Should moms let their children see them cry?

Children look up to their parents as they grow up. When you're going through a rough patch, is it good for your children to see you cry, or is it something you should avoid showing them?

40  Answers

2 5

crying infront of your kids can go both ways. at times, children themselves see you cry, and they inturn become sad and started to cry. It is good to explain the types of crying, I am hurting, or I am crying , for joy, or an expression of gratitude. Boys need to see their parents cry. let them know that they dont need to hold things in, so they can become better men to themself and their future spouse. I urge mother's and father's, to stop telling boys not to cry. It is a healthy thing to do.

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11 23

Yes, exactly! I tell my son to cry when he is hurt! And I tell him if he is ashamed to cry in front of me it is okay to go to his room and cry but cry. He is human and it is okay!

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14 0

I think it's very healthy to allow your children to see you cry. It's part of being human, having emotions that invoke reactions such as crying is completely normal and children should never be afraid to express those types of emotions. Allowing your children to see you do it only reinforces for them that it's okay to feel what they are feeling and express how they need to express it. I've never hid my crying or any other emotions from my child and I never intend to. My husband also allows himself to show all types of emotion in front of our child. We both want him to grow up with a healthy attitude about the realities of what it means to be human.

17
8 18

Amen Treyci!

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2 7

Yes you should let your kids see you cry. It may scare them or cause them confusion; but just explain to them that moms and dads hurt too and sometimes they need to cry to let the hurt out. I have cried many times in front of my son. I believe it is healthy as well because it teaches them that they don't always have to keep their feeling locked up inside.

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9 23

I think it is generally OK for children to see a parent cry as long as the parent is open and honest with why they are crying. We lost one of our twin daughters at 10 1/2 months and certain months are very difficult for me. Particularly when I find something of hers... and how silly does it sound to say of hers when she was only 10 months old and everything she had was shared with her twin. I can't help but let my daughter (now 3yrs old) see me cry. I tell her I miss her sister. Generally she says "aaawwww you miss my sisser?" and I just say "yes I do." then she says "I miss my sisser?" like its a question and I tell her "yes its ok to miss your sister. Its ok to be sad and cry when you miss her." I am faced with this question so often, that for my own sanity this is how I have to look at it. She sees me hurt, she sees me cry but she also sees me rejoice in her and keep going even when things are hard. I will never stop missing her sister, I will never stop crying sometimes when I think of her, or look at her pictures, but I also will never stop showing her that emotions are ok to have, but that they don't have to rule her life.

10
38 14

I think that children should see that adults can and do express their emotions. How weird is it for a child to grow up with the perception that adults never feel negative emotion? How would they learn to deal with it themselves? We model other behaviors for our children, we should definitely model the less positive ones in a healthy way so that they can learn how to deal with feelings like anger, frustration and sadness. My kids have seen me cry and known that I was sad. It has to be said that it allowed them to show compassion towards me as well. I think there's nothing sweeter than having them crawl up into my lap and commiserate with me.

9
75 29

There really is nothing sweeter than having a little person crawl up in your lap to give you a hug or kiss or cuddle so you'll feel better. My little girl understands that sometimes I need to cry, and she knows that most of the time when she cries, I comfort her, so it makes sense to her to comfort me when I'm sad.

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17 22

It's important for your children to know the difference between happy tears and sad tears. They need their parents to model normal behavior and know that crying is apart of life for everyone!

7
2 18

I believe that we are role models to our children in all that we do and since we were given emotions it is healthy to reinforce how to use them. It is imporant as well to allow your children to see you as someone with trials; not a perfect person. In order for them to feel comfortable sharing their feelings and struggles, they need to see you are willing to be honest about yourself as well.

6
32 20

Its very important that children see adults can get upset (tears/anger/frustration) too. It reminds them that we have feelings. However it's EXTREMELY important that children see us bounce back too. It teaches resilience and positive thinking ("I may feel upset now but like Mummy when she..... kicked her toe/broke her favorite vase/had a bad day etc - I will feel better soon").
It's when we can't stop ourselves from crying or restrain our anger that it becomes borderline unhealthy. It's at those moments when our explanations make a big difference. For eg: A young child may not understand that Mummy is clinically depressed but she can understand "Mummys tears are stuck on but the doctor is going to help Mummy learn to turn them off again. Mummy still loves and is proud of you even if shes crying".
"I'm sorry honey -Mummy is too mad to talk about this properly - I will look at/talk about/do this when I have calmed down again. You can help Mummy by reading a book/playing lego/cleaning up for 10 minutes while I make myself a cup of tea" is a response that you can program yourself to give when it all gets too much and will only make you feel better for not having lost control.
Our actions are our biggest teachers - we shouldn't hide - but we should be mindful of our impact on a developing persons emotional toolbox.

