When things would go wrong she would cry.
When friends rejected her offers to play, she would cry.
When she was sad, she would cry.
When she was angry, she would cry. This is when you begin to ask: now, what should we try?
What most people say in response is, “Use your words.”
What I say is, “Do you need to do the crying part now or after?”
Why? Crying is necessary for some children to get over the upset. Crying allows them to create space for problem-solving.
A stifled and suppressed cry doesn’t mean the tension simply floats away.
Instead crying is the first step of the problem-solving process.
Kid’s crying is equivalent to our initial:
“Help me, Jesus”
“For EFFs sake”
gritting our teeth
rubbing our forehead
We release tension to take the next step forward.
This is what crying does for children.
So when she was done crying I would acknowledge she finished the crying part, “Now, what should we try to fix the problem?”
Crying isn’t a problem. How we construe it IS.
If we see it as the first step in solving a problem it shifts our reaction to it.
We begin to accept it as the first part of a powerful process.
Isn’t that how you want people to perceive our adult tears?
Some kids cry first, some kids cry later and some kids cry on the inside. Normalize crying for all ages.
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