20 Reasons Why My 4-Year Old’s Feelings Are Hurt!

My 4-year old son Sam gets his feelings hurt really easy. And when I say easy, I mean easy! If you look at him the wrong way, or say something he doesn’t like, his runs into the other room and collapses in a heap of emotion. As any good parent (especially one who is a blogger) would do, I take notes, and methodically plan out a future post, while his mother takes pictures!

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Sam, after getting caught putting mascara on.

After a year of careful research and study (okay, not really), not to mention outbursts of laughter (and some compassion too), I present to you the 20 reasons why my 4-year old’s feelings are hurt:

#20… He was told to put his shoes and coat on for the 5th time so we could leave for dinner! (Each time, he was asked politely)

#19… He was warned that if he put mascara in his eyes it would burn!

#18… His brother told him to stop touching him!

#17… He was told that it was now 9 pm and time for bed!

#16… He got up from his place at the table and went out to the backyard to play and the table was cleared!

#15… He was told to wash his hands before eating a snack!

#14… Someone said “Good Morning” to him!

#13… His sister looked at him the wrong way!

#12… He was caught putting his mom’s mascara all over his face while he was supposed to be taking a nap!

#11… He was warned, while at the beach in Florida, that the waves were pretty big and could knock him over, so it was important for him to stay back!

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Sam, after face-planting on the beach in Florida, when a wave hit him.

#10… His older brother’s bike was too big for him to ride!

#9… It was morning and he didn’t want to be awake, but he woke up and came downstairs on his own accord!

#8… All of the Christmas presents were not for him!

#7… He finished all of his fries and we couldn’t magically produce any more out of thin air!

#6… Someone smiled at him!

#5… It was 20 degrees outside and we told him to go back upstairs and get warmer clothes!

#4… The episode of Spongebob Squarepants ended and we turned the station!

#3… We had to wash his Beeko (aka- blanket) because it had developed a crusty substance all over it!

#2… He woke us up at 2 am and we put him back to bed!

#1… His mom picked up another child, who was younger than him, and he demanded that he was “always the baby!”

Question: Have any reasons why your 4-year old (or any other age, for that matter) has gotten their feelings hurt lately? You can leave a comment by clicking here.



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  • No Matter What Mom

    That could be my now 10-1/2 year old. He has so much difficulty with regulation that the slightest thing sets him off. He had two settings: raging and asleep. He almost never slept. It took us 2-1/2 years after placement at age 4.5 to get to a place where he no longer physically attacked me daily. A new therapist with an unusual approach and seeing me recover from the surgical repair of an injury he inflicted finally got him enough self-control to stop trying so hard to hurt me.

    Even so, we still have meltdowns over nearly every little ripples in his lake. Every change, even really great ones, trigger anxiety to which he responds with rage. He has been doing far better since we moved to a smaller city. He feels safer here and that makes it easier for him to regulate. He can be outside more here. Being in nature, especially around water, helps him regulate. Watching birds and squirrels helps him. Fishing is his favorite activity. Because rhythmic activity helps reset and maintain the fundamental body functions in the part of his brain that first responds to stress, we have him do a lot of things like walking, running, dancing, pogoing, drumming, etc. Water has its own sort of rhythm, as does riding in a car (think about driving a crying baby around and around the block all night).

    Because we are still working on trauma and attachment challenges, I try to head the meltdowns off by preparing him for transitions. I also try to feed his emotional parking meter frequently to help him stay inside his window of tolerance. That may help and is a longer-term skill-building thing, but we still have numerous losses of self-control every day. My son tries really hard to regulate, so I usually try to comfort him the way I would a very young child. This is becoming less and less necessary as he is filling in the gaps in his emotional development. I am so proud of him. He has had a very tough road, but he keeps on trying. He has organic issues that make it extra challenging for him, yet he is doing better and better despite the bleak prognosis offered by his doctors.