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Do you cry in front of your kids?
Showing emotions.....

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#1 Mumto1feral

Posted 18 April 2012 - 02:09 PM

So one of the biggest hurdles for me as a parent is the perception that I have to keep it together in front of DS, aged 2.5 yrs. I was speaking to my counsellor about the struggle to keep it together and how I try to avoid crying in front of him because i am scared of frightening/scaring/traumatising him. She told me its OK to cry in front of your children (news to me!). She said it can be a lovely thing for children to see that emotion. They then learn that its OK to cry and express sadness/sorrow instead of bottling it up. I was thinking about my childhood, teen years etc. I can't remember seeing my mother cry. I only saw her cry in my twenties when my grandmother died. So to my question! Do you cry in front of your kids? Do you express how you feel? Do you think its acceptable as a parent to show that emotion? What was it like for you growing up and your parents? I'm just curious about others thoughts on this after discussing it today with my counsellor.

#2 Xiola

Posted 18 April 2012 - 02:17 PM

Do you cry in front of your kids? Do you express how you feel? Do you think its acceptable as a parent to show that emotion? What was it like for you growing up and your parents?

For sure.  If I feel the need to cry and my kids are around then I cry.  It's not that often but I've never felt the need to 'hold it together' and not cry in front of my kids.  I think it's totally acceptable for parents to show all emotions in front of kids, it's how they learn.

My parents are a bit crazy...I saw a lot of emotion from them especially when I was very young.  There's certain ways I've seen them act that I work very hard on NOT emulating.

#3 Rachaelxxx

Posted 18 April 2012 - 02:21 PM

I don't cry often, but I've certainly cried in front of my kids and they get upset, you can see it in their little faces.  I don't think you necesssarily need to hide your emotions from your kids, but I don't think they want to see their mother crying every day if that makes sense.

#4 adl

Posted 18 April 2012 - 02:24 PM

yes definitely,  we had a loss recently and DS (20mths) saw me crying on the sofa,  came and laid his head on my lap and patted me.... I think it is very natural to display emotions together to help them learn as well...how to express , share etc ,

my parents expressed emotions to us,  better out than in!  

(wihtin reasonable usual behaviours)

#5 JustBeige

Posted 18 April 2012 - 02:26 PM

Yes absolutely its OK to cry in front of your kids.  I think it also depends on why.

I have a friend that is going through cancer treatment.  I cry in the shower for her now as it does freak the kids out a little because to them, cancer means either alive or dead.  Its too big a medical minefield for me to give them any reassurance regarding her treatment.  So as far as they need to know, she is seeing doctors who will help.

If they fight and make me really sad, I cry.   If I am watching a movie and it makes me cry, I cry.  If am super emotionally happy, I cry.    They give me hugs, cuddles and kind words.   It allows them to see that not all crying is because of a disaster and you dont need to react to it like it is one.

I believe the actual balance is getting kids to stop crying at every single thing.

My own upbringing was much more 'suck it up and deal with it and shut up crying'.   When I was young, I believed that crying was a sign of weakness or being manipulative.     I realised as I matured, that I wasnt weak and I wasnt trying to manipulate people if I cried. I was just upset and its just a natural reaction.

I also found that once I was pregnant, I cried more and whilst I dont have the hormones any longer, I do cry easier than I did pre pregnancy and pre kids.

#6 anon4000

Posted 18 April 2012 - 02:26 PM

If it is an everyday occurence, and something surrounding depression I think young children may take it upon themselves that it may be their fault or that they need to 'fix' you - which is a terrible burden for a child. So it would depend on the frequency/reason behind the crying or emotional outburst as to if I did it.

I don't like to see my mum cry or upset even as an adult as I never really know what to say or do. I hate anyone seeing me cry or upset (its rare anyway) so prefer to blubber alone so I can get it out in my own time and work through it myself.

#7 Snorlax

Posted 18 April 2012 - 02:27 PM

I'm pregnant so I pretty much cry in front of everyone! blush.gif

So yes I do cry in front of my kids. I can't remember my parents EVER crying in front of us, but then like many things they did, I'm determined to do differently.

I don't want my kids to think that feeling things is 'wrong'. My parents also weren't very affectionate & still baulk at DH & I showing affection (hugs/kisses/pet names etc.) in front of our kids. I don't see anything wrong with it & I think it can only help them, I don't want them thinking they must repress who they are/what they feel.

My son even comforts me when I get weepy, the last time was me sobbing over Bee Movie (damn pregnancy hormones!), he knows it's not serious & that I will be fine, we reassure him & talk to him about it.

