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2 year old enjoys watching others cry

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hey folks, just wondering about a little issue we're dealing with, and my Google-fu is failing me.


My son is just about 2 1/2, and lately he's been really into seeing people hurt or crying. He wants my husband or I to play that we're crying, he pretends to hurt us and asks us to cry. Then he smiles like a maniac, haha. 


We recently started day care and any time one of the other kids cries, he runs over to watch, fascinated. He's going through a hitting stage too, and I can't help but wonder if he doesn't hit the other kids in order to watch them cry. 


He seems to have little empathy (I know that will grow with age) and doesn't seem to understand (or at least, care) that crying means the person is feeling badly. It makes me sad to see that, but maybe that's my own stuff, or a misunderstanding of toddler minds . . .


So my question is, is this developmentally normal? Something I should be concerned about?


Would love to hear any others' experiences. Also, do I play along with the crying game, or refuse and redirect?



post #2 of 4

totally normal. He is figuring out cause and effect (if I hit people react a certain way!) and how emotions differ.  When my little guy was newly 2 he was very enthralled by 'sad' and sadness.


We got a ton of books on emotions from the library during that phase... Toddlers feel emotions, but don't fully "know" what they are--so developing a vocabulary to talk about feels, emotions, etc. is very important for 2s.  That might give him an outlet to grock emotions and crying without the 'crying game.'


Another great book is "hands are not for hitting." 

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thank you! As soon as I read your response I was like "yes, of course!" I just get caught in a worried-mom loop sometimes.  ;-)


Thanks for the book rec, I think that would be great for us.

post #4 of 4

My DS hit a new level of interest in crying and sadness in the last month or two, right around when he turned 2.5.  He asks me to "fake cry" a lot, and will have me go back to the part of a book where the main character was sad.

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