Grief and the little master : cry stories

To let cry or not to cry!

No one can stand a new born crying out for long and least of all the mother. Attachment theory says a parent should pick up the child as soon as it cries and soothe it. They believe this creates a trust relationship between the child and parent. The child’s cravings are soothed and they are happier.

Another school of thought believes that a child soothed immediately only reinforces more crying and this should not entertained. The child may not learn to self soothe as easily.

Which argument would you support ?

As a new born the baby has no other means of communication with the adult for its immediate needs but to cry. The development of cry is one of the essential milestones right from birth.

Latest research from the University of Warwick points out that we have made a mountain out of a mole. Crying does not affect the child’s development in anyway. Infact by letting the child cry we are teaching them more self control.

That being said while crying out may be beneficial to the baby it is quite detrimental to a mother’s mental health to be constantly subjected to a crying child. Self doubt whether the child will form a bond with the mom is baseless and this research only reinforces it. The bond between a mom and a child is irrelevant to how soon a crying child is consoled.

No matter how old the child is never tell them they are too old to cry. Especially in the toddler age the children have so many changes going on in their body as they grow and in their mind as they learn to speak and express themselves that they may feel overwhelmed and overstimulated. This often leads to an emotional outburst.

How can we help a slightly older child deal with their emotions positively?

1. Never shame a child for crying- no matter how old / young they are or however Silly the reason for cry

2. Do not fuss or over react to the crying child. No matter how hard it seems keeping a straight face is one step closer to the finish line

3. Help the child make words. Most of the time for the toddlers the difficulty in finding their words leads to frustration and tantrums. For an older child , speaking out about the situation distracts them from their emotions

4. Naming objects around the room helps in bringing mindfulness to the picture and calming an anxious child

5. Some children are soothed by touch and others by rhythm and some by motion. Watch out for what your child needs to settle.

Emotional development is as important as intellectual development. Infact it is more important in order to make this world a better place. Here is to raising aware and kind children and a happier future world.

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