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15 Answers

My son is 9 and he is a sensitive caring boy. However it doesn’t seem normal how much he cries all the time. He cries when you ask him to do something, he cries when he’s tired and he cries even with the smallest bump or scratch. I love my son to bits and I don’t like to label him a “wuss” but he already gets picked on for it. Has anyone had a similar issue with their child? Is there any way I can “toughen him up”/stop the crying?


Posted anonymously, 3rd January 2014


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  • If you are concerned a short trip to the GP wont hurt.
    He could be anxious or maybe just sensitive.
    Maybe ask him after he cries why he felt so emotional and try to talk through it.


  • Some kids are just overly sensitive. He might grow out of it. He could be attention seeking. There could be some underlying cause. Not much you can do about the bullying. Even if your son stopped crying today, the bullies still remember for a lot longer


  • Some children are just more sensitive, having said that you know your child more than anyone so it you are concern see your doctor of a referral just to see if they can help. Also martial arts are great for kids too. Do you have a pet as children often talk to them better than adults.


  • Our 4 y/o is supersensitive. I mean he is NEVER goin to watch Bambi. He cries is he is disapproved of. Sometimes when he shoudl be stopped crying he says he likes to cry. I think it gives him a buzz. He is not really a wuss but he is tender hearted. By 9 I would think he woud not cry unless he really needed to though, as peer pressure at school would come into play.


  • Keep in mind that hormones are starting to run riot at this age. Both my eldest two (son and daughter) were more emotional at this age. If you have concerns, talk to your Dr who can refer you to someone he can talk to to see if there is an underlying issue. Schools often have counsellors or chaplains who may be able to have a chat with him if it’s something you want.


  • My son is a lot like this also, however, he has wild rage on the other end of the extreme. I found putting the kids in a softer version of martial arts like Jutsu was great for building confidence and focus.
    Aside from medical intervention (and dont let them give you chemical medications), I would check with a natural therapist (homeopathics are easier for kids to take) to build resilience.
    Additionally keep giving kids activities that build their confidence. and self esteem.
    It’s a tough road and i fully understand what you are going through – just dont fall into the trap of what others thnk, you have been given mothers intuition for a reason, follow this – it is always right.
    I should know from the birth of my son, i kept saying i think he has xyz and finally 3 years later they believed me – poor monkey that was three extra years of pain and suffering
    good luck


  • Having being through a very similar situation with a child, my advice is to seek the advice of a professional. There are a multitude of reasons as to why a child can be over sensitive, some very minor and others much more sinister. Better to seek guidance sooner rather than later.


  • Maybe have a chat with him about his feeling and let him know he is well loved and that he is strong and brave. Tears are precious and should not be shown all the time! :)


  • Have you asked him why being asked to do things upsets him so? If he won’t open up to you is there another adult friend or relative he might feel comfortable talking to? Has this always been the case or has it been a fairly recent development? Any major changes going on? Maybe set him up with a counseller


  • remove gluten from the diet, it weirdly can make some people very emotional


  • Here’s a thought, maybe there’s a reason for his sensitivity? I would suggest you have a talk with his teacher/school and your local GP. I can assure you that “toughening him up” is not the answer. There may be underlying medical issues. My son is 10 and bursts into tears when you raise your voice and I was the same at that age. We both have Aspergers. Toughening up kids with different neurology/severe anxiety issues does not work. You need to seek expert advice. Please try and rule these things out first.


  • odie Morgan i dont think it is a question of how to “toughen him up” it is more a question of why he is so emotional….i would be asking for a referral to a child mental health specialist to get to the bottom of the issue – it may be that your boy is harbouring deep fears or insecurities that he is unable to recognise or vocalise – they may be able to give him and you coping mechanisms for communication …. some children are overly emotional and at this age (9) it may be very hard for him to understand why he feels the way he does….love him, hug him, give him reassurance, dont belittle him for his emotions…but do get some help for him.


  • Michelle E Warriner you should find a child counselor that he can talk to might help most health centers have them


  • Crying is obviously his coping mechanism. Maybe talk to him about it and ask him in certain situations for eg. if he misses hitting a ball in a game and cries – ask him next time this happens, is there something he else he could do in this situation – like instead of crying, go and have a drink and take a few breaths.
    A friend of mine has a 6 year old who is fairly similar, and he has taken up karate. She said it was the best thing for him as it has toughened him up a bit.


  • Do you have a school counsellor you could talk with? We recently went through the school to help my son who is very anxious and over-reacts (i.e.: cries) to everything. The process was very helpful and gave us words to use to describe his feelings so he could begin to talk them through rather than just dissolve in a puddle of tears. Often they just don’t know how to express themselves so they cry. It is a fine line between wanting to comfort them and getting so frustrated with this reaction. Maybe your GP could refer you to a councillor if you want to address it before school returns.


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