Mothering Forum banner

1 - 20 of 51 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,455 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay, I have now heard this from two different mothers of my Girl Scouts on different occasions, directed toward their daughters who are 7 and 8 respectively. In each case the girl was disappointed about one of those things that seems small to an older person but is important to a kid, and tears were forming in her eyes when the mother leaned down to just a few inches from her face and said very firmly and loudly, "Do. Not. Cry." Each girl struggled for a minute or two and managed not to cry but then had about 10 minutes of what looked to me like silent fury before she felt like joining in the activities again; meanwhile mother turned away and resumed socializing with the other parents in a slightly fake-cheerful way. I was sort of afraid to ask either mother or daughter what was going on. Both of these were at times when things were fairly unstructured--returning to our campsite for rest period, and refreshments time after an awards ceremony--so it wasn't that a crying jag would prevent the girl from being able to participate in something.<br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/confused.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Confused">: What would be the goal of a parent who does this? Are they trying to make their kids seem more mature? Do they so dislike comforting a crying child? What??? I just don't get it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
902 Posts
Yuck- I read the title of your post and had to read on. I feel like crying for those little girls. I would have the same questions as you. Perhaps the mothers see crying in front of others as shameful? Maybe they think crying=bad/hurt, no crying=no hurting? Maybe they were never comforted or were told not to cry as a child.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Ugh. I feel sorry for those girls. Sounds like they aren't allowed to "vent" properly, and that will just lead to trouble.<br><br>
I've even stopped saying, "Don't cry" to my girls when they have fallen down and hurt themselves. At first all I want to do is hug them and say "don't cry, it's okay" but I realized that they are hurt! They CAN cry and it ISN'T okay (at least for that moment!). I tell them I know it hurts but they'll be better soon and they can let it all out. Something I wasn't allowed to do as a child much.<br><br>
Anyway, thougth I'd add my thoughts.<br><br>
Take care!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,567 Posts
I was always told not to cry by my father. (I always cried anyway.) His attitude was pretty much that I should suck it up. He thought it was silly to cry and couldn't understand why I was crying.<br><br>
My sister constantly tells her 4 year old ds not to cry. From what I can gather, she tells him this because she thinks he is not really upset, rather just crying to get attention or to manipulate the situation.<br><br>
I personally see nothing wrong with crying, especially when frustrated. I think crying for attention is a very valid reason to cry, and if a parent doesn't want their child crying for attention, the parent should ensure the child is getting adequate attention or provide the child with an alternative way of asking for attention.<br><br>
I think many parents believe that children need to learn to deal with anger and frustration privately and view crying as an expression of weakness. I personally think it's a heck of a lot better than screaming, yelling and hitting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
My Japanese mother used to tell me this as a child. It made me supress alot of my emotions.<br><br>
I believe it was cultural because public displays of emotion were disapproved of in Japan. (My mom grew up in the 40's & 50's so things could of changed since then).<br><br><br>
Liz
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
441 Posts
Ive even seen this in parents of toddlers. From what Ive seen, the parent feels embarrassed and doesnt want to deal with the situation. I try to empathize with the child when I see this happening. Sometimes Ive had to be sneaky about it tho. lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,962 Posts
I see that all the time, I've even had people say it to my 1 year old DS! It infuriates me.<br><br>
I am one of those that says "It's okay." but I guess I mean it in more of a "It's okay, mama is right here to help you." way rather than a "You shouldn't be crying because you're fine" way. kwim?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,422 Posts
In one of my many less than perfect GD moments with DS, I have said this too. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag">: I can tell you for me I said during "one of those days". I think I was exhausted, DS was exhausted and the behavior issues were just escalating. I don't think I had much patience left by the time that little gem popped out. But I remember feeling something along the lines of utter and complete frustration and like . . . "OMG I don't think I can handle another second of outburst or I am going to crack" . . . kind of a mood. If that helps understand "why" the moms might have said that?<br><br>
