From the moment we bring our baby home from the hospital, there’s crying. At first it’s simply a process of discovering what they need, a change, food, sleep. But over time the reasons our kids cry change and develop. When they cry it may be because they’re sad, angry, scared, anxious or even happy. How we respond to them is important both in stopping the crying and to help them to develop ways to deal with the emotions in the future.
One of the things we shouldn’t do is to tell them not to cry. I know I’ve done it, and in retrospect it’s counterproductive. What we’re doing when we say, “don’t cry,” is that we don’t understand or don’t care about them. It may seem to them that we’re saying their emotions are invalid or unimportant. Even if the reason seems trivial to us, it’s not to them. Plus it takes away an opportunity to help them deal with their emotions in a helpful manner. This can have ramifications for a life time.