It’s Okay to Cry In Front of Your Child
I’m an emotional person by nature. You take me to a wedding, I’ll be crying during the first dance. If I’m watching the Hallmark channel, I’m easily pulling out the tissues. A tough confrontation occurs at work and I’m probably on my way home a little bit teary eyed. I show my emotions and as a result, my kids see my good days and my bad days. But I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to cry in front of your child.
It is okay to be vulnerable
Showing vulnerability is such a humbling experience, isn’t it? But showing vulnerability to your own child…that’s on a whole other level!
But what a great opportunity! As parents, we get the chance to sit down with our child and explain why we are upset and crying. A few weeks ago, my son developed a rash that started on his legs and started moving up his body. Within minutes, right before our eyes, this rash spread so fast and his hands started to swell. It was terrifying. We didn’t know what was wrong. My wife took him to urgent care immediately and thankfully, we found out that it was a symptom of strep. He is so much better now.
But in that moment, I had to stay home with my daughter and younger son, while my wife rushed him to urgent care. I remember sitting there crying, pretty frantically. My daughter sat with me and just watched me.
She didn’t say a word for a moment. Then she spoke. “Daddy, are you okay?” It gave me a chance to explain that I was scared and sad. We prayed together. What a neat moment to look back on. Kids are smart. They can see you’re upset. Be vulnerable with them.
It will deepen your connection with your children
After praying with my daughter, she asked questions about her brother. “Will he be okay? Is he really sick? Is his rash getting better?” A lot of questions and I don’t always have the correct answers in the moment. But what I do have is the ability to show emotion and show empathy with my children. My emotions and openness with my daughter allowed me to deepen my connection with her. It showed her that it’s okay to cry and feel sad about tough situations. And ultimately, as a family, we will support and encourage each other when these hard times arise.
Emotions can be safe
Emotions, handled in the right way, can be a safe place. I want my kids to understand that they always have a safe place in our home with my wife and I. Bad day at school? They can cry with us at home. Did a friend hurt their feelings? They can cry with us at home.
If you have trouble dealing with emotions, try hugging your children when they are upset. Hugs are a fantastic way to release those fears and worries. They will put a smile on your face and I guarantee your kid will start smiling too. Hugs (and tickles) are a great way to kick those tears and allow everyone to realize that emotions are a safe place in our household.