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 [...]

2021-02-22T17:17:03-08:00By |

New Books in Education Interview

Here's my interview with Trevor Mattea from New Books in Education in which we discuss the importance of giving full vs. fractured attention, responding to a crying child, play objects and the importance of play -- and a whole lot more! If you'd like to hear about other upcoming interviews, events and workshops, join my list by signing up at the bottom of this page.

2019-03-25T18:12:58-07:00By |

Emotional Intelligence Begins in Infancy

Have you ever found yourself feeling sad or angry and unsure why or when it began? How many people are anxious, conflict-avoidant, or depressed? For some people, “big” feelings of anger, sadness, and frustration can be overwhelming and their first response is to try to squelch or outrun them. What happens when we do? We may eat too much, drink too much, or find ourselves sad, angry, or depressed. We may develop physical ailments like back problems, ulcers, or insomnia. How we express our emotions and the ease with which we do so is largely determined by how we were responded to by our parents when we were young.  When you cried or expressed anger, did your parents respond empathetically, or did they ignore, censor, or try to distract you from your feelings? Were some feelings permissible and others not? Were you allowed to express yourself for a certain amount of time, but once the clock ran out, you’d hear some version of, “That’s enough!”? As Daniel Goleman points out in his book, Emotional Intelligence “… entire ranges of emotion can begin to be obliterated from the repertoire for intimate relations, especially if through childhood those feelings continue to be [...]

2017-05-26T05:03:39-07:00By |
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