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Wellness

What To Say To Your Kids When They’re Crying

Why do our kids cry? Does the answer surprise you? Let a professional help us answer this question – they know when their kids are upset.

When your kids are crying, this can either be to do with their parents, themselves, or life events. Often, when they have a problem, they are trying to figure out why they are crying, what’s bothering them and how to do that. They have an open mind to hear all sides of the story, and they may be upset that they are trying to find answers they don’t know exists. When this happens, they don’t feel comfortable talking to their parents about it; they might feel like they are being rude, have lost control, or are doing something that is inappropriate. Instead, your best bet is to speak to them in a non-judgemental manner, listen and try to understand where they are coming from, and listen to what they are putting in their mouth. You may find that something you say can help them feel better or you can say something that will get them into a better state of emotional well-being.

If your kid cries because he (or she) has a medical problem, then you can help your child to understand the nature of the problem. They might be embarrassed that there is something wrong with their body and you can help them see they are not the only ones who might cry. You might say things like ‘Look at your tummy, it’s very puffy’ or ‘I bet you’re starving right now.’ The child could feel good to hear that their tummy looks bad but they don’t necessarily need that to feel better. You might say that this will all be fixed and things like this will just be a habit to deal with in the future! If however they are going through a scary or traumatic experience or they’re going through something hard in life, you’re going to need to say something other than ‘I’m sorry.’

Some examples are described below:

If an issue with their nose, like a cold or something like that, is bothering them, you might say things like ‘Your nose is fine to look at when you’re upset and swollen on one side’ or ‘Have you ever had a cold nose that hasn’t bothered you at all?’ This would explain their nose and help the child understand that it is nothing to be ashamed of. Instead they might understand you are thinking how they might have been feeling and they might then be more comfortable talking to you about the situation.

You could also explain that if they are upset because they are not sleeping right now, they might be feeling the tension from the stress and not having enough rest, or even how tired they feel and whether or not they need to get up earlier to do something. This could explain why they are feeling the way they are right now – and help them feel relieved that their rest needs are being met. They might feel better about it because in the long run it will only make them a better caregiver. If they are upset because they are in a bad situation, you might suggest that the solution is to ‘be kind to yourself’ and ‘don’t give up’ – this is a simple yet powerful reminder.

You could ask why they are crying (for example: ‘Did an emergency happen at school?’) or help them to find other ways for them to talk to their teacher or school staff (such as through a computer, calling a parent and so on). If you are worried about being insensitive, you could explain that the best thing you can do when your child is upset is to be calm and listen to what they are saying, and try to understand why they are worried or have a problem.

If an issue is more complex and not related just to a physical sensation, it may take an adult professional to help the child through such troubles. They may provide reassurance that the problem can usually be solved and guide them into thinking that they are not the only ones who can’t solve problems.

When your kid needs to talk to you because of school, home or work problems, it might be that you must ‘tell them off,’ ‘suffer with them,’ ‘come in and talk to them’ or whatever you feel is best.