5
1 8

Thank you for sharing this, I found it extremely useful.

11 0

I am about 10 days late spotting this, but here is food for thought and a reminder that children mirror what they see and mimic what they hear.
We have adopted out little girl less than one year ago. She happens to be autistic and sensory is a big issue for her... and she is given to 2-3 HOUR crying jags that can be set off by almost anything.

So on a day that was very stressful for me she came into my room where I was sitting and crying (trying to do it quietly so as to not upset her) over something not so nice my 22 yr old grandson said to me. Little Love asked why I was crying, I abruptly wiped away my tears, said "I am not crying" got up and took her outside to play.

Within days, Little Love was found sitting in her room with tears flowing down her sweet little cheeks. I knealt down beside her saying "Whatever is wrong baby, why are you crying?" She quickly wiped away her tears and repeated my own words back to me.

I never did find out WHY she was crying, I scooped her up in my arms and promised her that "mommy cries too and it is okay to cry even if we do not always know why". I will never make that mistake again. Take heed dear Mommies and Dads. Let them see you cry and answer them honestly WHY you are crying in the simplest terms possible.
Brightest Blessings!

4
75 29

Like most of you, I think it's good to let kids see you cry. Like some, I didn't see much emotion - besides anger - from my parents as a child. My step-son and daughter have seen me cry - though not often because it's difficult for me to let go enough to cry. They also see me happy and angry and tired and stressed. I try to explain what's causing my emotions so that they can understand the cause as well as know that it's okay to have different emotions, so long as we're still kind to each other.

I have a couple of tangents. Since this is really about modeling healthy emotions, there's some others I'd like to touch on. First, a couple of years ago, I started giving the kids verbal warnings if I was just 'cranky' for no particular reason. It's worked out well, because it lets them know I don't have as much patience as normal, so they are better behaved. More importantly, it's a vocal reminder to ME that my crankiness is not really their fault, so I need to take a moment before reacting.

Second, when I was a child, if I was punished for anything I thought that meant that I wasn't loved anymore - at least for that moment. It wasn't until I was a teen and I heard my sister's guardian make a distinction between her behavior and *her* that I realized you can be angry, disappointed, upset, etc. and it doesn't make the love go away. Because of that, I've made it a point to try to separate the action/behavior from the child, and to iterate that I still love the child even though I'm unhappy with what they've done. It doesn't seem to have worked w/my stepson - he basically hates me and would rather be anywhere than with me, but my daughter has recently walked up to me after getting mad at me for telling her 'no' about something and said "We still love each other, even if we're mad or sad".

It's really too bad that there aren't dads in 'Circle of Moms' - (is there a 'Circle of Dads' somewhere?) - because this is a question that dads need to see too. If little boys never see men cry, they may internalize the lesson that 'boys don't cry' even if it's never said to them.

4
2 7

It depends on why you're crying. If it's over the loss of a family member or loved one, yes. Also, when happy about something. If you are a person who cries at everything, no. Keep that in check. I've learned to not let my kids see me cry when I have no simple answer for them, like I'm sad because..... When my Pop died, yes, my kids saw me cry. They cried with me. That let them know it is okay to cry when they are sad about losing someone they love. Crying because you are stressed, do it on your own time, when the kids are sleeping or away from you. Crying during a movie, depending on the movie, is usually okay. My daughter cries at movies all the time. I tell her it's okay, that it's just a movie. Marley and Me was a tough one though. As you watch the dog go through what he went through, it is hard not to cry yourself. Especially since our dog is 13 1/2 and on her last legs for the past 2 years. So, overall, yes, it's okay for your kids to see you cry, in moderation and at the right times.

4
75 29

My daughter watched a movie yesterday that made her cry a little. When it was over, she told me "That movie made tears come out of my eyes." It was very cute, and we talked about why it made her cry for a few minutes before moving on to our next activity.

1 6

yes. as long as it is for a good reason. Do not cry because you can't get a new car.

