Written by Eve Bandusena | Parents Avenue’s Editorial Assistant
Psychologists have stated that crying in front of our children is perfectly healthy to do. This is because the development of emotional intelligence in children is important for them to recognize their emotions, be aware of where they come from and how to deal with them. These are essential skills in life that they need to be fully functional adults.
When we feel vulnerable and let our children see us cry, we’re giving them to chance to experience and explore these difficult emotions from their own standpoint. From our cue as parents, they’ll understand that crying is a natural process that doesn’t need to be hidden, judged, or ashamed about. Additionally, this will also help children self-regulate their emotions after facing a challenging situation.
Life can seem like organized chaos at times. Many events can trigger negative emotions such as losing a job, separating from a spouse, dealing with the death of a loved one, the lists goes on and on. When we cry in front of our children, we’re teaching them that they can bounce back after a fall, argument, tantrum and move on with their lives just as they have before.
While we can’t control what happens to us, we can control how we react to it by controlling our emotions and actions. For example, it’s perfectly normal for a child to feel sad as an emotional response to not being invited to a sleepover but it’s not okay to hit or yell at their friend that didn’t invite them, or, it’s perfectly normal to feel bad if their parents don’t get you a toy you want but it’s not okay to beat or shout at your parents.
Although crying is mainly attributed to negative emotions, letting our children see us cry and then pick ourselves up again shows them that these negative emotions are temporary and will not last forever. It’s helpful to tell them that even though tears hurt, it’s okay and it will all be over soon. Showing our vulnerability to our children also indicated to children that crying is merely a process and it’s not permanent.
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