Polk Moms

Connecting moms in Polk County, Fla.

Our 20-month-old daughter constantly starts crying over just about anything, but especially if we discipline her. What's the best way to handle this?

Our daughter went through this at around 22-months. She kept using the word bite when she became upset. We never found out if a bug, dog or whatever had bitten her, but she became pretty terrified. Finally, when it got way out of hand, our pediatrician suggested we get her a new best stuffed pal. She suggested that we take it everywhere we went with our daughter. This worked very well and at age three, she still takes the stuffed lion with her everywhere she goes. We bought the lion because he is king of the jungle and we told her he would always protect her. You might try this with your daughter and see what happens. - Valerie Smith in Little Rock, AR

FROM JODIE:

Your daughter may be overly sensitive to certain things, especially if she doesn't understand your reaction to something. Remember, she's used to getting attention when she cried over certain situations when she was younger and may still be expecting as much. Plus, it's hard for children this age to know exactly how to voice why they are upset and hearing the word "no" doesn't help. However, most of the time, kids this age are usually frightened by specific things like animals, insects, nighttime, monsters under the bed or in the closet, certain people, places, things and even separation anxiety. By staying calm yourself, you won't contribute to her current fears. You can basically forget trying to tell her that there's nothing to be afraid of; it just doesn't work. It may seem silly or annoying to us but to them it's very real. Talk with her pediatrician about some ways to calm her down and to empower her so that eventually these scary things and/or situations will not affect her as much. Once she gets older, things will get get better and she will be able to tell you what is wrong and what she is upset over.

CAN YOU HELP?

My husband yells a lot at the kids. He just can't control his reactions when they do something that irritates him, which seems to be just about anything. Our 10-year-old son is now beginning to yell at his younger sibling and I'm trying to explain to my husband that if he would stop losing his temper over trivial things, our son would ease up as well. How can I do this without making him angry?

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