how to get a kid to stop crying over everything

How to Get a Kid to Stop Crying Over Everything – 15 Genius Tricks

Last Updated on August 26, 2021.

Tired of your child crying over every little thing? We feel you! It can be so frustrating to have a kid who cries all the time. But, there are some ways to stop the tears and get them back to being happy again. This blog post has 15 tricks that will help you to get a kid to stop crying over everything plus 11 things not to say when they’re in tears!

Why does my kid cry over everything?

Crying can be a form of attention-seeking. Kids may cry because they want to be noticed or, at times, just for the fun of it (i.e., howling). When kids are toddlers and preschoolers, they’re also learning how their emotions affect how people respond to them – so crying can work!

The thing about attention-seeking behavior is that the first time it pays off, meaning the first time they get your attention with crying, they’ve found a strategy that works. And they’ll keep using it.

In other words, attention-seeking crying snowballs until it becomes a chronic issue.

RELATED: What is respectful parenting?

How do you help an overly sensitive child?

Your child is howling over every little thing again and it’s driving you nuts. It may be that your child has become overly sensitive to stimulation, or they need more soothing than other kids their age, but there are things you can do to help them out of this rut. Here are 15 tricks you can use to curb whining.

RELATED: How to help toddlers with transitions

15 Tricks to Curb Whining

Meet their primary needs first

Before you do anything else, check in on their primary needs. Are they tired? Do they need a snack? Hanger is real.

Give kids plenty of power

Kids want to feel grown-up, so let them make choices. You could say “Do you want an apple or banana?” instead of just handing your child the fruit.

Get down on their level

When they’re really young, get down on the floor and play with them – it’s how kids communicate best!

Don’t Shame

It’s important to avoid shaming your child. This could happen by telling them how they’re acting like a baby or asserting that the tears are over nothing.

Stay Calm

If you’re feeling frustrated, take a break to calm down before continuing the conversation. If act out, you’ll probably just make the situation worse.

How to Get a Kid to Stop Crying Over Everything
How to Get a Kid to Stop Crying Over Everything

Empower Kids to Help Themselves

Offer kids plenty of opportunities to exert their independence. Give them the tools to do as much for themselves as possible, like a step stool to get their own water from the fridge, or put their snacks in a lower cabinet so they can help themselves.

Use “When… Then…”

One of my favorite tools is the “when…then…” This is where you arrange the tasks or events so that the most unpleasant task first, then give them what they want (or something else they like). For example, if your child is whining to go outside, you might say “When you pick up your toys, then we can go outside!”

Make connection a priority

Since whining and crying is an attention-seeking behavior, a great way to handle whining is by making a connection. Give your child your undivided attention for a short period of time, preferably doing something they love.

RELATED: When kids are struggling, put kids in water

Ignore the Whining

The absolutely best way to stop attention-seeking behavior from becoming a problem is to ignore the behavior. If they try to get your attention by crying, and you ignore it, their tactic didn’t work. After a while, they will stop trying it.

Use “Asked & Answered”

“Asked and Answered is a great tactic for when kids continue to repeat the same questions over and over again. After you’ve given your answer, say “You already asked that question, and I already answered it.” (or you can use “Asked and answered! for short if your kids are familiar with the phrase).

Avoid Using Rewards

Rewards are never a good idea. They reinforce this bad behavior. If you are currently using rewards, try switching to positive phrases instead.

Practice Emotional Regulation & Intelligence

If you’re concerned about how your child handles their emotions, it’s worth considering emotional regulation and intelligence practice. It may be a more long-term solution for those who are really sensitive or overly dramatic but don’t know how to self-soothe yet. Try practicing breathing techniques, calming strategies, and meditation.

Set a Good Example

Kids will learn how to handle their emotions by observing how they behave. If your child is sensitive or overly dramatic, make sure that you’re doing a good job managing your own reactions and feelings around them!

Use the “Do-Over”

The do-over is a great tool to use when you’re teaching your child more appropriate ways to respond. Explain the tool ahead of time, and then when your child whines, ask if they would like to try again. Only offer the do-over once!

Read Books About Feelings

Read books with your child about how to handle strong emotions. This is a great way to get your kids engaged in conversations about how to handle their feelings.

RELATED: Does your toddler need to go to preschool? The pros and cons

11 Things to Say Instead of “Stop Crying”

  • It’s OK to be sad.
  • It’s hard to wait.
  • I’m here with you.
  • Tell me why you’re sad.
  • This is really hard for you.
  • I’m listening.
  • That was really scary (or sad, frightening, etc.).
  • I could help you work it out.
  • I want to help. I’ll be here with you if you want to talk.
  • I know, it doesn’t feel fair.
  • Let’s find a solution.

The Bottom Line

Whining can be challenging for parents. It often feels like it doesn’t stop and all you want to do is say “stop crying!” But how children act when they whine or cry isn’t about us, it’s about how they’re feeling inside themselves. Use these tips and tricks to end the whining in your house!

What You Should Do Next…

1. Snag Our Connected Parent Challenge

Are you ready for more activities to build a rock-solid bond with your kids? Try our Connected Parent Challenge! It’s 15 Days of 15 Minute activities that are sure to improve your connection, diminish bad behavior, and create lasting memories. Plus, I’ll deliver more amazing parenting strategies to your inbox weekly (don’t worry, unsubscribe any time!).

2. Join Our Free Online Community

Connect with like-minded moms (and dads!) in our free online community. You’ll find a plethora of resources to help you through your parenting challenges. Plus, you’ll find me there! And I’d love to connect.

3. Take a Free 60-Minute Parenting Webinar

Do you need actionable strategies right now? Register for this free 60-minute webinar titled How to Get Kids to Listen, Without Nagging, Yelling or Losing Control. You’ll walk away with parent-tested tactics to get your kids to listen starting today.

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