Why Crying is a Good Thing

In the movie “Broadcast News,” Holly Hunter sat at her desk every afternoon to have a two-minute, shoulder-heaving cry. Then she was refreshed, renewed and ready to return to work as executive producer of an evening news show. Lucky for her, she could retreat to the privacy of her office where nobody interrupted her to incredulously ask why she was crying or to try to cheer her up. Crying made her feel better. It was a good thing. It’s a good thing for children to have a good cry when they need one. However, some people mistakenly believe that a crying child would feel better if they could just stop crying, and the quicker, the better. But children cry to alleviate some kind of stress. Maybe they feel frustrated or sad. Maybe the child is picking up on their parent’s tension, which these days, would be understandable. When a child is not allowed to cry fully, until they're all done, some of their stress will remain and may come out later in the form of irritability or aggression or defiant behavior. Crying can help a child to feel better. Research shows that when an adult accepts a child’s crying, the [...]