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  1. Excellent article, I’ve really learned something surprising about young children, what should be my response when they are expressing their feelings, If someone says stop crying, definitely we are staying their feeling and it’s bad for emotions, children must express the emotion also, as a signal of what is happening to them, remember that children experience the same feelings that we adults do, its absolutely right, thanks for sharing.

  2. Reading this article, I got to understand that Having your child say I’m sorry is going to do very little for a child to grow an understanding of how they feel, why they feel, what they can do with all these feelings all precursors to compassion. It takes time to grow a child who can tap into their inner selves and respond with compassion and honesty in a difficult situation, but I think this approach you have written here is better. Thanks 

    1. Yes! Our son is now three and we’ve not once forced him to apologise although we model the behaviour to him. So when I make a mistake, I apologise. Now, he apologises without prompting. He says please and thank you. We never had to force him to say any of these words. The method does work – not immediately but in the long-term. Luckily, parenting is a long-term game anyway. 🙂

  3. This is a really great post. I think parenting has to do with a lot of patience and we can’t do it the way we were done. I see alot of parents say the stop crying statement and honestly it doesn’t help. I feel guilty too already, we are subjecting our kids to oppress themselves whatever is eating them up, the pain, were not offering to help, that’s not good. I think you have written this so well. Great post worth sharing.

  4. Wow! The only thing that was popping in my mind while reading through this post was the fact that I was trying to remember that I had little success with my various attempts to stop my kid from crying while he was younger to which yielded little success. How I wish I came across this post earlier. Wow! This is simply great. I’ll bookmark this post for future references. Thanks

  5. OMG Jade when I saw the title of this article I was like I don’t even have the words for it. I absolutely feel so sad and kind of angry every time I am out in public and I hear a parent tell the child to stop crying. I thought I was the only one who thought there was anything wrong with that!

    Like for example if a child is crying and a grocery store because they want something on the checkout line the parent just tries to dismiss and minimize their feelings! I think that is the worst thing to do to the child. I wish I would see parents actually stopped and give their child some nurturing in some way. I don’t think the answer is always to get the child to Candy because I don’t think candy is really a good thing but I think the answer is definitely to attend to the child’s feelings.

    One difficulty with it is that pretty much most people were raised in this anti crying culture where you know crying is discouraged and we have to get everyone to stop crying. But I think crying is so good. I myself grew up in a very anti crying environment and I’ve been in recovery for I don’t know since 2013 and I’m talkin ACA recovery not just stage one recovery and I can still barely ever access any tears.

    So OMG Jade like words cannot express how absolutely thrilled I am about you putting this concept into words. You explained it very well and I feel like I wish I could get a link to this article and then handed out around the food store whenever I heard parents telling a child to stop crying. Of course they might not really want to hear me say that so it might not really work. But for people who are interested in loving parenting instead of mean parenting I hope that they find this article.

    I think so many people’s emotional growth gets stunted when they get the whole stop crying thing. Or even worse when the parents say stop crying or I’ll give you something to cry about OMG that is like the worst thing for a parent to say well not the worse but you know.

    Please keep writing more loving parenting stuff because I will keep coming back and keep reading stuff. This article is seriously like more important than anything I’ve seen on the internet in as long as I can remember.

    1. Charles, your words mean a lot to us and we thank you for sharing. You’re right about emotional growth and maturity. We actually can’t understand how the results from scientific studies (since the early 1950s) haven’t filtered through to mainstream parenting (ie.: children who are the recipient of spanking and other forms of punishment tend to develop emotional and mental issues as adults). 

      Like you, we wish that people would be more open to this kind of parenting. It seems to take a while but then, this is how marriages were hundreds of years ago – people thought it expected that a man would beat his wife. Now, we all know better so we hope that, with many countries adopting legislation banning corporal punishment, we are well on our way to the same destination.

  6. Great question do you ever succeed with stop crying? I think the answer is no more often times than not. This is an interesting perspective from the parent’s point of view. Most times when a child does something bad or even detrimental society is quick to blame the parent. While I believe that a child’s behavior is influenced greatly by his or her parents’ treatment I believe that everyone is different, and some cannot be tamed. I agree that crying is healthy for children. Brilliant alternative in “I can see you’re having such a hard time. It’s hard when you don’t get what you want.” I’m going to pass your post along to some parents that I know, great post!

    1. Thank you. Glad you found the post useful. There are indeed times when the parents are unable to make a difference and in these cases, we always recommend professional intervention to check if there is an underlying physical, mental or emotional issue. It’s easy to cast the blame on either parent or child but sometimes, there are things that are happening that we don’t know about.

  7. Thank you for laying out this scenario. I am trying to find new ways to speak to my child as I feel like I am only making things worse with my words. I never thought of crying as “healthy” and “necessary” but now I have more clarity on the subject. I want to be able to communicate to my child on a deeper level and now I know the correct terms to use instead of forceful terms like “stop crying.” I like the terms “I’m right here” and “You’re not alone” because they provide comfort. I will definitely use these next time my child starts crying. I know that it can be very frustrating being a parent, I am going through it now, but your article has helped me learn different ways of treating a child when they begin to cry. Thanks again for your tips!

