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My 4-year-old son is very sensitive and cries for anything. For example, when visiting one of his cousins, he would say it's time for my son to go home and my son would start crying.

There are a lot of episodes like the one described. I tried to explain to my son that if he acts like this people will tease him more and more, but to no avail.

I'm worried that when he starts school he will be targeted by bullies.

How can I make him stop crying when not necessary?

  • How does he respond when you tell him to stop crying? – Calvin Smythe Aug 21 '18 at 13:15
  • @CalvinSmythe it depends on the situation. For example, if someone makes him cry with a lie, telling him they are just kidding makes him stop. In other cases he will keep crying – algiogia Aug 21 '18 at 13:45
  • Do you mean the cousin said "it’s time for you to go home" (ie "go away")? Is he just taking everything very personally? In my (limited) experience in a 4-5 year old group setting, there were lots of (short) tears, but (surprisingly) it never seemed to occur to the other children to tease the crying child. I hope your school setting will discourage bullying. – Pam Aug 21 '18 at 18:22
  • @Pam No. They know my son cries when it's time to go home (he really enjoys company) so they just say it to tease him. – algiogia Aug 22 '18 at 9:51
  • Disclosure: I do not have children I would caution against encouraging a child to "suppress" their feelings (i.e. stop crying even when they feel they need that outlet). It may send the wrong message and encourage them to try to ignore/suppress the feeling instead of learning how to appropriately handle it, causing hardship later in life (this is coming from personal experience). If you want to discourage crying, try to find another way for him to address his feelings. – cheshire Aug 23 '18 at 20:53
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In my opinion, the pressure to change should not be placed solely upon your son. His personality is more sensitive than others and it will make some things more difficult but that doesn't mean he should be the one to change. By telling him "the more you cry, the more people will tease you," you can be reinforcing an attitude that the teasing is his fault - it's not.

I grew up being a more sensitive child and endured teasing of various magnitudes throughout my school years. What helped the most was having parents who understood who I was and defended and guided me through difficult days.

My recommendation is to give your son permission to cry - it's okay for him to express his emotions by crying. When he is teased, help him process what is happening and take action where necessary to minimize teasing.

For example, when visiting one of his cousins, he would say it's time for my son to go home and my son would start crying.

Remind your son that the only person/people who will tell him it's time to go is you. He doesn't have to listen to anyone else. Then address the behavior of his cousins because that is what truly needs to change.

  • Thanks for your answer. We try to tell the "bad guys" off when appropriate and we also explained, as you suggested, that he should ask us if it's true that we are going home instead of crying. I'm actually happy that my son is so kind and caring but I don't want him to get hurt. – algiogia Aug 22 '18 at 13:09

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