One of the best things we can do for our children or the children we work with is to let them cry and feel.
But most can’t handle the emotion that a crying child brings up in them. As a result, adults try to fix the child, placate, shame the child, ignore, etc.
Because I grew up in a very unhealthy family, I was not allowed to feel and when it came to crying, that would often get me slapped in the face so I could have something real to cry about.
Because of my upbringing, the first half of my life was a nightmare. Unable to connect to people emotionally, unable to work with others, often lived in isolation self medicating myself with food, drugs or anything else I could find to help me stop “feeling”.
I wish what I went through on no one.
Here is a video I made on how to handle crying children
So back to what I think is the most important thing we can do for our child… Let them cry until it clears and let them know it is perfectly normal.
Child starts crying near you.
Tell them to come closer. Say something like, let it out. Clean it out like we clean rooms. That cry needs to come out. Are you bleeding?
The are you bleeding part is to check to see if the child is physically hurt. They will let you know where they are hurting if they are.
Hand them some tissue and tell them to take their time. Clean it out, let it out. It’s okay to cry.
Be careful not to say “it’s okay” because this can be misunderstood by the child that whatever triggered the cry is okay. So stick with “It’s okay to cry. Let it out. Clean it out”.
At this point they should fall into your arms. If they don’t open your arms and say again “Let it out, it’s okay to clean the cry out”.
If they want to talk they will. No need to ask. When they do talk, it’s really important not to fix, judge, project your thoughts, etc.
If you have never done this before it will be uncomfortable for you. Stick to the format above and you will be a star real fast.
Pay close attention to what bubbles up for you in the area of emotions. It may be uncomfortable. Let it feel uncomfortable. This has nothing to do with your child.
When you can hold a safe space for your child to cry/feel, they will become emotionally intelligent. This one attribute will serve them well in the world and keep them off medication designed to suppress feelings.
Feeling is a good thing despite what TV teaches. Remember, TV ads are designed to make us feel feeling is wrong so they can sell us drugs.
Doing what I suggest above will turn your child into a well balanced human and a feeling rock star 🙂
When your child grows up, they’ll be able to handle their own feelings and the feelings with others if they are taught there is nothing wrong with feeling.