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How to not raise a crybaby

How to not raise a crybaby

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, we, as par­ents, can help deter­mine whether a child will cry when faced with the slight­est obsta­cle or boo boo. Ver­sus 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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Claudia Aguilar

Family time lover! Wife. Mom. Software Engineer. Cat Fanatic.