Crying in front of the kids

When I feel stressed out – I cry.  And sometimes I cry in front of my kids. I am not ashamed of it…and they have learned to empathize (“Mom, can I read you a book to help you calm down?”) – but it makes my husband nervous.  He thinks it may scare the kids when they see me cry.
But I just think crying is real and a part of real life – I’m human – I have feelings – why hide it from them?

I’m curious to hear your thoughts on this.

What do you think?

(And if there are any teens or young adults out there who want to share – I would love to hear your perspectives on this.)

Looking forward to the conversation…


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4 Responses

  1. Venus Taylor

    I’m on the fence about this one.

    I saw my mom cry just a little too often when I was a kid. It was when she was feeling powerless, poor, unable to provide certain things she wanted to provide for us.

    It led me to feel more like the adult in our relationship. I felt I had to protect her and take care of her. She seemed weak and fragile to me.

    So, instead of being a kid, and going to her when I was in need, I took care of my emotional needs myself. I didn’t feel I could depend on her, and didn’t want to burden her.

    As a result, I have NEVER let my kids see me cry. I want them to feel the security I never felt. I want them to see me as their emotional rock.

    Childhood, and adolescence, will make them feel like a ship lost at sea, sometimes. I want to be their anchor in the storm.

    However, I do believe in letting kids see their parents as human. I guess I do that by admitting when I’m wrong, apologizing, letting them see me make mistakes, letting them watch me take responsibility for accidentally cutting people off in traffic, or driving the wrong way up a one way street. (LOL)

    Hm…a very interesting subject. I’ll be thinking about this for a while. Who knows, I may change my perspective.

    Thanks for bringing this up.

  2. Jenny

    I remember the first time I really saw my mother cry – when she was diagnosed with cancer (thank God – she has been in remission for a good few years now.) But I vividly remember her coming home from her doctor’s appointment when her diagnosis was confirmed. She came into the house and didn’t say anything…which is very unlike her. She is always shows her strong side; always has it together, and is in control. But not this time. This time she let her guard down. I wonder if she knew I was in the room. She, on her own, stood in the kitchen and just cried. I wanted to get up and comfort her, but I did not move. I watched her for a few seconds and then left to let her be by herself.

    In those moments I remember feeling taken aback at first. Was she really crying? My mother never cries. She always has it together. But she was. And I had the privilege of seeing my mother as human. I saw the child in her, the person, the woman – with her own personal struggles.

    I remember feeling very sad and very connected to her all at once.

    I am so glad that she is okay now.

  3. Regina

    I think this is an interesting subject you have here. I’m inclined to agree with you that there’s nothing wrong with letting your kids see you cry. I saw my mom cry more times than either of us cares to remember, but my earliest memories are at around 6 years old. I hadn’t thought about it before, but this is probably one of the reasons we were always close. I was always careful with my mother’s feelings because I knew she could be hurt, so there’s empathy for you.
    Was I forced to face some unkind truths at a tender age? Sure, but I don’t think it hurt me. Changed me & matured me is more like it. We all want to protect our kids from pain and the distressing parts of life, but it’s probably best for them to see stress take the shape of a good, cleansing cry as opposed to bottling it up or venting emotions in the myriad unhealthy ways available.
    I also think it’s healthy for them to see crying as a very genuine sort of expression of our distress, rather than a manipulative or dramatic tool. I would think that the empathy factor might make a kid think twice about using something so powerful for anything less than a sincere expression. Or at least I’d hope so.

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