Thanks for your post though - reading the replies has really made me think about the implications for "emotion suppressing" to the child? I never thought of it that way - lilke its teaching them that its not OK to experience that emotion? The PPs are absolutely right - that is a horrible message to the poor DC who receive that command - especially if its common refrain?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,964 Posts
My mom was told this as a child so instead she told me, "Cry softly, honey," as she held me. I have used this with my dd...the screeching can get to ya, yk, but they still need to cry. I have also used, "You will feel better soon," as I comfort her. I appreciate these b/c it's still hard for me not to say, "Don't cry."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
538 Posts
Thanks for the 'cry softly' suggestion <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> My ds is very sensitive and he needs to cry to vent his feelings until he can verbalize better. I think I'll try this...<br><br>
My dh tells ds not to cry any chance he gets... I finally told him last night that ds NEEDS TO LEARN HOW TO VERBALIZE his feelings NOT stuff them. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">: Then dh says "Mason, you need to tell mom and dad your feelings when you're upset, not cry." At least it was a step... What's the problem with crying?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,633 Posts
I think at least some anti-crying people view crying as both weak and manipulative (like you're doing it to get sympathy). I remember that being the case at school - teachers would yell at you for doing something and then yell at you for crying when they yelled at you.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,324 Posts
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>TripMom</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">In one of my many less than perfect GD moments with DS, I have said this too. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/bag.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Bag">: I can tell you for me I said during "one of those days". I think I was exhausted, DS was exhausted and the behavior issues were just escalating. I don't think I had much patience left by the time that little gem popped out. But I remember feeling something along the lines of utter and complete frustration and like . . . "OMG I don't think I can handle another second of outburst or I am going to crack" . . . kind of a mood. If that helps understand "why" the moms might have said that?</div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
sigh- me too. And I hate it.<br>
I've been big on "if ds is crying, there's a REASON that's worth crying" and even told dp that I don't think its right to tell kids to "stop crying" or that "you're alright. It's no big deal."<br>
But, a few times, when the crying/fussing has gone on ALL day, it pops out usually "would you just stop!?". Maybe partly because I want him to calm down and *communicate with me* so we can work on fixing whatever's wrong. But I suspect its mostly because I feel like I might go crazy if I don't get a moment's peace.<br>
It doesn't make him stop crying, it makes him cry more. And the WORST part, is that I'm noticing him trying to stifle his cries other times, and its enough to make my heart break <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
PLEASE don't bash me for that. I know its wrong, and I've made a new resolution to be very careful about what I say and how I say it.<br><br>
Anyways, just sharing to add to the "maybe those moms rarely do this and feel horrible about it" perspective.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,612 Posts
I've done it. Not proud of it. What I am proud of is my child - he responded, "But, Mama! I have to cry to get the sad out!". I was quickly humbled, said, "You're right, baby. You can cry as long as you need to feel better." But, I also have added in certain instances (like, uh, one of those long whiney days), "Your loud crying is hurting my ears. You can cry more softly or you can cry in your room."<br><br>
I am pro-crying in general, though. Heck, I model it on a pretty regular basis. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,555 Posts
To play devil's advocate...<br><br>
My sister was such a drama queen when she was little. The moment my mom asked her to do anything (set the table, etc.), my sister would 'accidentally' hurt herself - stub her toe, or something very mild like that. She would burst into tears, and my mom would comfort her and ignore whatever chore wasn't being done. It drove me absolutely bonkers. It was quite clear from the tone of her crying that it was entirely fake. I had heard her cry for real, and that wasn't it. In that situation, if I were the parent, I would have said, "I'm sorry you got hurt, but it's still possible to set the table with a stubbed toe." and leave it at that.<br><br>
