frustration. She wants attention. She wants things done her way or no way. She cannot verbally explain specifically why she feels the way she does. Therefore, she resorts to crying and screaming which is somewhat normal for her age. She is quick to react but must be taught how to respond appropriately to situations that she does not like. That is where you come in. First of all, you must stay on your other daughter to not antagonize your 4 year old so much. Additionally when you must tell your daughter that she is a BIG GIRL and she needs to use her words rather than crying and having a tantrum. Also, you and your 4 year old can role play different situations that might set your daughter off. When she responds negatively in the role playing situation, then you ask her what is the right way to behave. As time progresses, start keeping a little sticker behavior chart of all of the times she has episodes of really great behavior. After 10 stickers, she gets a treat or special outing. The goal is to reinforce the positive behavior to eliminate the negative :). Also, try to spend quality time with just her alone every day...even 10-20 minutes in the home will do wonders for your relationship with her. Also, when she does scream, walk away. Do not give attention to her negative behavior unless she is hurting herself. If you need more assistance, please let me know your thoughts. Have an awesome day.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I figured this was pretty normal. That's good news! My 4 year old is not in school yet so she's home with me alone a lot. She only has preschool 3 days a week for 4 hours so we have a lot of quality time together. Sometimes I think that contributes to the problem -- she doesn't like to share me. The sticker chart is a good idea and I'll try that. I do not give any attention to the screaming-- but I sure do take a lot of Advil! ;)

I'm trying hard to keep my 6 year old at bay. But she knows how to push all the right buttons--she copies, she steals her toys, but my 4 year old holds her own and in the end they both do it to each other but my 4 year old is just more sensitive to it. I'm hoping this is just a short lived phase. I figure it's probably going to get worse and so I better enjoy these small problems while they last.

As a teacher of Kindergarten, you may want to slowly increase the hours/days that she is at pre school. It will make the transition to Kindergarten so much easier. You may want to start trying to do special things with the younger two children together as well. I have a feeling that the middle child actually may be more frustrated than the younger one and is taking it out on the younger one by your last post describing her behavior. Your focus needs to be on BOTH of them and assisting them in getting along. You can try the sticker chart for both and role playing with both of your youngest. Fortunately, your oldest seems just fine.Cool


I am here to assist. Just let me know!!!

proexpert37 and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you!