Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Parenting with less stress {No cry babies}

 I have this theory. It may or may not be right, but I think it is. My theory is this: I think parents (caregivers) for the most part create cry babies.

 You know what I mean by a cry baby don't you? The child (sometimes a baby still crawling or a toddler or even an older child) tumbles in the grass, they are not really hurt but yet they cry. Or they get accidentally bumped by a playmate, and they wail and wail like they are dieing. In my humble opinion, that sort of child can be a little stressful to be around.

So, how do parents create this not so wonderful trait in their child? I think it often starts quite young. As the baby begins to get mobile, roll over, sit-up, etc. They tend to fall over every so often too. Some parents quickly run and pick them up and act excited and ask them over and over again if they are okay, even though it is quite obvious they are. They parents react quickly and with emotion every time they think their little princess may have gotten a bump.

   Now I am not opposed to comforting a child that gets a bump but I think how we react speaks volumes to our children. When we act all excited and concerned, rather than calmly and sometimes with what seems to be a bit of indifference take care of them, we are going to cause our child to be emotional too. I don't try to make a child feel like they shouldn't cry when they truly hurt, but to cry as a means of showing that I am upset over a bump happening I don't appreciate so much.

   I have seen parents train kids in being a crybaby far past babyhood. Toddlers easily notice when their parent is upset or excited over an "accident" and they will then get upset too. Older children will get "hurt" just to get their parents reaction (and attention).

  My rule of thumb was to wait to see how my child reacted before reacting myself (unless of course they were little infants or did something that was truly dangerous- not just a little bump). Sometimes kids will just get up and go again or sometimes they do need to cry, then I can calmly comfort them or give them a band-aid if needed.

  This has worked well for us and we don't have any cry babies in our household. They are tough but still sympathetic to the hurts of others and they aren't afraid to cry when they need to cry though. They don't cry over stuff that doesn't really hurt however.

I am curious to hear your thoughts on this. If I have been confusing in what I write, please just ask.


Anonymous said...

I think you are right and I'm with you... wait till you see what their reaction is before you react. I've taken to ignoring them and pretending like I never saw them fall so they won't over-react.
-someone in n.dakota

spinninglovelydays said...

I understand what you mean. Conditioning plays a big role in how kids react, although I bet some people would also point out that some kids are really just more prone to crying. I can't say firsthand, having just one child thus far. :)

Spinning Lovely Days

All in a Day said...

I agree with Spinning Lovely Days. Some kids ARE more prone to crying. Now if I can just figure out what to do with a whiner. Ignoring, spanking, and forcing to talk correctly don't seem to be helping. Maybe time...

Nola said...

I agree, but I also have one kid who is more prone to this. She's also very strong willed, so maybe it has something to do with it. My other child seems to just fall over and get back up! I've parented them the I'm not sure what is up with that. But basically the principle of not over reacting is a great one!

Abbi said...

Thanks for all your comments. And yes I do agree with those of you that pointed out that kids ARE different and some are more prone to crying than others. I didn't mention that in my post and you are right. Still over all, over reacting is going to make them fuss even more.


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