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help with oversensitive and easily frustrated 4 year old
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help with oversensitive and easily frustrated 4 year old

I wrote in earlier about my 4 year old who yells and screams when he doenst like what is his told. It's like he has trouble communicating without yelling. It is very frustrated for me. If we are somewhere and I need to verbally discipline him, he flips out and backs talk so bad. I am sooooo confused because he is very well behaved in the fact that I can take him anywhere. For example, we take him to the movies, the store, restaurants, zoo, museums, etc with no problem. When I take him to the park, he is the kid making the friends. But when something goes wrong and he is not happy, watch out!! He is not physical, only Verbal!! I worry abnot him everyday and how he will function in preschool this year. I know he will have issues when the teacher tells him something to do that he doenst want to. He is also very over sensitive!! When he gets frustrated, thats when the yelling and crying begin! For example, we went to myrtle beach this year. While making a sand castle, if the littlest part blew off the top of the castle, he would flip out and cry and yell. If someone would accidently bump into him, he would yell at them. I would say that it was a accident and even the person apologized, but my son would still yell at him and say it was no accident!!!! I am sooo confused! I took him to my doctor and he sees no problem! He just needs to grow up more! I need help
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To a certain extent, your son's pediatrician's guidance is prudent. That is, in general your son is developing fine. He does have a problem, as do many young children, managing frustration. When he is frustrated, when obstacles come his way, he is easily owerwhelmed with an emotional response. All young children have to acquire, bit by bit, the capacity to manage frustration. This skill does not arrive overnight, but is the product of over-and-over again learning. As your son continues to grow and mature, he will do better. As he is learning, it is important to intervene when necessary. For example, if he is frustrated about something and overreacts in the sort of manner you describe, give him a time out (5 minutes will do). Be sure to 'start' the time only when he is in his time out space and quiet. Now, sometime you may choose to ignore the behavior, because it's not always feasible to execute a time out, and some of the time you'd rather not respond in any way to the behavior. That's certainly OK, but using the time out method will assist him in developing greater self-control. I have not met a young child yet whose development in all arena has proceeded at exactly the same pace. Overall your son is doing well; in this one area of development (emotional control/management of frustration) he's taking a little longer. That's OK; he'll improve over time.
3 Comments
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Dr. Kennedy's advice regarding dealing with overly dramatic reactions in children is right on target.  I speak from experience with my son who just turned 5.  I have been consistently been working with my son on dealing with frustration either by choosing to ignore his inappropriate, dramatic reactions or by consequencing him with time outs for several months.  I have found that its best to ignore whining.  I just tell my son that I can't talk to him until he stops whining and acts like a big boy.  I disengage eye contact with him and go about my buisness acting is if I can't hear him.  If his whining escalates to crying or a tantrum then I consequene him with a time-out in the manner described by Dr. Kennedy.  

My son has matured quite a bit since I have been actively working to help him deal with frustration.  He is more patient and more fun to be around.  He is by no means perfect, as no child or adult is but as stated he is maturing.  Kids need to learn how to behave in a positive fashion.  They need loving, responsible adults to teach them what is appropriate behavior and what behavior is not appropriate. A few weeks ago, a sitter came to stay with my kids, I have a dtr. who is almost 3 years old as well.  This sitter is also an experienced teacher and when we returned she left us a note telling us that our children were "pleasant to be around, well behaved and well adjusted".  
It felt so good to read that.  All the behavior techniques, I use are very simple and anyone can use them.  I too, highly recommend Dr. Lynn Clark's book SOS: Help for parents.  Its given my plenty of tools and the encouragement I need to be the best parent I can be.  Best wishes to all...
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Hi. My 4-year-old is exactly the same way! Like today for example: I was brushing my teeth when I caught her playing with her radio antena she had just broke off. All I did was look at her with raised eyes brows, and she started crying and saying I hurt her feelings! She is very sensitive. It's hard to even gently tell her anything without her flipping out like we screamed at her. When it comes to her cousin who is 5 months younger than her, she cries every time her cousin says no or looks at her wrong or tells her she can't play with a certain toy.If the whole family is together for a holiday, she sometimes cries or I find her sitting in a corner with a scowl on her face. I'm sorry I don't have any solutions for you but, you are not alone. Good luck with everything.
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