One thing I won't do in front of my kids is fight, THAT I think is detrimental, well that & have sex in front of them but then that's a given. wink.gif

Edited by Belle~Vie, 18 April 2012 - 02:28 PM.

#8 YodaTheWrinkledOne

Posted 18 April 2012 - 02:33 PM

QUOTE (Mumto1bub @ 18/04/2012, 03:09 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So to my question! Do you cry in front of your kids? Do you express how you feel? Do you think its acceptable as a parent to show that emotion? What was it like for you growing up and your parents? I'm just curious about others thoughts on this after discussing it today with my counsellor.

Yes, I have cried in front of my children (now 3 & 5).  My Dad died when I was pregnant with DD2 and DD1 was 19months old.  I cried (and have cried a few times since then).  She wanted to know what was making me so sad and I said Poppy was sick, the doctors couldn't make him better and he died.  But I missed Poppy and was so sad that I couldn't see him again.  I wasn't going to hide it - sadness is just as part of life as joy is.  But, if I ever get teary about Poppy, we also talk about the good memories and she can also see how talking about Poppy makes me so happy as well.

I didn't see my parents cry a lot, but I did see them cry.  They cried when both my grandmother's died, they cried each time they learnt a friend was diagnosed with cancer or another serious chronic life-threatening condition, they've cried when their friends have died.  I've also seen them both cry with joy (notably at their 25th and 40th wedding anniversaries) & at all their kids' weddings, the first time they met their grandkids.

My parents didn't cry at the drop of a hat, but they did (and do) cry for major things, when it becomes too overwhelming to keep it in.  Both Mum and Dad, not just Mum.

Edited by YodaTheWrinkledOne, 18 April 2012 - 02:36 PM.

#9 2_little_boys

Posted 18 April 2012 - 02:33 PM

QUOTE (Ferdinand @ 18/04/2012, 01:23 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Children need to be shown how to appropriately handle all of their emotions. Hiding one/some/all of them away and not teaching your child that skill is not helpful to either of you.

^ this.

I saw my dad cry as I grew up and mum very occasionally too.  I think its important to know that your parents arent perfect and have feelings too.

#10 opethmum

Posted 18 April 2012 - 02:42 PM

I cry in front of my DD
When my grandma passed away this year, I could not hide it and she gave me the warmest hugs and patted me on the back and that was awesome. Not only at such a young age does she know what sadness is but she can do something about it like give someone a hug to feel better and that is powerful.

Edited by opethmum, 18 April 2012 - 02:44 PM.

#11 paddyboo

Posted 18 April 2012 - 02:46 PM

I don;t cry often, but I certainly don't hide it from Pat. he has seen me cry probably 3 times and the last 2 times were fairly recently. Both times he stopped what he was doing, came over and laid his head in my lap. He is such a sweet little boy.

#12 emnut

Posted 18 April 2012 - 02:50 PM

Yes I do & yes it is acceptable - in fact it actually helps to teach them that emotions are a normal, healthy part of life that you do not need to hide from.

#13 MARsmum

Posted 18 April 2012 - 02:52 PM

Absolutely!  I cry in front of my children all the time.  It is a normal part of expressing emotions and I want my children to realise that it is OK to express their emotions ... there is no need to hold things in and bottle them up.

#14 Hausfrau

Posted 18 April 2012 - 02:54 PM

I sure do.

I never try and hide the fact that I'm crying.

I think it is good for the kids to understand that I am a real person with real emotions.

I woke up with a migraine this morning and my 4 year old was going off his rocker and making my head worse. I started crying and my Two year old came over and rubbed by back and said "Bastian sorry Mummy, You Ok? yeah, you ok". It was adorable. Her brother wasn't worry, she just wanted to comfort me. I like that she already knows how to comfort people and that it doesn't make her frightened or to withdraw.

The only time I try and limit the tears is when DH is deployed. The kids are usually hysterical so I need to be there for them and DH is usually emotional so I need to show him that I can keep it together and that we will be fine.

#15 *LucyE*

Posted 18 April 2012 - 02:54 PM

Do you cry in front of your kids?

Do you express how you feel?
Yes. I try to be honest and genuine with them and hope that by modeling that, they learn to do the same. I do couch it in age appropriate words though.

Do you think its acceptable as a parent to show that emotion?
Yes. As above. I think it is unhealthy to do otherwise. Just as important though, as seeing a parent express that emotion - be it sadness, anger, frustration, joy, elation etc is that they also see an appropriate way of dealing with it. Eg. If they see me cry, I will explain why I am crying (feeling sad after an argument) and they will then also see me pick myself up, and resolve the reason for my crying (go back and calmly talk to whoever I was arguing with). I also tell them that it isn't their job (or anyone else's) to make me feel better. That is up to me. I appreciate their sympathy though.