3
12 20

it depends on the situation as children need to learn and understand emotions and how to express them for instance if you are crying becouse you have lost something or some one your little one can learn it is ok to cry and let these feelings out

3
4 20

Yes it helps to teach your children how to deal with their own feelings and emotions. They should aslo see their daddy cry also because daddy's have feelings as well...they dont have to be hard as rocks all the time....

2
8 18

By all means! Not only do little ones need to develop the ability to deal with emotions, which includes crying... but they need to know that life isn't always going to be sunshine and rainbows. Kids need to learn to cry, yell, smile, hug, laugh, etc... just as they need to learn to lose, win, give up, keep trying, etc... I may be a little radical here, but I just don't see any reason to keep my young man sheltered from the 'reality' of emotions... I believe it is just another thing he needs to learn as he grows into a wonderful, caring person. People cry. Even Moms.

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2 0

I think it's okay for them to see you cry. To be honest it's really nice to get a hug from my 6 yr old telling me "im sorry you are sad mommy" a hug helps ease the pain. Plus sometimes boys think it's not okay to cry and therefore hold in feelings so I encourage Moms to show some emotion in front of your children. Have a Nice Day Moms!!!!!! *** Remember to take time out for yourself sometime too***** YOU DESERVE IT!!!!

2
15 4

We are human with human emotions. Our kids cry, we were born crying. If your honest with your child and teach about emotions.....better to cry than to suppress and your emotions comes out in other ways. Would you hide happiness?

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25 11

you should never avoid crying in front of your kids as they will not get the lessons life holds for them. They can also offer comfort and every little cuddle when your upset and hurting makes things feel a little better. yes they dont understand why your crying, but they will know you need a cuddle and offer it to cheer you up. sometimes they do understand and when they start to understand it's easier for them to grip onto the lessons life holds out and start to grow up. the lessons we teach (including the hurtful memories of seeing one cry because something so sad has occurred) helps them to grow strong in themselves and enables them to know and understand life better.. we can't always protct our children from the harshness of life and the saddness, but we can help them to be strong and to get through it a step at a time as they can do the same for us.

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12 6

I don't remember (I am 56 years old) seeing my parents ever express any emotion other than anger to us kids. My own children observed the emotion felt by their mother when it my second marriage failed and I do not believe that it has caused them any harm. It lets the children see that their parents feel and can be hurt by circumstances and I believe it helps them to grow stronger in themselves. Although I do believe that the conflicts between parents should be kept from the children as much as possible.

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5 80

sometimes. Its important for your child to know you have feelings and its OK to cry.

1
3 7

Its good that ur kids should see you cry at times nd explain to them y ur crying. I once cried cause i was feeling so sad nd my daughter saw nd ask mommy whats wrong? and i told her nd i was amazed by the support i got from her. At times our kids are the best comforters u can get.

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1

Unless you want your kids to think you are a robot with no emotions or feelings, you should hide something like crying from us. We will always be there to comfort you too.

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74 0

it just depends. knowing me, I prefer to cry in secret.

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23 0

Depending on how old the child is. If they are under 10 years old I will not let my children see me cry because they are children and I feel that do not need to see me cry unless its about getting hurt physically. I beleive when they are small they will find out about sadness in life later on in life. After 10 years old maybe sometimes if there is crying going on for some reason depending on the child I may let him see what is going on and the situation at hand. I think when they are under 10 they do not need to see mommy or daddy crying or anyone for that matter. If we are out in public and they see somenone crying I do try to change the subject and let they know things will be okay. Let them be children.

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18 13

happy tears or if grieving for a lost one....its okay if kids understand about mourning and grieving and its ok to me for a kid to know delight that brings happy tears..just saying

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46 16

yes kids grow up knowing you too are human snd can cry; and that ther's nothing wrong with letting out these emotions occassionally. i don't mean one should always be sad and emotional all the time. moms have to be strong for many reasons and most of the times kids actually think you're some kind of superhero;

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11 0

Yes, of course! I find that sometimes, when I do finally break down and have had enough and started crying, I get their attention. I have twin 9 year old boys and they tend to believe that the world still revolves around them. They need to learn compassion and empathy and sometimes seeing a parent at their witts end brings them back to reality!

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454 0

Yes, children should see parents crying. It lets them know that all people cry. We are all human. I cried infront of my daughter, 16months at the time, and she actually pulled my hands away from my face, but she didn't cry, she just didn't want me to..

