Listening to Children Crying

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Listening to Children Crying

by Patty Wiper

Listening to Children

When Your Child Begins to Cry
In listening to parents over the years, I have learned a simple truth: parents want good lives for their children. We want our young ones to be happy, loved, respected and understood. We also want the chance to correct the mistakes our parents made with us. For most of us, these goals are far more difficult to achieve than we had imagined.
We discover that loving and nourishing a child is complex work that challenges the hardiest grownup. Help is scarce as we juggle too much work, too little time, and the constant call of our children to “Come and play, Daddy!” and “Watch this, Mommy!”
It’s no wonder, then, we become
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Once your child has expelled his sad feelings by crying, he returns to his life refreshed. His confidence, hope and intelligence shift into gear, allowing him to learn and love well again. When you

listen as your child cries you enable him to learn as he faces tough challenges and to recover from the incidents that hurt him.

Small Incidents Give Rise to Big Feelings
This recovery process—crying until the hurt is gone—comes naturally to our children. They try to use it whenever they are having trouble feeling loved and confident. When a child lacks the confidence to make it through the next half hour, he’ll usually choose a very small issue as the focus of his upset. For instance, after being excluded from play by his sister all afternoon, your younger child asks for a piece of toast. You serve him one and he bursts into sobs. You cut it into triangles: he wanted rectangles! If you simply kneel down, put your arm around him and listen, the crying can go on for a long time. The triangular toast feels tragic to him: it’s the last straw, after hearing “I don’t want you around! Go away!” all afternoon. Your child is not petty or manipulative. This is the way all children (not just infants and toddlers) ask for help at the low moments in their lives. We adults are not that different. Often, for instance, when we feel most alone, we don’t begin to cry about it until we stub
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