The-best-thing-to-do-when-they-cry

The best thing to do when they cry

Some of us find it hard to handle our children’s tears. If the tears are a response to pain or fear or sickness, go with your heart and give the comfort they need. But are the tears tears of frustration? There are always many gaps between what a child wants and what they are able or allowed to get. As parents, sometimes we are the cause of that frustration as we place boundaries for their own good.

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So a weep may be a way a child is processing their grief, their anger, and their frustration. It resets them emotionally and is a self-comforting tool. Maybe we don’t need to do much more than just be empathetic. Get down to their level, listen to their frustration with your heart and let them know that you care.

You might not be to do anything to relieve their frustration but you do care. Also you can empathise without actually agreeing with their opinion on what’s causing the frustration. “I can see you’re upset. This is tough, eh? I know you want an ice block – but not today, honey.”

There are two responses to their tears which can be unhelpful –

1. Letting our child believe that tears will always get them what they want

All they have to do is cry and we’ll quickly respond with snacks or toys or attention – or even reverse a decision that they didn’t like. It’s can train our children to be whiney and grizzley.

2. Anger

Hey, when has anger worked for anything?


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About Author

John Cowan

Writer, speaker and broadcaster, John Cowan shares his insight and opinions about the latest in parenting and family news in New Zealand. Hear John speak on radio stations every week throughout the country and regularly on national TV.  Follow @JohnCowanNZ on Twitter

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