4 Year Old Daughter Sensitive to Remarks

Hi Lynda,

I hope you can help me here. I am a father of a 4 year old girl. My little darling seems to be very sensitive to remarks made about her in school and sometimes by me.

In school, she cries whenever other children rejects her by not sitting with her or playing with her and when other kids comment “I don’t want to be your friend”. She also tends to complaint to other kids about their naughtiness to the teachers in the child care center.

At home, she will cries whenever I do not give in to her request. For instance, if she wants to wear a pair of dress she prefers and I wanted her to wear what I had taken for her or when she request to go shopping and I want to stay home.

At times, I may make remarks what I thought is reverse psychology like ”
If you don’t do this fast, I am not going to wait for you” and she will burst out crying.

I am at a lost as to how to handle this crying situation , and will appreciate if you could give me advise as my 2nd girl is sort of being influence by my 1st kid behavior.


Hello Joseph,

Your little girl sounds delightful, she wants to be everyones friend, and when they prefer another person she cannot understand it. She takes it personally and believes it is because there is something wrong with HER.

You will need to explain that this is not true, by talking with her about people’s likes, dislikes and moods.

Point out that when SHE wants to play by herself, it does not mean that she dislikes you or her sister, just that, at that moment, playing alone is what she chooses to do, so by the same token, her school friends are not really rejecting her, just choosing to do something else.

I suspect she has not been at school very long and is feeling scared about this big, new world. The fact that she complains to the teacher about the actions of other children indicates that she has a strong idea inside her wise little head of the way things should be – and this just doesnt coincide with the way things are.

This can be very upsetting for a small child. For all her life she has been used to a certain standard of behavior from people (usually very loving behavior towards her) and suddenly people are not acting in the right way!!

To help her feel stronger in this puzzling world, she has tantrums when you do not do as she wishes. This is not naughtiness, this is her way of making sure that at least one person (you) acts in a predictable way by giving in to what she wants. Your daughter cannot be allowed to use tears and tantrums to control her world, otherwise she will grow into a very unhappy young lady. In addition, if her sister sees that this works, and you can be
controlled by such actions, she will adopt them too.

Your daughter needs to feel strong and capable in her own right, you can encourage this by focussing on her talents and achievements. Make a special place in your home for her drawings, craft work, school work. Praise her lavishly for everything she achieves, however small, at home and at school.

It does not matter if she does not achieve perfection, the fact that she has tried at all is worthy of great praise.

Be positive about everything, you may even like to give her a special award or certificate for something she has done. Help her to feel proud of herself as a capable young lady.

It made me smile when you said she did not want the clothes you had set out for her. My grand-daughter would happily play in the snow in her best lace party dress and silver sandals!

Small children have very little idea of suitable when it comes to clothing or anything else, they have to be taught.

Perhaps you could use this as a learning game, go through her wardrobe with her one day (but not when you have just had an argument about it) asking her,Why do you think we wear these kind of garments in cold weather? What would you wear if you were going shopping/to a party/playing at the beach? etc

That way she will learn, feel good about her answers and far more confident when it comes to her own choices.

As for little sister, she too needs the same sort of attention, the same positive input about her capabilities. Encourage the older girl to help her sister, praise her for doing so and never compare them or expect them to act or think alike!

We live in a very negative world and children need our reassurance all the time.

With kindest regards

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