Every child has their own way of reacting to the world around them. It’ll be largely due to their emotional levels and personality.
For example, some children when first walking barefoot on sand may immediately start crying. Others while weirded out may continue wiggling their toes in this strange stuff. Some may even venture to give it a taste.
However, as parents we can help determine whether a child will cry when faced with the slightest obstacle or boo boo -VS- a child who’ll shrug off a fall or persevere a bit more before getting frustrated.
You are your child’s role model. And younger children are looking for new and effective ways to express their feelings.
Here is a video with an example:
If you come running each time they have a boo boo. They won’t learn that NOT all bumps, slips or falls merit tears. However, they will learn a quick way to get your attention.
I’m not saying your child has to be the next Katniss Everdeen, fending for themselves in a stark world. But you should encourage them from an early age to overcome smaller challenges.
Here are a handful of tips:
1. Let your child explore the world at their own pace: If your child is taking their first steps, don’t stop them! Help them find safe ways to explore.
If your home doesn’t have carpet, use a rug, foam mats or similar materials.
Or take them outside, let them practice in the yard or in a park. They won’t suffer more than perhaps a couple of falls, grass stains and slight frustration.
Again, don’t run to the rescue. Instead encourage them with a soft and calm voice I know it’s tough but I’m sure you can do it. Try again! Your support will put a smile on their face.
2. Identify your child’s types of cries: If your child is still a baby, keep calm while you determine the cause (hunger, sleepy, colic). A baby’s only way of communicating is by crying. And while it’s easier said than done: be patient.
If your child is older than 1 year then it becomes easier to determine if their crying has real merit or if they’re exaggerating. Are they truly afraid, sad or hurt -vs- are they seeking extra attention.
Crying accompanied by screaming and tantrums is a sign that they’ve unfortunately learned that this is the best way to get your immediate attention.
Although, there isn’t a quick and easy way to address this type of behavior. Do your best to speak with your child calmly: Are you hurt? Are you scared? Do you need a hug?
3. Do help them when they’re crying due to something serious: Many times kids will cry due to frustration. Encourage them to address whatever is vexing them. Give them ideas on how to overcome their obstacle.
And obviously if they’ve taken a serious spill like a bumped head or scraped knee. Then do console them and attend to their injury.
4. Think before you act: Sometimes your child’s tantrum will get the better of them. Try to keep your temper and tell them firmly that you’ll need them to calm down before you can help them. It will give you some time to think about your next move.
Also, speak to your child face-to-face. Mr. Rogers always got down to a kid’s eye level. It’s a good way to make a child feel equal. Think about it. Would you like someone looming over you?
Soon they’ll start to learn that problems are best resolved by speaking calmly than by crying & shouting.
5. Patience, perseverance and self-control: Getting through a child’s crying phase will be a challenge. But be aware of your reactions.
If you respond with anger or over-protection; you’ll just end up fueling unwanted behavior.
Do your best to react in the same manner. Perseverance is the quickest way to correct bad behavior.
Of course, it’s not easy to see our children cry. However, if we teach them to remain calm and use their words in unpleasant situations you’ll provide them with a skill that will serve them well, not just now, but for the rest of their lives.
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