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Super emotional middle child
Motherofthreegirls posted:
I'm a mother of three girls (7, 41/2 and 21/2). For the first two years, my middle daughter dealt with the new addition beautifully. She is not a jealous child and never exuded any signs of jealousy or emotional distress. However, for the past three months she has gone through an emotional roller coaster. Every word sets her off, anything and everything will set her into a crying, screaming frenzy. I miss my smiley, bubbly daughter who used to laugh hysterically and have fun at any situation. She's the love of my life and I adore everything about her, but don't know how to handle this change in behavior. She comes home an hour earlier than all my girls from school. In this time, we do anything she desires...that's our special time everyday and I give her loads of love and attention throughout the day. She is in the middle of two very strong children and she has always been weaker and more susceptible to being hurt by words or someone saying 'no' to playing a game with her. I just want to make her tougher and stronger and have my old baby back. What do I do? PLEASE POST AND HELP...
seeit2 responded:
There have been many discussions on this site over the years about how turbulent our 4-year olds are emotionally. Personally, I think the birth order really adds to it in this case. The bubbly girl will come back to you, you just have to wait it out. I think sometimes 4 year olds try on emotions like they might try on clothes - just seeing what fits, kwim?
Esmerelda Supercalifragilistic (42) DD (6) DS (3) Just eat it, will ya
miob responded:
I feel for your middle daughter. I am the exact same way and am a middle child myself. For the longest time, I was convinced that was the reason for my being over emotional (about everything!)...that is, until I had a son who was exactly like me and he's an only child!

In general, I would say that you need to recognize that you're not going to change this about her. My family has gotten used to this and understand that I'm more prone to tears than the average person - even my husband has learned to adjust. As she gets older, I bet she'll learn to cope better with it, but I am still more emotional than most. My old boss used to keep tissues in her desk just for me! She'll need some coping mechanisms when she gets to school and especially work. I usually avoid my new boss until I have my emotions under control (which he appreciates). Stress management techniques help to alleviate some of the emotion.

For now, I usually tell my son that there's no need to cry, yell, or whatever the response and try to talk through potential solutions to whatever has set him off. If it's about something someone said that was less than tactful, we go through what else the person could have meant or why it wasn't a reflection of what he said/did. I usually pull him away from whatever is setting him off and try to calm him down. And I know the things people say stick with him - I'll think we'll have solved it and he'll talk about it again 2 months later. And we patiently run through it all again. Patience is really the key. Used to drive me nuts when my parents would just say 'stop crying' - it implies that you have control over it and can just shut it off which I guarantee you is not the case!

Good luck!
earleyml1012 responded:
My 4 yr old DD can be overly emotional at times too and she's the oldest. Most days I tell her to calm herself down so that we can talk. Once she's relaxed and not crying anymore, then we discuss the problem. Slowly she is learning that over-reacting doesn't get our response like she thought it would.
jlynnpaine responded:
My DD is 4 1/2 and also very emotional. Saturday morning she started crying uncontrollably because she couldn't see the "meat" inside her and could only see her skin. From what I've read, you need to validate their feelings. Say something like, "I can see that you're really (sad, mad, whatever). Once you calm down, we can talk about it." Breathing techniques can help a lot with that, taking 4 (because she's 4 according to DD1) deep breaths helps her get her emotions under control. It will get better. Some kids just FEEL more and there is nothing wrong with that. It can be really great in other ways because they're often very perceptive and kind. So just finding a way for her to get her emotions under control and to come up with a solution should help. Good luck!

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