It can be frustrating when your kiddo is crying—especially when you can’t get him to stop. However, studies show that we, as parents, should avoid telling our children to “quit crying” as emotional expression is very important for young children. Plus, everyone needs a good cry every now and again! Here are 10 phrases to try next time your child is crying:
- It’s okay to be sad.
- This is really hard for you.
- I’m here with you.
- Tell me about it.
- I hear you.
- That was really scary, sad, etc.
- I will help you work it out.
- I’m listening.
- I hear that you need space. I want to be here for you. I’ll be close so you can find me when you’re ready.
- It doesn’t feel fair.
Obviously, you know your child best—so feel free to adapt these phrases in a way that makes sense for your family. For instance, my littlest one always needs a little more affection when he can’t stop crying; so, I always pair one of these phrases with a good hug (or tickle, depending on the situation) just to make sure he knows he is loved!
(Check out this post by Aletha Solter, Ph.D., for an expanded explanation of how important emotional expression and validation is for children.)