It can be a very frustrating time for both you and your toddler when your toddler cries about everything. If they are constantly feeling down and are crying uncontrollably all the time no-one can be settled.
Learning how to discipline a toddler takes plenty of time and can require many failed attempts before you find a structure that works for you.
Related Toddler Whinging
The first thing parents do is blame ourselves.
Is it something I have done or haven’t done?
Is it a pain they are feeling but cannot tell me?
Is it just normal for toddlers to whine and cry about everything?
What should I do?
First of all, don’t panic. Many parents feel at some point that their toddler cries about everything.
All toddlers are going through immense growth and change. This happens simultaneously to their minds and the environment around them. Remember, this is very normal developmental growth and is necessary for all children.
However, concerns can arise if you feel your toddler is too advanced developmentally for their age so may have difficulties coping. Or maybe you feel that you have an inconsolable crying toddler that is more sensitive than others.
All this growing, learning and minor tensions can cause a young mind to feel anxious, annoyed and upset. Toddlers haven’t yet learned all the necessary ways to express their emotions effectively.
What To Do If Your Toddler Cries About Everything?
Handle Big Emotions
Toddlers have very big emotions and they handle these big emotions in the form of even bigger expressions. This can range from extreme joy to extreme pain. This all can happen in a matter of seconds.
You are at a big celebration, it’s the middle of the day and your toddler has been very active. They have been soaking up attention from relatives, playing with lots of new people, eating and drink lots and generally having a great time.
Then you turn around and see your toddler lying in the middle of the ground, sulking stamping and crying.
When you ask her what happened she replies ‘I wanted a red cupcake, but my brother took the last one!’
What follows is the biggest meltdown of all time, with temper, rage, aggression and tears… the Lot!
It takes over 30 minutes to properly calm your toddler down and by that time you’ve realised what the problem is… She is just absolutely exhausted!
Some toddlers are able to handle these big emotions better than others.
Whilst other toddlers may be equipped to handle big new places and faces your toddler may just be more sensitive. This means you will need to pay extra care to the things you do and say to avoid any frustration and your toddler crying uncontrollably for no reason.
Toddlers are still learning the correct things to say to express how they are feeling. Developmentally they are at an important milestone that gives them the unique ability to understand a vast majority of what you say but the limited ability to vocalise those things to you.
They just haven’t learnt correctly the things to say to get what they want.
This communication barrier is a common reason why your toddler cries about everything. It’s a very difficult developmental stage for them so extra care and patience are key.
Big Life Events
Toddlers are products of their environments. You’ll often look at yourself and see a ‘mini me’ in your child as they soak up pretty much everything you do a say.
This can be good for a variety of reasons such as communication, problem-solving and learning basic cognitive and language skills.
Conversely, they will also pick up your bad habits and take in a lot of the external influences and stresses that you have.
Being so young their mind isn’t yet capable of the complicated emotional storage that our adult’s minds are. This can overwhelm your toddler leaving them with limited ways to vent their emotions.
It is this emotional bombardment that can leave your child depressed, upset and in fear. In this state crying is just a natural and healthy response to expressing these feelings.
This is an important factor when learning how to deal with a child that cries over everything.
A good example of this state is a big life event. Toddlers who have moved to a new city, have had parents divorce or have experienced a death in the immediate family can all display these types of symptoms.
Take some to reflect on your current environment to see if there are any big changes that have happened which could lead to a more unsettled toddler.
It’s not uncommon to see a toddler crying uncontrollably when there has been a new edition to the family.
If your toddler cries about everything you should examine their general health to make sure they don’t suffer from undetected allergies.
It is very common for young children to develop allergies which could help explain your toddler constantly crying and whining.
Common allergies in children include:
- Constant Stomach upset (weak lninig)
- Foods (peanuts, eggs, Diary)
If your child has recently been exposed to a new type of environment, they could have an allergic reaction, which may affect their temperament.
Try to constantly check your child’s body for rashes and marks. Also continuously monitor eating habits along with any new environmental conditions that could affect them. (i.e. smoke, new pets etc)
By proactively reducing circumstances that can trigger allergies you will find it much easier to manage your toddler.
This will, in turn, lead to less reasons why your toddler cries about everything.
A Safe Place
Toddlers need lots of attention and they crave a safe place to be able to vent emotions. You’ll often find that your toddler is confused with how to vent those emotions. As you are the closest person to them, you’ll probably get the brunt of the positive and negative ranges of emotional outbursts.
Learning how to get a kid to stop crying over everything involves providing an extra special safe place for them to feel free enough to vent emotions.
A warm hug and an ear that they can talk to should do the trick.
Try to have a special place in the house that your toddler can go to and let some steam off.
You should provide an environment that is free from distractions and just let your toddler vent their emotions in any way they see fit.
Remember, if they are hitting, biting, kicking etc then remind them that this isn’t an appropriate form of expression and to ‘use their words instead’)
Try not to be judgemental or feel the urge to solve their problems. Instead, keep your ears open and your questions broad so they can just talk and vent in a safe place.
You can ask them,
How do you feel today?
What’s on your mind?
If you could describe a happy time, what does it look like?
Keep them talking and allow them to just open up when they are ready.
This can take a few minutes or sometimes take up to an hour. Just be patient, calm and receptive. Don’t think too much about what you are doing right or wrong but instead focus on being there for your child to express themselves for as long as they want to.
They could spend the time trying to climb all around you for 30 minutes while you play together. It’s not necessarily about the activities you do but the time you spend together.
If your toddler cries about everything you need present yourself as a person they can feel safe with. The only way to do that is to deepen the bond you already have.
If this is done correctly and frequently, your toddler will soon recognise that you represent a comfortable place for them to express themselves.
Small Games, Big Emotional Rewards.
This is a simple yet effective way to stop your toddler constantly crying and whining. A sensitive toddler needs more reasons to laugh then cry. With their emotional overload and their disposition to retreat to sadness instead of joy, promoting happy games is vital.
You aim is anything that resorts to joy instead of tears.
Sometimes big emotions can overwhelm a toddlers mind so they will default to sadness and tears if it all get’s too much.
Small games that are simple to follow and you can give big rewards work best.
The aim is to rig the game in favour of your child and then give an exaggerated sense of accomplishment. This doesn’t mean you need to go over the top with praise but just emphasis the positives of play and the happiness to feels when they win.
It’s all stepping-stones and each step will lead to recognition and acceptance that should stimulate more happiness and joy in your toddler.
Talk to other parents
As parents it’s always important we compare and share notes with other parents of similar age groups. You’ll be surprised at how normal your toddler is compared to other toddlers.
It’s also a good idea to vent your day to day challenges with other people
We forget that many parents have already gone through what we have and have come out the other side with happier and healthy children.
Use this time for general chitchat or you can go more in-depth and actually ask for tips and strategies to help out.
Talking about your expectations, frustrations and triumphs as a parent will give you the insight and knowledge to make more informed decisions.
Consequently, this will give you the positive boost you need to come back to your child’s sensitive nature with more compassion, empathy and patience.
Learning how to deal with a child that cries over everything isn’t always straightforward. However, If you put these strategies into practice you will be able to reduce your inconsolable crying toddler
This will mean more laughter, fun and happenings for the entire family!