Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Why Children Cry

PARENTING is one of the most important areas of our lives, yet an area about which we receive no real training. Somehow, we're supposed to "know how" to handle all that these smart little buggers present. Wouldn't it help to have some parenting support?

One area that is most challenging for parents is our children's displays of "unhappiness" ... crying, whining, tantrums. That seems to be the times when parents need help with stress. What if these actions were simply ways our children have learned to communicate and then GET what they want. After all, they have probably seen these actions of theirs "work" consistently. I cry and I get - ever since I was born. But a baby's crying starts out as a simple communication like "I'm hungry"or "I'm wet" expressed in the only form he/she knows. It's not, "I'm hungry - and I'm unhappy that I'm hungry". We put the unhappy spin on it because of what we believe about crying.

Now imagine this process of learning how to get what I want happens over and over again as the child is getting older and older. We can see that we would be systematically teaching our children that the crying or tantruming is the way to move the world. This is not a fun, rewarding nor useful experience for either ourselves or our children ... especially when we think that they'll be using these methods for the rest of their lives (in the same way we've been taught to use unhappiness to try to get what we want). What began as the only way the child could communicate became what the child believes is the most effective way to communicate if the child is to get what he/she wants. If we stop teaching this to our children, we'll have no need for stress management because we won't be using stress to get our children to perform - and there will be no need for our children to use unhappiness if it's not working.

Every child with whom I have ever done Option Process Dialogues at The Option Institute tells me that they know exactly what they're doing (acting unhappy) and, in their words, "That's what you have to do to get what you want."

The Answer: Be responsive ONLY when your child approaches you happily. When they are using unhappiness to move you, you can let them know "That doesn't work with me" ... AND YOU MUST BE CONSISTENT! Believe me ... This is freedom!

Come join us for lots more parenting information and parenting resources in our Parenting Solutions Program. Don't wait till you're at your wits end or feel unsure of how to handle your child's behavior. This is a must for every parent who wants to make parenting easy!!!


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