Saying "Don’t Cry!" Makes Life Harder For You
The following story, written by Renee Jain, was originally published on GoZen.
It's no secret that hearing our kids cry makes us uncomfortable. Just think about how anxious you feel when your little one tears up without an obvious reason. We know that a newborn's main way to communicate is to cry, yet we still look at it as something to be "fixed". Once that infant becomes a walking, talking toddler, we sometimes expect them to process emotion the way we do, rather than the way they have always done: through crying.
In fact, studies have found that our brains are hard-wired to have an instant reaction to a crying child, making us more attentive and ready to help — and fast! A crying infant triggers our fight or fight response, increasing our heart rate and pushing us into action . . . even if that child is not our own.
It seems we have to react to a crying toddler, but how?