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My 4-year-old is very emotional and constantly tells my husband and me that we have "ruined his life"—just because we corrected him. How do I get him to realize that we love him, but need to correct him when he makes mistakes or doesn't listen. He takes everything so personally! --Bonnie, Strongmoms facilita
I don't think this is something he will truly understand until he has grown up. I think if i were in your situation i would try to sit him down and help him understand that what he has done is wrong and that even though you love him you have to correct him. But I have never been in your situation so i can't say for sure how to get through to a child who is so dramatic.
I think that the more positive reinforcement you can do the better with a kiddo like this. I think the other thing is when correcting, do so in a quiet and calm manner, and then move on quickly. What's done is done, then find something to positively reinforce him for.
So for instance a lot of the kids that i see in clinic want to play with the cool trashcans we have as they have a foot bar you hit to open them. So if he was over playing with the garbage can and didn't listen when I asked him not to. I would calmly walk over, say to him "Josh, I need you to listen, please do not play with the trashcan" then the minute he turns and walks over to the chair to sit next to mom i'd say "John GREAT JOB listening, I really appreciate that".
It takes a lot of commitment and work, but seems to work well for the kids I see who are sensitive.
I, too, have an overly emotional little boy! When he gets into trouble and is put in time out, he sobs and sobs that we made him cry...it's kind of hard not to laugh! I just usually give him time to calm down and try to direct him towards the behavior that put him there. We talk about the fact that he can avoid time outs and punishments if he makes good choices in the first place. Good luck - hahah - not sure there is much else to do!
Yes he is so sensitive and emotional it is kinda funny at times, but we try hard to still set limits and we expect him to follow those limits. I try to praise him throughout the day when I catch him doing something well, so he has that in his head as well.