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2 0

Im human and though I avoid crying in front of my daughter, she is 2 yrs old and the couple of times she saw me she came over hugged me and said "mommmy, is okay".

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44 2

I think that it is 100% ok for a child to see their parent cry. Mother or Father. We are all human and thats what we need to teach our children. I have 1 girl and 3 boys. We all know the big thing about boys being wussies if they cry but I have always told all my children the same exact things, boys and girl. It is ok to cry. And if you are somewhere you might be embarrassed to cry you will eventually end up home, where there are open arms and a tissue.

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2 13

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47 13

When my husband went to Iraq for a year and a half, I must admit I needed to put on a brave face for the kids so they would not get scared and know I had everything under control. I cried in the shower and in bed though. They were 7 and 5 when he left though.

If you cry, maybe try to hold back sobbing from them. Cry enough to show them it's ok to be sad when you are married and having a tough time. Don't tell them too much about why you are crying so that you don't make anyone look like the "bad guy." But it's important to show kids we are human, we are not perfect, and sometimes we do cry. Also show them happiness once things improve though, so they see it's not perminant.

Similar to this is my parents. It was about fighting though, they NEVER fought in front of us, not once, because they felt it was unhealthy. In reality, all of us had a tough time once we were married though. I used to think that it was over because truly happily married couples don't ever fight! I was very wrong, talked to my Mom about it too and she reassured me that married people do fight once in a while. I'm now married for over 20 years :-). Thanks Mom!

I hope my crying advice helps though. Showing a little, but not scaring them is my opinion.

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47 13

Oh yes, I forgot to mention the reason I needed to hold it together when my hubby was in Iraq, he was in charge of his unit and I was in charge of the family readiness support group at home, so I needed to show everyone strength to reassure them. Adults and kids.

0 247

I believe that there is nothing wrong with chldren seeing their parents cry occasionally, as long as the children don't have to be the caregiver of someone who cries all of the time. There are times that it is difficult to hide, and children can always sense when something is wrong with you anyway, and as they need to learn empathy and other such emotions, this is a good way for them to learn them; sensitivity, and respect included and equally important.

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4 1

children are taught that its not okay to cry and this supresses a tenderness in them. Yes its okay to let your children see you cry it teaches them feelings are ok and teaches them compasion

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3 11

yes i think its ok for childrem to see parents cry becase it shows them thats its ok to cry and have feelings and be upset , they also learm how to comfort you,and understand

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17 22

My Mum passed away 4 weeks ago (28th June 2011) and I cant cry because I am trying to keep it together for my 9 yr old twin sons. The reason for this is because the one time that I did cry (in grief for a beloved cousin), there was a look of sheer panic on thier faces and I can't bear to see my kids upset because of me. I am trying to encourage them to cry but it isnt working and I have been told that it could be because they are trying to keep it together for me so that they dont upset me. It is a vicious circle that I have found myself in and I dont know how to break it.

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1 1

Hi Jane, We lost my husband on the 28th May. My boys 3,6,8 initially saw my emotions which turned out to be a good thing, as it has helped them to know that it's ok to be sad that daddy's not here any more. However at the funeral I held it together for their sakes and now I try to hide when I'm upset but the littlen still picks up on it. We've talked about him loads and they only sometimes get upset but for silly things. My oldest turned 9 last month and he was upset that dad wasn't able to take him on a ride at the theme park, not that dad didn't celebrate his birthday! They pick up on sadness whether they can see it or not, so try to show it too, have a good old cry together and then have a nice big group hug and laugh about the good times. I find this helps a lot! Hope you brake your circle soon. Regards Liz

0 0

i find it okay to let them see me cry at times for as long as i explain to them the reason why i do so...it's a healthy thing to do, to let it out...in that way too, when they feel the need to cry, they wont have to hide it or suppress it...they express it and in that way, i'd be able to know exactly how they are feeling...

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201 11

We aren't Robots! And our children should see that adults have feelings too, we shouldn't always put on a brave face, I think it sends the wrong message that adults know everything and we don't.

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0 17

It is okay if children see their mom cry but there needs to be an explanation of the crying especially for young children. Children tend to internalize everything in their world, blaming themselves when a problem occurs. Let children know that it isn't anything that they have done (hopefully :) and that crying is a healthy emotion.

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19 1

yes it must be show as all human has a right to cry and its a way to show what you really feel an dbe true to yourselves. Its natural fact.

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