    1. You’re welcome, Hillary. Glad you found the information here useful.

      Also, remember that you’re more likely to snap or react rashly when you’re stressed out so make sure to spend some time just taking care of you too. 🙂

  8. I tell I am old school! “Spare the rod and spoil the child”! It worked for me. I don’t suggest babying a child but a little firmness also goes a long way! the child should also be taught with misbehavior comes punishment and with good behavior comes reward! As they reach adulthood they will experience this in the real world!  what should you do to a child that loves to hit other kids in order to get what they have? I think your suggestions work in some cases but sometimes a good ol’ fashioned spanking is what is needed!

    1. Hi Robert, thank you very much for your input although I must respectfully disagree.

      Obviously, children need boundaries and it is our job as parents to ensure that they know what these boundaries are so they can grow up into the kind of adults any parent would be proud of. But I think if we want our children to grow up with compassion and empathy for other people, we need to model that as early as possible.

      Research since the 1950s has shown time and again that children on the receiving end of traditional punishment are more likely to develop mental health and relationship issues as adults. They are also at higher risk of becoming more aggressive and violent. 

      Surely, we’d prefer children to grow up into adults who do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do and not because they’ll get something out of it? Or adults who don’t do something bad simply because they’re avoiding punishment and not because it’s inherently bad?

      PS. I’ve been on the receiving end of traditional parenting/punishment myself. I won’t willingly let my son suffer through the same. 🙂

  9. Great advice! I am going to text a link to my daughter lol. I have had 6 children myself and don’t remember the tantrums so much but definately some defiant behaviour now and then. Thankfully they all turned out alright. I see my daughter struggle a bit with her young ones behaviour at times. But again, nothing a calm voice can’t handle. However, you have great infornation here that she could definately benefit from so thanks again.

    1. Wow, I am in awe! 6 children whilst I already have my hands full with just the one. lol

      I get asked if we’ll have another one and I really think long and hard about that question haha 

      Young children are notoriously difficult and sometimes it really does feel like a battle zone. In my experience and from the sounds of it, probably yours too, a calm voice is needed. It’s really finding that “calm centre” that is essential and also difficult.

      I find that when I don’t get enough rest that I fail to act with the grace and presence of mind required to model emotional maturity and management – always leads to most of my parenting fails.

      It would be interesting to know how you navigated parenting with six children. You are a goddess! 🙂

  10. All this strategies of calming do work. I have used it for friends before and they became very confidential and mutual with me after they got over the emotional melt down. I actually didn’t learn this from anywhere. It was my instinct that lead me to do so. I realised whenever am in that situation, sorry only used to worsen my condition. My children will also receive better calming from me without the word sorry. This guides work more than bribing and saying sorry.

    1. That’s excellent! 

      Thank you for sharing, Stella. Bribing and saying sorry are my pet peeves just because they are so common and insidious. 

      In fact, my husband and I also have to call each other out when we slip.

      It’s a bit more difficult when we’re talking to other adults, though, who tend not to understand why we don’t force apologies or when we let our child cry rather than ending the tears with a nice chocolate bar or some other bribe.

  11. As a father of three children, I can relate to this article.  I was probably guilty of telling my children to stop crying.

    In New Zealand, there had been a culture among some minorities of ethnic groups, of belting a child.  Some cultures instill fear into their children to control them.  There was a backlash against list approach and now there is legislation the outlaws hitting children, especially in schools.

    I wish I had found your article when my children were younger,  I guess I behaved the way my father behaved, which is threatening and unsympathetic.  it was my mother that I would go to when I was sad.

    I can see that behavior is generational.  It is time to break the tough love attitude of parents, so our children can in turn be loving parents.

    I appreciate your article


    1. Hi Aaron, thank you for sharing your story.

      I also come from the same kind of culture – tough love reigns supreme, children are to be seen and not heard, the parents hold all the power in a household. To be honest, I’m not entirely sure that there are currently countries in the world that treat children differently in general, though it is getting better with time.

      That said, I’m horrified by some parents in many countries protesting against laws that protect children from being hit by their parents or other adults in the name of discipline. About 50 or 60 years ago, we all thought it was okay for men to hit their wives and the protest against legislation protecting women were pretty much the same.

      I think we can now all agree that this was a good step to take.

      I also agree with you that behaviour is generational. There are some studies that showed that children who were spanked grow up to become parents who also spank their children. Unless you do a lot of inner work, you won’t even question it because, to you, that would’ve been the norm.

      In fact, I personally need to make sure that I am well-rested and full (ie. not hungry) because when I’m not, my temper ignites far too easily and I then find it difficult to interact with my child with the grace required of me. 

      I also need to do a lot of inner work as I too am a product of traditional parenting.

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