My point - you never know the whole story when watching someone else parent. You don't know what the child's patterns are. While generally, yes, it's not cool to say "Do not cry," I'd try to withhold judgement unless you really know what's going on.<br><br>
Another story: I saw a little boy fall off a jungle gym, but not badly. He cried on his mother's lap for a while, and then his crying turned to whimpering. The mom said to him, "You're welcome to be done crying now. I would like you to stop crying if you're going to stay on my lap. If you'd like to continue crying, you can do that somewhere else." He quickly cheered up, and stayed on his mom's lap for another while. After he had gone back to playing, the mom told me that he sometimes thinks that he has to stay sad in order to stay with her, and she's trying to help change that pattern. She's tried inviting him to stay on his lap when he's not sad, but mostly he'd rather play. I thought that was interesting.<br><br>
Sorry to be so long winded.<br><br>
Aven
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,801 Posts
How sad<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br>
I like to tell dd that it is perfectly okay to cry when you are hurt. But that she has a choice. She can cry if she wants to, or not. I do tell her that hysterical crying-where I feel she is acting irrationally(tantrum type fits) is not okay. That she can learn to control her emotions and display them in a healthy way,a dn we can talk about it. I am not perfect in this, we are all learnign. I do have to be very discerning though. When she gets scared about something, she gets REALLY scared.And cries uncontrollably.(Very sensitive, spirited)So in those times, I tell her tht it is perfectly okay and normal to be scared, but that she doesn't have to be scared when something is scary. She can choose not to be if she wants.<br><br>
I was pretty much told to stuff my emotions and they were seen as bad, when I was a child. I cried anyway-and felt guilty and condemned the whole time.I hope it won't be that way for dd.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,130 Posts
My father yelled harder when I cried. I still have issues around crying. I could never tell my dd not to cry. I hold her until she is done. Telling them not to cry is telling them not to feel.<br><br>
I'm not justifying this in any way but I'm wondering how the Mom's parents dealt with her tears.<br><br>
So sad <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
I hear this all time from parents.<br>
I 've slipped and said myself, sometimes it is so easy to forget how important the little things are to children <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,145 Posts
"I'll give you something to cry about!" --> standard response to crying from either of my parents<br><br>
I keep that in mind when DD 18mos cries. I soothe her but try so hard not to say "don't cry". I've mostly been using "oh, you must be frustrated, I can understand why you are crying" or "that looks like it hurt, it's okay to cry when you are hurt".<br><br>
Hopefully she will not remember those words with a cringe like I do my parents' words.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,388 Posts
I had a father much like ChinaKat. For him, crying was a display of weakness and, by gohs, HIS kids weren't ever going to be weak.<br><br>
On the other hand... For older children, I'm not sure that crying is really a "healthy way" to show emotions. Toddlers, preschoolers, sure. But for kids in elementary school, surely words would be a better option? And kids of that age are frequently teased or bullied by their peers if they are "cry babies", so I think there might be value in teaching/encouraging more constructive ways of dealing with disappointment and frustration (not physical hurt -- that's a different story).<br><br>
Which isn' to say what these mothers were doing is appropriate or not. I feel that the PP that pointed out that it is best not to judge if you don't know the whole story was on the money about actually judging the situation.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
403 Posts
I've thought this <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> When my ds started playing sports at the school I was so nervous that he'd get frustrated or hurt and cry. As far as I'm concerned, its fine, but I'd seen other kids cry and get teased. I didn't want to tell him that, but I didn't want him to go through it either.<br><br>
Last night I saw something disturbing. We were at wrestling and a little boy got smacked right in the face with some other kid's head. Injuries don't happen often here (thank God!), and this kid wasn't bleeding or anything, but he HURT. He started crying and went over to his grandpa, who gladly welcomed him on his lap and held him until he stopped crying and felt like playing again. Meanwhile, other parents were giving dirty looks and commenting about it in a really negative way, like they thought he should have told him to stop being a baby and get back on the mat. I am sorry, but if it was my ds, I'd hold him and I'd let him cry. I'd even leave if he wanted to. I can't imagine anyone doing anything else! BTW, these were K and 1st graders. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 
1 - 20 of 51 Posts
Top