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How should I control my child's indefinite crying?

Q: My son is 15 months old. He has become so stubborn that if we stop him for anything he starts crying, he keeps crying until we take him in our arms. Due to this, we are forced not to scold/beat/or give any harsh punishment. How should I control him?

A:Being parents is a responsibility, but it is also a joy, equal to no other. It appears to me that you are feeling the weight of being parents, without the delight that goes with having a child. Children do learn to make things happen. If they do not get parental attention, they may cry till somebody appears and picks them up. Their crying is also a message: the child could be too hot, or too cold, hungry or wet, with colic or some other discomfort. These messages from the baby should not be treated as "Ziddi" (it is such a negative sounding word), but as the child's intelligent= attempt to get your attention. I am a little surprised that you say you are forced not to scold, hit or give any punishment. Why would you want to scold the child? He has probably not yet developed enough language to understand your scolding anyway. Hitting a 15 month old? I can't believe that you feel unhappy because you cannot hit him. Please, restrain yourselves and find out why you are getting angry with the child. There are many more facts that I would need to know before giving you definite advice. But I am making some general suggestions. Perhaps both parents work and the child wants to be held and cuddled when they are available to him. This is natural and very good for the ties of affection between the child and the parents. I think that there is no point in treating him like a cadet in the army. He is just a baby, an infant, who wants assurance that he is loved by his parents. Sometimes children may be weak or underweight and therefore cry all the time. If that is the case, you should worry about his nutrition, not his discipline. Just check with your child's doctor that he is fine in health. Why would you want to give him harsh punishment? Every message can be conveyed gently and with affection, playfully and with concern. Try and spend more time with your child. Talk to him, sing to him, dance with him and tell him stories. You will find that he is no longer unhappy. Get suitable picture books and toys for the child. Treat your parenting with more energy and joy and the problems will disappear. Children will discipline themselves and you do not need to be a policeman to him.

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