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Furrowed brow on 3-year-old

by Thomas
(Berea, Ohio)

Our 3-year-old son suddenly started repeatedly exhibiting a furrowed brow. He's also suddenly prone to crying spells over seemingly innocuous things (typically wishes that are otherwise easily granted). He's been such a happy kid since birth. Now he seems so angry or sad or both. I don't know if this natural or if he's picking up on something? I, of course, feel guilty about the latter prospect. Thanks for any advice you might offer. -- Worried Dad

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Recent Change?
by: Heather ;-)

Thomas,

It's always hard when you feel your kids "aren't happy".

I would spend some time thinking about what's been going on in your home in the past several months. Has there been a major transition? (Moving, new baby, new schedule, etc.)

Has there been increased tension in the home lately? Has he been getting enough sleep? or is he tired?

3 year olds are pretty-darn observant and pick up on a lot more than we think they do. I would encourage you to spend some time every day doing something together. Reading, playing games, playing outside...anything that keeps you face and face and having fun.

After that, you could try asking basic questions about how he's been thinking about the changes (if there have been any) your family has had recently. Feel free to keep them basic, if his vocabularly isn't fully developed. Spend a lot of time discussing about how important he is to you, how much you value him in your home and praising the other people in his life (mother, sisters, brothers, grandparents, etc.)

At 3 he identifies very closely with his parents. If bad things have been stated about his mother, or you, he will take those very seriously and they could sit heavily on his heart. (I'm not saying that's what's happened, it's just an option to explore.)

Concentrate on capturing and nurturing his heart - by interacting and playing with him. Make sure his physical needs are being met - plenty of sleep (12 hours is good at this age), healthy foods, good activity, and he'll bounce back.

If you're still worried about him in a month after doing these things, discuss it with your pediatrician. He may have other suggestions for you.

I hope this is helpful, feel free to comment back or email me at heather@the-essential-infant-resource-for-moms.com.

with care,
Heather

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