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Anonymous 

My 5 year old is brilliantly behaved 99% of the time. She however, has these huge emotional breakdowns over seemingly nothing. She will erupt into tears and when I finally get her to say what's wrong it's something like she can't find her shoe, can I do her button up, can I plait her hair (even when I've already told her I'm going to plait it). This has been happening since just before she turned 3. How do I get her to say what's upsetting her or to ask me to help rather than bursting into tears. This can be happening up to 15 times a day.

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Anonymous 
Not an expert here, but from what I know kids up to 3 usually have tantrums/emotional episodes because they are unable to effectively communicate their needs. Children above that age are more aware of their needs and can communicate, so it's usually because they are not getting what they want or not getting what they want NOW, or because the technique has worked for them in the past. It's important to explain to her that she doesn't need to get upset about these things. However, you can't do this until the breakdown is over. Give her a hug and move her away from where she is having the breakdown. A quick change of location can sometimes snap a kid out of their emotional state. Then ask her what made her upset and then ask her why it made her upset. Tell her that there are better things she can do when she needs something and try to elicit answers from her. For example, 'What could you have done? Who could you ask for help?' for the shoe. If she manages to come up with the answers herself (through your prompting) rather than you just telling her, it'll teach her to THINK when she encounters a problem rather than reverting to crying. Hope that helps.
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Anonymous 
Not an expert here, but from what I know kids up to 3 usually have tantrums/emotional episodes because they are unable to effectively communicate their needs. Children above that age are more aware of their needs and can communicate, so it's usually because they are not getting what they want or not getting what they want NOW, or because the technique has worked for them in the past. It's important to explain to her that she doesn't need to get upset about these things. However, you can't do this until the breakdown is over. Give her a hug and move her away from where she is having the breakdown. A quick change of location can sometimes snap a kid out of their emotional state. Then ask her what made her upset and then ask her why it made her upset. Tell her that there are better things she can do when she needs something and try to elicit answers from her. For example, 'What could you have done? Who could you ask for help?' for the shoe. If she manages to come up with the answers herself (through your prompting) rather than you just telling her, it'll teach her to THINK when she encounters a problem rather than reverting to crying. Hope that helps.
rentrn35e 
Even as an adult I have emotional breakdowns over the tiniest things sometimes. I agree with the Anon comment above. Show compassion, quickly change location, try to get her to express why it made her so upset and help her realise (through prompts, not telling her directly) that she doesn't need to get so upset.

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