What was it like for you growing up and your parents?
My parents didn't cry much but they didn't hide their emotions.

#16 Velvetta

Posted 18 April 2012 - 02:54 PM

Too often unfortunately. At least once a fortnight.

#17 itsaboysworld

Posted 18 April 2012 - 02:54 PM

I think the key is to be able to talk your child through your feelings if they notice you are distressed.

Explain your sadness in a way they can understand and possibly relate to and also I think its very important to talk them through how you compose yourself when you are done having a cry.

Talk through how it is ok to be sad, ok to cry and then talk through how to manage those feelings.

#18 Kemma

Posted 18 April 2012 - 03:00 PM

I agree with all the PP's. We are models of behavior etc. learning sympathy & empathy is v important as is managing emotions.

Quick question though: Ive read that some arguing is ok in front of kids as long as you explain the argument and resolve the matter lovingly. Again for the same reasons of modelling behavior conflict resolution etc. Do you think the rules apply the same way there?

#19 belsy

Posted 18 April 2012 - 03:09 PM

Yes I have cried - both boys will comfort me if they can beat the dog to it.  Although I saw Mum cry enought (she is an ugly crier, it's not pretty original.gif ), I have only seen my Dad cry a handful of times - funerals and the birth of the kids.

Regarding the arguing - I think it depends  - I think it is reasonable to debate in front of the children  to show people have differing opinions but not have a full blown screaming match.

#20 Elleness

Posted 18 April 2012 - 03:12 PM

QUOTE (Kemma @ 18/04/2012, 02:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Quick question though: Ive read that some arguing is ok in front of kids as long as you explain the argument and resolve the matter lovingly. Again for the same reasons of modelling behavior conflict resolution etc. Do you think the rules apply the same way there?

I've heard the same thing, that showing that people in relationships can argue/bicker but it not be the end of the relationship. They see how people who love each other resolve their issues and continue loving each other. However, I think the arguments that are held in front of kids need to be reasonable, a quick bicker or a disagreement, but yelling/rude remarks shouldn't be held in front of kids.

Edited by Elleness, 18 April 2012 - 03:13 PM.

#21 erindiv

Posted 18 April 2012 - 03:13 PM


I have been doing a lot of crying lately and DD has witnessed a lot of it, usually because she says/does something that reminds me of what I'm upset about, which leads to me crying.

She says "Oh no, Mummy rying," and gives me a cuddle. I always try to explain to her what's wrong, sometimes she gets it and sometimes she doesn't.

#22 Mumto1feral

Posted 18 April 2012 - 08:13 PM

This has been an interesting discussion. Thanks for sharing everyone original.gif .

QUOTE (Xiola @ 18/04/2012, 02:17 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
My parents are a bit crazy...I saw a lot of emotion from them especially when I was very young.  There's certain ways I've seen them act that I work very hard on NOT emulating.

I'm curious about this. What don't you want to emulate exactly?

QUOTE (adl @ 18/04/2012, 02:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
(wihtin reasonable usual behaviours)

But is within reasonable usual behaviours? What would you consider to be over the line?

QUOTE (*LucyE* @ 18/04/2012, 02:54 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
If they see me cry, I will explai I also tell them that it isn't their job (or anyone else's) to make me feel better. That is up to me. I appreciate their sympathy though.

Thanks LucyE. Some really good advice in your post.

Edited by Mumto1bub, 18 April 2012 - 08:33 PM.

#23 LynnyP

Posted 18 April 2012 - 08:21 PM

I understand it is appropriate to show grief and sadness in front of children in a rational manner (grief over loved one dying, sick, not the cake not rising) but I don't cry in front of anyone.  It isn't healthy I know but I can't do it.

By the way, do you want to thank everyone with an eyeroll or have you put in the wrong emoticon?

Edited by JustLynn, 18 April 2012 - 08:22 PM.

#24 Freddie'sMum

Posted 18 April 2012 - 08:25 PM


I'm not sobbing every day in front of the girls - but a few months ago - I just burst into tears thinking about my late Dad - in front of Miss-4-and-a-half.  She asked why I was crying and I told her that I was very sad because Grandad had died and was up in Heaven and I couldn't see him anymore.  

She accepted that, patted my arm and went off to play.

I believe kids need to know that their parents are human - just like them - and we have good days and bad days - just like them.  We make mistakes, we cry, we laugh, we learn.

#25 Mumto1feral

Posted 18 April 2012 - 08:33 PM

QUOTE (JustLynn @ 18/04/2012, 08:21 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
By the way, do you want to thank everyone with an eyeroll or have you put in the wrong emoticon?

Oops! Off to fix that now LOL.

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