The sound of a child cry brings out the worst in us; so many different reactions that mostly sound like,
and the worst of them all “men don’t cry.”
Or we end up doing whatever it is to please them just to get rid of their crying phase! Let’s stop for a moment and question their behavior, is crying a voluntary or a non-voluntary act? Why did God grant man the ability to express his emotions through crying but didn’t grant animals that same ability?
Why would God create a place in the brain called the hypothalmas that is connected to the acetyl choline, which sends signals to our autonomic nervous system to simulate tear production. With each tear that leaves our eyes, our body releases hormones and proteins like leucine –enkephalin, which is a natural painkiller that explains why we feel much better instantly after we cry. Crying can be thought of as a mean of communicating without actual words, it allows us to express our feelings and allows others to see these feelings that we have. Crying puts our parenting at test, do we always sympathize with our kids and understand that their tears are uncontrollable and a result of your uncontrollable emotions or do we end up accusing them of being annoying, needy, or a nag.
How to act when your child cries?
First off, appreciate that they are expressing their emotions and letting it all out, because if these emotions are suppressed they will evolve into an aggressive behavior. They could isolate themselves and develop a state of constantly being nervous and worried, or they may develop a state of indifference. Or the bottled up feelings could negatively affect their attention span, causing them to be in a constant state of daydreaming and lack of concentration.
So now that we’ve established that it isextremely important to let your child express how they feel, we need to know how to deal with the situation.
How to deal with your child when they cry?
- Find a common ground between you both and assure them that you can feel and understand that they are angry/down/worried.
- Ask them to hug you. Tell them that you need a hug, if they refuse ask them again, if they are persistent then ask them to come give you a hug when they can because you really need it. Walk away from them showing how upset you are that you haven’t received your hug.
What is the importance of a hug?
Hugs are very important because when a person is crying, the part responsible for social relationships, the prefrontal cortex, stops functioning. But when we hug each other a hormone, called Oxytocin, is released and it becomes in charge of love and social relationships.
Your child becomes involuntarily detached from the world when they cry, they don’t intend to not listen or concentrate on what you are saying. The only medicine is a hug and an empathetic look from you. Hugs really are medicinal and sometimes they’re the quickest and most effective solution.
When your kid stops crying, listen.
Explain your opinion.
Reach a conclusion together that respects both your opinions and needs.
By time, with continuous discussions and proper handling of the situation, your child’s mind will start to open up and becomes more accepting. Naturally, they’ll start crying less and less.
It’s not a matter of how much effort you put in, but rather a matter of trying to feel what they feel.
Article written by Sara Saif (@SaraEmpathy) and translated by TDC