My 6-year-old, who has just finished kindergarten, cries all the time over nonsense.
This constant crying started about a year ago. Up until 4, she was pretty mature for her age and if anything cried less often than her peers. But once she turned 5, every tiny development, from a broken crayon to trouble tying shoes to her brother eating one of her french fries, ignited intense, dramatic sobs. This morning she wept because I told her to throw an empty Capri Sun in the trash can (The packaging had a picture of the Naked Brothers pop band on it).
I've tried to be patient with her because we moved out of state this year, so some of it may have been an expression of feeling displaced and losing her friends. But we've been here six months now. She has new friends. Likes her school. We're in a bigger house, in a better neighborhood. But still, she cries over EVERYTHING.
I know it's normal for a child to regress now and then, but this is ridiculous. Teachers and extended family members are even commenting on it.
This is not only embarrassing and extremely annoying, but a safety hazard. A few weeks ago, my daughter dropped her napkin at a restaurant and went under the table to retrieve it. Neither of us realized that a jagged piece of chipped wood was sticking out of the table's underside. My daughter scrapped her back on it as she emerged from getting the napkin.
Of course she cried. It really hurt. But everyone's totally numb to her crying now. I paid her no attention. Only the next morning, when I went to give her a bath, did I realize that what I assumed was a little scrape was actually a deep gash that ultimately would leave a scar. My daughter has cried wolf so many times, I wasn't appropriately alarmed when the injury happened.
I don't know what to do. I like to think of myself as a compassionate, nurturing mother, but I'm to the point now where when my daughter cries, I just get annoyed or occasionally even angry. She always seems to erupt at the most inconvenient times, like when we're running late and rushing out the door.
I want my daughter to have thicker skin, if nothing else so she doesn't get on everyone's nerves. But also because she'll need it later in life when something REALLY happens. At the same time, I don't want to be a drill sergeant who teaches her kids not to express emotion. There are times when it's appropriate to cry, and on those occasions I want her to feel like she can.
What do I do?