Professor Gibson
Modern Motherhood

Coping with the Crescendo: Understanding and Navigating Your Child’s Tears

Hello tired moms,

We’ve all been there: the shrill, persistent sound of our child’s cry ringing in our ears, fraying our nerves, and testing our patience. The noise can be overwhelming, and in those moments, it may feel impossible to remain calm and composed.

Why Do Kids Cry?

Crying is a natural and essential part of a child’s development. It’s their primary means of communication, a way to express discomfort, fear, frustration, or the need for attention. However, when the crying becomes incessant, it can lead to feelings of helplessness and frustration for parents.

Stepping Away: The Power of A Moment’s Pause

Contrary to what some may think, stepping away when your child cries isn’t a sign of neglect or insensitivity. On the contrary, it can be the most compassionate thing to do—for yourself and your child. There’s a misconception that parents must have an immediate solution for every whimper or wail, but the reality is, we’re human, and sometimes, we need a moment to regain our composure.

I remember when my pediatrician first introduced this concept to me. I was taken aback and a little insulted. It was a mix of emotions that included the fear of being seen as a bad mother or neglectful to disbelief that the solution might be so simple.

Of course, ensuring your child’s safety is paramount. You can put a baby in the crib or a toddler in a gated area. Once you’ve ascertained that they are safe, if you find yourself at the end of your rope, it’s okay to step away. Let me say that again — it is okay to step away. Retreat to a quiet room, the pantry, or even the closet, and allow yourself a moment of solitude. Breathe deeply. Gather your thoughts. Compose yourself.

Why Taking a Break Matters

When we’re stressed and overwhelmed, we’re less likely to respond to our child’s needs in a thoughtful and caring manner. Taking a few minutes to calm yourself can drastically change how you handle the situation.

This isn’t about ignoring your child or their emotions—it’s about ensuring that you’re in the right state of mind to help them navigate their feelings. A calm, composed parent can better soothe a distraught child.

Self-care and Compassion

It’s important to remember that taking care of your own emotional well-being isn’t selfish—it’s essential. A well-cared-for parent is better equipped to care for their child. So, forgive yourself for those less-than-perfect moments, for the times when you need to step away, and for feeling frustrated when the crying seems endless.

Being a parent is tough work, and it’s okay to admit when you’re struggling. Remember that you’re not alone in this journey, and it’s okay to ask for help.

The next time the wails start mounting, take a moment to breathe, step back, and remind yourself that you’re doing the best you can. And always, always remember: this, too, shall pass.