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Tell Me Why My Son is Crying…Please

If you’re not familiar with the Tumblr page titled Reasons My Son Is Crying, you are missing out on a particularly spectacular parenting gem.

My happy boy!

My happy boy!

A dad named Greg Pembroke thought it would be funny to post photos of his son crying for all of those magical reasons why toddlers cry – all of those rational, logical reasons why a toddler would cry.  Other parents around the globe have followed suit and submitted their photos and explanations, too.  The page is one nonstop tearjerker – you’ll be laughing so hard, you’ll cry {right along with your little one}.

Here comes the not-so-funny part — this has become my life.  I live my days checking off the reasons why my son is crying.  The crying, the throwing-himself-on-the-floor, the screaming, the pouting!  One minute we’re happy, playing nicely, the next we’re flying off the handle, stark-raving mad?  What is going on here?

And the reasons my son is crying are as ridiculous as you’ll see on Pembroke’s page.  Just today the tears flowed after I prevented him from running at full blast into the traffic of a crowded, busy parking lot.  Yesterday, the dog licked his hand and oh, the screams.  You would have thought his hand was on fire!  Click the link for a wonderful preview of the meltdown that ensued when I wouldn’t let him continue to poke himself with a plastic knife while we were on vacation last week.

While this phase is new for us, I’m trying to do my best to figure it out.  I thought we were almost a year away from the terrible twos!  Don’t get me wrong, my son is a very sweet and loving child and I fully understand that part of the issue here is that he can’t fully express to me what he needs or what is wrong.  He’s cuddly, funny, charming, and usually smiling…Usually.  These meltdowns, however, are driving me crazy.

Mamas, I need help!  What is the best way to handle toddler meltdowns?  Do I ignore the horrendous scene and let it play out before my eyes {providing he’s safe, of course}?  Will this always happen in public?  Are these normal at 15 months?  Is this only the beginning?  Help…

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7 Responses to Tell Me Why My Son is Crying…Please

  1. Elysa August 14, 2013 at 9:34 AM #

    Luckily Dean is a super cutie but I am hoping our fellow moms can help with some awesome advice! I could definitely use the advice too!

  2. Greer August 14, 2013 at 9:44 AM #

    First of all, my sympathies. Toddler tantrums are the worst. I’m going to guess that this is mostly related to language expression. He knows what he wants to tell you, but he doesn’t have the words yet. So my best advice to you is to keep giving him the words to describe his feelings. “I see that you feel angry because you wanted to run and Mommy stopped you. We can’t run here because it’s a parking lot and it isn’t safe. But ater we can go on the grass and run around.” Etc. And then redirect him quickly, “Oh, hey, look, I found your firetruck in the car!” It’s not a perfect system, but it works better than anything else I know about.

    Baby sign is also wonderful. We didn’t go crazy with it (not that there’s anything wrong with that, I’m just lazy) but we did learn a few basic signs like, “More” and “All done” and “Hot” etc. That helped a lot, too.

    Good luck, Mama!

    • Amy
      Amy August 15, 2013 at 8:53 AM #

      Thanks Greer, great tips.

  3. joanie Webster August 14, 2013 at 10:07 AM #

    Hi Amy,
    I have the answer for you but you won’t like it…he cries because he can! He knows it’s a way to get what he wants already. The smarter he is and the stronger his will…the more he will cry and try to use it to manipulate you. If they weren’t so darn cute, we would never tolerate this:) I speak from experience here…not sure if my 24 year-old is ready to give up his crown to your little one but I’m hoping it’s time!!! Seriously, the best advice I ever got was from Chris’s pediatrician when he was around 15 months and had us up all night because he didn’t want to be in his room by himself…something we created by laying down with him every night. He expected us to get up at 2, 3, 4 a.m. and come back if he woke up…it was brutal:( Advice…put him in his room and let him cry. First night he went close to an hour, screaming and crying…we thought we would snap but hung in there. Second night a little more than 30 minutes…after 5 nights we were down to about 10 minutes and by the 2nd week we were thru it. So basically, as long as he’s safe and it’s just a matter of wills…let him know you can out last him ASAP!!!! LOL…good luck mama:)

    • Amy
      Amy August 15, 2013 at 8:55 AM #

      Thanks Joanie! I hope my will is stronger than his!!!

  4. Alicia B August 16, 2013 at 10:41 AM #

    We did a lot of redirect at that age. And a lot of removal from the situation. If the meltdown happened at a store, We’d leave or at least go to the car to chill out. Lots of explaining too which mostly went over her head but taught her to use words to convey feelings and emotions (we may have taught her that one too well because this girl at the age of 6 now tries to talk her way into and out of everything). Honestly, it’s a crap shoot. No one thing worked for long with Ellie. She was a force to be reckoned with (lol); she still is.

    Good luck with it, Amy! It’s a lot of trial and error, but you’ll get through it. And so will he.

  5. Fairfield County Moms Blog August 16, 2013 at 11:50 PM #

    Thanks Alicia! We are definitely a work in progress!

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