The child i babysit is extremely sensitive, is this normal?

I babysit a little boy who will be 4 next month. When you are talking to other people, having nothing to do with him, if you say the word "no" in any context he will start to cry. He will cry even if you sit down next to him to play with him. I think that part of it is that he is too attached to his mom who always just says, "I like it" or gives him every single thing he wants, and also makes sure that if she is going to say the word no, she walks out of the room to say it.

Why is he so sensitive and how can we work with him on it because he is going to head start in the fall and has to learn to deal with people saying no around him, even if its not directed towards him.


Okay, Im not saying that I myself am trying to change him. His mom wants to know what to do. She can't take him anywhere with out him crying and being unconsolable. If a stranger says anything in the wrong tone of voice or something he will cry for a good 20 minutes with out us being able to calm him down. And his mom is one of my very good friends, and asked me to get some ideas of what to do with him, just to expose him more so that he will do good in head start next fall.

5 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I wouldn't say it is completely abnormal. I would say that the child has been used to being the centre of attention and getting what he wants and he knows that by crying he can get what he wants.

    The trick is not to make a big deal of his behaviour. By either giving him the attention he wants or by putting him down or yelling, he learns that crying gettings him attention. Next time he cries unfairly (so not for instance if he's hurt himself but when hes pulling a tantrum), do not react all. Remain impassive and wait for him to stop crying. There's a term called extinction - basically unlearning a behaviour. So the first couple of times, he might cry louder when you try to remain impassive - but if you manage not to react he will stop using crying to get what he wants.

    It's about balance and knowing which battles to fight. A child should not be encouraged to cry to get his own way - and by fussing over him or not saying "no" to him - he is being encouraged to cry to get his own way. But the kid is young so I wouldn't be so fussed about him crying because of sensitivity (for instance negative comments made towards him) - most likely that will change with time anyway.

    Him being sensitive is not really a problem - so isn't a battle worth fighting. If someone is mean to him, I wouldn't stop him crying. He is only 4. However, he should not be encouraged to cry to stop people saying no to him. The sooner that specific behaviour is nipped in the bud, the easier it will be.

  • 1 decade ago

    CHILDREN ARE PEOPLE TOO! DO you honestly expect a child to have no emotions, no key words that upset them. And you are just a baby sitter, maybe you should resign that position seeings as you don't like how his mother chooses to parent him. It isn't my place to tell a baby sitter how to change a child from how his parent has chosen to raise him, and quite honestly I find it wrong of you to even attempt anything without talking to the childs parents first

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    he just has to get used to it and suc it up. My daughter was sensitive and I started 'putting her down' sarcastically. Not mean, but just like 'that was silly'.. kinda thing. It teaches her not I am not calling HER silly.. i am just joking. She still takes alot personally , but not as much. She does come home feeling picked on alot for tiny things and I tell her to get used to it and suc it up, that is life and when she starts focusing on the compliments people give her and remember to bring that home, then she will feel more secure...

  • 1 decade ago

    It's fine, he's just going through a rough time.

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  • 1 decade ago

    it's normal he;s just a baby my son is like that too.

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