"fake crying"

Emily - posted on 06/26/2010 ( 14 moms have responded )

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Does this term bother anyone else? I'm talking about when used to describe an infant. I totally get that toddlers fake cry (my 3-year-old definitely does this when he's mad something doesn't go his way), but an infant???

Moms on my birth month community (my baby is 9 months old) talk about this, how their babies "fake cry" when they're told "no" or like when they're being left to cry alone in their cribs. A family member of mine likes to use this term all the time to describe her son's cries. She's been talking that way since he was an infant. I would be there when he was crying and it sure didn't sound fake to me. It just seems like some moms label a cry "fake" when they just don't feel like dealing with it or they want to convince themselves that there's nothing wrong with their baby. They're just really not in touch with their child's emotional experience. That makes me so sad... because I have a feeling that tuning out your child's emotions from such an early age just sets you up for having a poor relationship as the child grows up.

Arrrgh. Sorry just my vent for the day :)

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14 Comments

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Lauren - posted on 11/27/2013

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First of all, babies do fake! I'm so sick of people saying that they are babies they don't know how they just want to be held. Listen, I am a stay at home mother and spend literally every second with my three month old. It's gotten to the point where I can't even slip away to use the restroom without screaming. It isn't an I'm hungry, I have a dirty diaper cry. It's a literal vocal shout. You cannot tell me that it isn't fake when the moment I stand over him he quits. He won't sit in a chair or swing. Nothing. I literally have to stand over his crib at night, just stand there. He won't fall asleep otherwise.don't feel like a bad mother if you feel like they are spoiled. You know you child, and if you were such a carp mother you wouldn't be on a blog trying to find someone dealing with the same issues. My God people.

Danielle - posted on 10/19/2012

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Infants do learn at a young age to manipulate parents. Sure they may want to be held, but you should also remember that unless you want to do EVERYTHING you need to do while holding a baby, then it isn't a good idea to pick them up everytime they cry. Babies also need to learn to comfort themselves at times. I do not call it fake crying, because sure it could be real crying, tears and all, because they are spoiled and mad they aren't getting their way. My baby was definitely spoiled because she was our first and the first granddaughter, but she also had to be taught at times when she didn't have an immediate need, she had to play or comfort herself. Unlike my cousin, who even cleaned house and took her child to the bathroom with her, I refused to carry a baby on my hip all day.

Leanna - posted on 10/10/2012

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That's usually something a 1 year old would do. Three is awfully old to be doing that since kids that age can talk.

Sylvia - posted on 06/28/2010

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Yeah, I've never heard anyone actually put it like that, but it seems to be very common for people to let their pets sleep with them but refuse to allow their kids in the bed. And also for people whose pets totally run their household (and sleep on the bed, too) to criticize parents who aren't strict enough with their kids :P

Minnie - posted on 06/27/2010

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Yep. Completely true. And I've heard it from different families. Seems to be a common thing. "Well the dogs have always slept here, they would be so sad, and I dont think there would be any room for the baby with the dogs in our bed!"

Sylvia - posted on 06/27/2010

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Ugh. What a horrible thing to say about a baby :(

I despise the attitude that babies' only needs are physical, and if they're crying when they've eaten and have a clean diaper, then they're just trying to get you to pick them up. Um, yeah, they are, because *they need you to hold them right now*. (Many of my in-laws are fans of this theory, and it used to make me SO ANGRY when I was a hormonal new mum ... now it just makes me really, really sad.)

Emily - posted on 06/27/2010

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Wow. That is sad, Lisa.

Yeah I love it when they say things like "My baby has been fed and changed, so I KNOW there's nothing wrong with them." Because cries for any other reason are just manipulation, right? *eye roll*

Minnie - posted on 06/27/2010

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Basically, children really aren't human beings. They're more like glorified dogs. They should be good if you take care of physical needs (and in many cases even that isn't that important).

Sad that so many people treat their pets better than their kids. What dumfounded me is one mother refused to bedshare with her baby because she was afraid that she would hurt her dogs' feelings, since they were so used to sleeping in her bed. :(

Brenda - posted on 06/26/2010

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Conveinence parenting. If it isn't a cry to do with hunger, pain, or needing a change, it is fake. It is an inconveince. Even in older children, "fake cry" is a type of communication. To ignore it is to tell the child that their needs are unimportant. So sad.

Geralyn - posted on 06/26/2010

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Emily, I couldn't agree with you more. I don't think that there is such a thing in an infant. And as far as toddlers, the "fake cry" to me signifies a transition between relying on prior methods to get needs/wants met and learning other methods of communicating the same thing. Fake cries for my 2-year-old to me do not go unnoticed or ignored, I acknowledge that he is upset or frustrated and I talk with him encouraging him to express himself with words, etc.... I think you hit it right when you said that it helps the mom be able to ignore the crying....

Minnie - posted on 06/26/2010

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No emotion is fake or unfounded. Everyone is entitled to his or her own emotions no matter what. And we are entitled to deal with them and express them how we feel led as long as we don't hurt others.

So sad when people invalidate someone else's feelings, as if he or she is not allowed to own them.

Anne - posted on 06/26/2010

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Yes. I remember seeing one of these contests on here entitled something like 'most amusing fake cry face'. I looked through a few and found it rather upsetting. The babies definatley looked upset to me and people were snapping photos and finding them funny. I can only speak for my experience but my little girl was well over 1 before she started anything that could be called a fake cry. It goes like 'ehah ehah ehah' a very half-hearted attempt at a crying noise accompanied by a wrinkling up of the face. No tears, just her having a grumble.

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