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She sounds just like my 4 year old, so I sympathize. The only thing that is working right now is taking away a toy. We've only done it once so far, and only when the crying and yelling just wouldn't end one night. But she was so crushed, and it really helped. But it was hard, and she still says "you aren't going to give me Clifford back, are you?". We felt awful, but we didn't want to just melt down and scream at her, and it's hard not to snap! Good luck.

Memaw! When my daughter was four (about 34 years ago) she pitched a fit at a Chinese restaurant in Long Beach, CA that we used to frequent. She wanted an almond cookie for dessert but she hadn't eaten much of her dinner so I said "no."

She proceeded to cry and yell "I WANT A COOKIE!" over and over, eventually sliding on her back off the banquette seat and onto the floor. We finally had to just pay and leave. (Her older brother would never have drawn attention to himself like that.)

Needless to say, we never showed our faces there again. Now, she's the mother of two great kids whom we get to regale with the tale of their mother's meltdown, much to her enduring chagrin. :)

It does get better...honest!


Sounds like Kate is having a really difficult time with her emotions. Sometimes frustrated feelings just come up and overwhelm kids, and they have no idea what to do!

Maybe you could try showing her simple verbal and physical things, with the hope that she will be able to do these for herself eventually.

So, if Kate starts to meltdown, you might try removing her to a quiet place, playing soft, soothing music, offering her a favourite stuffed toy/blankie. Maybe she might allow you to hold her or pat her back. The goal here would be to introduce externally calming things that might counter what she's feeling internally.

You might also say things to reflect that you understand what she's experiencing. Things like: Wow, you seem to be having a really hard time with this. It looks like you're feeling really angry/frustrated/sad right now. What can I do to help you?

The idea here is that when little kids are able to express their feelings and have important adults express understanding of these feelings and how difficult it can be to control them, kids eventually gain control of unwanted behaviors that often accompany these big emotions.


It's been a while since I stopped by here. I'm sorry you're going through this, and I hope things have improved since you posted.

I could have written this post last summer. It took me a while to figure out what was going on with my daughter, but for us Factor X was sleep, or lack thereof. Room-darkening curtains really helped her. And of course, growing up a little helped too. I think some kids are just more sensitive and emotional than others, and there's a wide range of what's normal at various ages.

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