Kids truly don’t cry for no reason.
That’s probably not what you’ve been lead to believe, but behind that crying (behaviour) is ALWAYS something that’s being communicated. Even if a child was fake-crying then that would be communicating something to you about their emotional state.
Adults are often well-meaning when they say “you’re ok”. It comes from a place of:
A. Not really knowing what else to say
B. Wanting the crying to stop
But telling a child that they’re ok when clearly they’re not can feel really invalidating for a child. “Of course I’m not ok- look at me!” they’re probably screaming internally.
This post is about what you could say instead of “you’re ok”. It’s about holding space for your child’s emotions and letting them cry if they need to, it’s healthy. Then you’re not only telling them “it’s ok to feel your feelings” you’re saying “it’s ok to tell me your feelings - I’m listening and I care”.
We know the significant of mental health struggles these days so now more than ever it’s important that we strive to grow children who feel safe to communicate their feelings. If you were crying to your partner and they said “you’re ok” - you would probably stop going to them with your problems. We want our kids to talk to us so we can best support them.
Share this with a parent if it’s made you think. We can all do better once we know better.