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overwhelmed when toddler cries

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  • overwhelmed when toddler cries

    My son is 15 months old, and in general a very easygoing and mellow baby. He had colic for the first 2 months of life until I cut out dairy and he was instantly cured. Since then, he doesn't cry that often, but I feel like I handle it really poorly when he does. I feel very frustrated and overwhelmed when he's crying and I don't know what he wants. Sometimes he lies on the floor (we call this being a "floor baby") and just seems really frustrated and upset - is this an early temper tantrum? As he gets older, he can communicate more and more (he does about 10 signs and seems to understand most of what I say). This means that he cries less often, but when it does happen and I can't figure out the reason it FREAKS ME OUT! I feel like I should be able to "fix" whatever's wrong, but I don't know what's wrong and I can't fix it. I don't yell at him or anything, but I think he can probably sense my silent frustration. I feel like his behavior is probably pretty normal - I'm more concerned about my own reaction. Any advice on how I can handle his crying better? Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    Xacardia.. I can't really offer much advice, but to let you know - you are not alone!! I have struggled with this sense of being overwhelmed, with my now 2 yr old, daughter cries... I don't yell either. I sometimes get really tense though and when I am tired or run down or just plain old burnt out, I can feel really really tense and have v neg thoughts, as a way of escaping - i think - but which cause tremendous guilt.

    So, I totally understand these emotions very much. It is surprising that I have this and my daughter does have fairly frequent, meltdowns (usually b/c of tiredness, but also b/c of stress in me or in the household). Other wise, she is incredibly content, bright, connected, compassionate and utterly beautiful, smiley and funny. But when she goes - she really goes and it is extremely hard for me. She was a very very calm baby - sometimes after naps she wld just look around and if she had napped alone, I often didn't know she had woken up. Now, she cries deeply after about 70% of her naps, which really bothers me.

    Anyway - I find rest, help, talking about it, finding more 'me' time ( v hard - 24/7 mothering most of the time) and also self-talk helps. When I am calm and centred, I feel more able to handle it and not take it personally etc.

    Also, from what I ahve read, play is v powerful and after a 'meltdown' I often read, or joke or play to increase connection.

    I hope this helps and I hope you can find some solace. Best Wishes and Good Luck!!


    • #3

      i also find this and often feel overwhelmed when my son is upset and i cant work out the problem (or i can but it is something i cannot allow him to do/have/fulfil) .

      I found a memory from a friend of mine who i have huge respect for as a parent (and friend!!)

      we were out with her and her daughter (at the tie 10 years old) and we were going to go to a poetry reading. when we got there, we found that the venue did not allow children in and the girl was really upset.

      i was trying to comfort and distract and "make it right" for her, when her mother gently told me, its ok, she can be upset, it is unfair she was not able to go in, it is OK for her to cry.

      she gave comfort to her child and just listened to her communication of crying.

      i guess for me, it helps (when i remember to tell myself!!) to accept and listen to negative emotions as well as positive.

      that way i hope that my child will feel loved and secure no matter what she is expressing.(i.e you are loved even when you are angry ,sad ,happy , jealous etc)

      certainly i have issues myself with anger, and my expressing of it and wonder if as a child i was led to believe these expressions were not welcome.

      hope you are having a good day today



      • #4
        Sometimes it can feel like we are responsible for preventing every tear and hearing our toddler crying feels like an on-the-spot performance review! If you are feeling that way, it's a tremendous amount of pressure that no one can live up to. Our job is really just to be there and support our little ones. Of course if there is an unmet need then we want to meet that need. Even after children start to talk/sign there is still so much they can't express with words. Crying is still one of a toddler's biggest ways to communicate.