Children cry for many different reasons, they may be frustrated, hurt or want attention. Whatever the reason is, the way you as a parent react to their distress will make an impact on them as a human. Approaching sadness and unhappiness with love and compassion is the best way to go.
1. It’s OK if you’re sad
It is OK to feel sad. But sad feelings don’t have to take over your mood or ruin your day. You can do things to help yourself feel better. When sad feelings ease away, a happier mood can take their place.
2. You’re so frustrated! It’s okay, I’m here for you.
Your child may not be ready to reach out at the specific moment that they’re upset, different personalities deal with feelings in different ways. Let them know that you’re there when they’re ready to talk gives them the incentive to talk about their feelings when they are ready. Some people prefer to think about what they’ve gone through and talk about it later, and some prefer to discuss things straight away. Acknowledging that either way is acceptable makes them feel at ease, and not pressured to talk about things right away.
3. Why don’t we go out for a break and have some fun?
If your child is frustrated or crying because he couldn’t do something he tried, this is an excellent way to take a time-out.
4. “It’s okay to feel this way, baby.”
If your child’s done something wrong or hurt his friend, he/she may cry because of guilt. This phrase is a good way to help them process those emotions.
The next time your child is struggling with an overwhelming feeling, don’t immediately jump to “stop crying!”, have some of the above positive phrases handy so you can react with empathy and understanding.
Feelings aren’t something to be avoided, they’re opportunities for connection.
At the end of the day, we want to show our children that we always accept them. When they’re calm AND when they’re emotional.
Coach Benjamin Mizrahi. Educator. Learning Specialist. Family Coach. Father. Husband.
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