Tuesday, June 12, 2012

My 2 year old daughter is always upset and crying.

HI Kay,

I am a Filipino married to a Korean and my daughter was born in Philippines. We moved here in Korea in November last year. Actually I was not having a very difficult time with my daughter before since I had the help of a baby sitter in the Philippines but here in Korea, I took care of my daughter alone. 2 months ago, I sent her to a day care center so that I can work.

She is now 29 months and still she can't speak although she mumbles...she goes to a day care center where she stays there from 9am to 6:30pm because of my work. The day-care center said that she plays well with children and she has a happy mood all the time, although sometimes she just lie on the floor when her wish is not granted. But overall, they said she follow their instructions and she eats well too...

My problem is that ever since we lived here in Korea, her crying became worse. AT first it was tolerable but these past few weeks, it became unbearable to a point that I have to spank her. But even the spanking doesn't make her stop crying. So after I spank her, I leave her alone...then when I come back to her, she stops crying. But the worst thing is that she even cries louder when we are outside the street or we are in the bus or elevator. The more I tell her to stop, the more she cries, and I don't spank her in public because I don't want to humiliate her and myself.

But once she finished crying for a long time, her mood becomes very jolly. She plays with me and she laughs a lot. However when she wants to do something and I tell her to stop, she suddenly shifts her mood again and become upset. When she is upset she pushes me away or hit me or kick me...so I get angry and spank her again or if not yell at her...then she will cry again..the process just repeats itself all over again. After I spank her, I feel so guilty that I cuddle her a few minutes after a leave her alone to cry...

I know that I should not yell and spank her as what I have read in some articles but my parents yelled and spank me when I was a kid and I turned out just fine...I don't have any hate issues with my parents because whenever they spank me, they explain my fault...

Also, my daughter does not eat well in the house...but the day care center said she eats well there and even asks for more sometimes...

I am really frustrated because I want my daughter not to cry very loud because she catches all the attention of all the people here...and with Korea's culture, when a baby cries in the public, it means the mother does not know how to control or take care of her baby...and whenever I don't grant her wish she resents me and pushes me away...

I am really frustrated and I don't know what to do...I always get out of control when she cries out so loud just because I did not give her what she wants...please help me...

Dear Neary:

I am sorry you are so frustrated. I think you daughter is getting the worst of it. I am always surprised when someone writes to me and tells me they have spanked their child. I think from my posting on the homepage I am very adamant about how I view spanking. I no longer worry about hurting some one's feelings when they write me something like this. You won't like my answer however I am not hear to tell people what they want to hear.

It is outrageously stupid to spank a child to make them stop crying! Hello! What part of spanking hurts which means a child will cry louder do you not understand??????

It is quite clear you are having a hard time adjusting to taking care of your daughter. You state you did not have a problem with her before you moved and that you had help taking care of her. She most likely is grieving the loss this moved has caused her. She probably misses whoever was helping you take care of her. Children bond deeply with their caregivers even if they are only with them a few hours a day. They also grieve the loss of their daily routines when they change. The focus needs to be on her and her needs emotionally and yet your posting was all about you and your frustration.

Please place your concern on your daughter and her losses. She needs your compassion and your understanding not your anger, frustration and rejection. NEVER hit a child. What you expect to accomplish by traumatizing her physically is not clear. When a child is hit their body releases cortisol which over a long period of time causes physical problems. In addition your spanking her only serves to separate you both emotionally. It is confusing to a child as they don't understand why someone reacts to them with violence rather than with compassion and understanding. She is in daycare for 9 hours a day. How can you not understand how abandoned she must feel? She has been moved and her entire world has changed. She doesn't have the same routine, the same people, the same landmarks or familiarity in her life. Her whole world has been turned upside down and now she has to deal with your anger too? She is 2 how old are you?

Attachment Parenting

Stop looking to the outside world for what a parent should and should not be. If her crying bothers other people TOO BAD. I understand the culture is different from what you describe however their disapproval is not as important as the loss of the relationship between you and your daughter.

Please feel free to call me if you want to learn how to deal with her better.

Best Wishes!

M Kay Keller

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