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Why does my child cry so much?

Q: I have two daughters aged ten and five years. Ever since the younger one was born, she has been crying excessively. We always thought she was a colic baby, but excessive crying continues even now. She would cry for no reason, 7-8 times a day. For example, she cries every night in her sleep and every morning when she wakes up. She would cry if she cannot button her shirt, zip up her bag or just because she cannot do something. She cries if someone reaches downstairs before her or if we ask her to hurry up. Once when we were returning home after a walk, we noticed that her grandma’s car was in the driveway. We casually told her to run home to see her. She excitedly ran all the way home until she got to the driveway where she stopped and started crying for no apparent reason. When asked why she was crying, she said she does not know. We tell her that if she does not cry, we shall do something special for her and that people would enjoy being around her more, but it has not helped. This frequent crying for the past five years has exhausted all of us. Now, most of the time, we let her cry it out and tell her to come over when she is done. We have never seen a child cry so much for no reason and it happens so suddenly. Is there something medically wrong with her?

A:This is the first time I have come upon such a case. She does seem sensitive and with a low tolerance for frustration of any kind. She sets a goal that she cannot reach and is unhappy. She may be comparing herself to her older sister and finding that she can never catch up. Make sure that her diet does not have any stimulants. Give her some quiet activities before she goes to sleep. Try to avoid instructing her too much. This is not strictly a medical problem. Sometimes, Ayurveda or Yoga therapy helps children, since they take temperament and body type into account.

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