Being a child is hard work. The world around a child is so large and confusing. While it seems like “little things” are making our children cry, it is not a little thing to them. Kid’s do not have the mental capacity to understand the scale of a problem, which is why sometimes when you give a toddler a blue cup instead of the red one, all Hell breaks loose.
As great as it is to have some tools in your back pocket for preventing tantrums and sadness, we as parents still need tools to help us calm our crying children down.
This parenting thing should have come with a manual!
Why The Phrase “Don’t Cry” Fails To Soothe A Crying Child
Have you ever had your partner/spouse tell you to 'Calm Down' when you’re in an angry rage? Doesn’t that just add some fuel to the already raging fire inside of you? It does for me!
The very same effect happens on children when we use the phrase “Don’t Cry” when trying to soothe a child. When children cry, they are letting out emotions. These emotions need to be processed and understood by our little growing humans. It is very important for our kids to feel all the feelings that they have so that they learn how to handle them properly, especially when the scale of these problems increases in teenage years.
Sometimes children cry because they simply forget to use their words. Young children who are just learning to speak, often just need some help to say the problem out loud. And sometimes, the problem is that they don’t remember how to tell you. Saying words like “Don’t Cry” will not help you child tell you the problem if they have forgotten how to say what they want to say.
Comforting Phrases To Calm Down Your Crying Child
- I’m Listening
- I Can Tell This Is Hard For You
- It Is Ok To Be Sad
- Let’s Work This Out Together
- If You Want To Be Alone, That Is Ok. I’ll Be Right Here When you’re Ready To Talk
- That was A Scary Situation! Are You Ok?
- I Hear You
- It Doesn’t Seem Fair
- Can You Tell Me About It?
- I’m Here For You
Phrase: I’m Listening
Why it works: Your are connecting with your child by being present in the situation and providing an ear. Sometimes children just need to talk about it, they may not need further guidance. Saying “I’m Listening,” tells them that your ears are open and ready for them to tell you their issue.
Phrase: I Can Tell This Is Hard For You
Why it works: You are providing a sympathetic feeling toward your child and are opening lines of communications to start a conversation. A simple saying that you can tell this is a difficult situation, can open up their heart and let everything spill out. This is a great time to really create those strong connections and help your child figure out how to deal with their emotions.
Phrase: It’s Ok To Be Sad
Why it works: You are noticing their sadness and you are reassuring that it is ok to feel the feelings. Sometimes there is nothing you can do but be sad, especially if the situation involves the death of a loved pet, a good friend or a family member.
Phrase: Let’s Work This Out Together
Why it works: You are being there for your child and showing your eagerness to solve the problem. Sometimes children just need some guidance in the right direction, and here you are providing that guidance to them.
Phrase: If You Want To Be Alone, That Is Ok. I’ll Be Right Here When you’re Ready To Talk
Why it works: You are giving your child the space that they are asking for and really need in that moment of sadness, but you are also saying that you are not far away when they are ready to talk. Sometimes children don’t know that they need to talk about their feelings to process them, but just knowing that you are right there if they need you can help them open up about their situation.
Phrase: That Was A Scary Situation, Are You Ok?
Why it works: You understand that the child went through something and you are opening the lines of communication by asking if they are ok. Sometimes a simple question such as “Are You Ok” can lead to a much bigger conversation..and sometimes it won’t. It all depends on the child and your relationship.
Phrase: I Hear You
Why it works: This simple phrase tell your child that you are there for support if they need it. Saying these simple words gives them reassurance that you are empathetic and sympathetic to the situation and you wish there was something you could do to help.
Phrase: It Doesn’t Seem Fair
Why it works: Sometimes life is not fair, and children won’t be able to understand their situations. If there is nothing you can do about the situation, you can be sympathetic to their feelings and let them know that you understand that this was not a fair situation. Being there for them will help them process this unfair moment.
Phrase: Can You Tell Me About It?
Why it works: Showing you care is all you need to start those conversations and a great conversation starter is simply “ Can You Tell Me About It”. Something so simple can open up lines of communication in everyday situations.
Phrase: I’m Here For You
Why it works: Just as “I Hear You” tell your child that you are there for support, “I’m Here For You” reaffirms that feeling. Telling your child that you are here is just as important as actually being there.