17 responses to “Stop Crying”

  1. Brynn

    I am grateful for your mad mama moments. It is good to hear mamas with the same struggles, striving for the same ideas, stumbling along the way, picking themselves back up. This one is familiar. We have been there, too. We talk. We hug. We begin again.

    Thanks for putting your stories out there for others to relate to.


  2. MatildeE

    Of course, I experience that same urge on a regular basis. But what an insightful post. You inspire me to respond with as much inner stillness. But it is challenging!

  3. Stacy

    I sometimes feel a little vulnerable putting these posts out there, so it is nice to hear that I am not alone in these struggles.

    Thank you for the comments!

  4. Kate

    I have so many memories of my mum telling my sister and I to ‘be quiet’, so that whenever we played, we had to be quiet.

    I mean, I feel her pain. Now I’m grown, I don’t like loud noises, and I totally understand how it can just all get too much, too loud, too shirll, too….

    But what I remember most was the feeling of being IN THE WAY. That it didn’t matter if we were having fun or being mean to each other, that we were an inconvenience, and we should just shut up and sit still and wait to be grown.

    I guess the hardest parts of being a kid is not knowing how to stop stuff, how to be any other way, how to deal with the way you are. Knowing your mama has got your back is bound to be helpful…

  5. starparticle

    I’ve been having the same sort of mini-conversation with myself lately about Leif. I’ve been noticing how people think you are doing children a favor by telling them to “Stop it!” – as if stopping the outward expression somehow stops the pain of whatever they are going through.

    Simply accompanying them through emotions is enough – it isn’t our place to do any more or less.

  6. Stacy

    Thanks for the comments, Rachel and Kate.

    The hardest thing for me this last year has been that my (reflexive) actions go against what I believe in intuitively and intellectually. For example, I believe in my child as an autonomous being yet I cannot stop my impulse to tell him to stop crying. I know that stop crying gives him a message I don’t want to give (for example, your feelings don’t matter to me, what other people think is more important than your own thoughts, etc.) yet I still have said it.

    It is a classic case of conscious incompetence. I have the consciousness but not yet the competence. Or rather, in times of stress, I lose my competence. So I continue to try and develop my skills so they better reflect my true heart, and so that I can apply them even under stress.

  7. Liz

    I so needed to read this right now! My 3 year old has been crying all the time and it has been driving me crazy. I am definitely guilty of telling him to stop crying. I’ve known in my gut that it’s wrong but have done it out of impatience.
    Thanks for your post!

  8. jme0909

    Hi – Thanks for this. I am having the same problem with my 3 year old right now. She cries about everything….literally 75% of her waking hours these days – at least with us or with her grandparents anyway. She does much better at pre school.

    I guess the confusion comes between deciding if this is something that will linger with her for years (something I need to start working on with her to overcome) or if it’s just the terrible three’s stage and it’ll be done soon naturally.

    I just don’t want to start a precedent where I let her cry and cry and cry. Then I can’t really bring her into normal social settings like diners, stores, parties, etc, if she is going to spend most of the time crying disturbing everyone else. After a recent episode at the supermarket, I will not go shopping with her again any time soon. I go by myself.

  9. s t a c y

    Hi jme0909 –
    I tried to find a way to email you but I couldn’t, so I hope you see this reply here.

    First, I have heard many times about the phenomenon of kids being “angels” in school but then “falling apart” at home. I’ve noticed that I do the same thing — e.g., I keep it together at work but then when I feel “safe” at home or with a friend, I allow myself to feel the emotions or frustrations I had felt (but not really expressed) previously.

    It sounds like your daughter feels safe with you and her grandparents and is trying to “get it all out” while she feels safe. That’s good.

    But also hard for you!

    Yet the irony is that she will still have these emotions until they’re expressed. Even when my son stopped crying when I asked him too, those emotions were still there and would need to find a way out later or in another way (or in crying again).

    Maybe pick one day when you tell yourself that you won’t try to stop your daughter from crying (or whatever way she is expressing herself). Just listen, empathize (“Are you feeling sad about something at school?” “Is it hard to be at school sometimes?” Just take guesses at what she might be feeling. Most kids will let you know if you’re on target or not), and let her get it out.

    LATER ON, you can work on strategies for helping her cope at school, etc. It’s always better to problem-solve after the emotions have been expressed (imo).

    If you are interested in more information about emotion-coaching, two great resources are:

    Positive Discipline/Positive Parenting Yahoo Group


    How to Parent with Positive Discipline

  10. The Cole's est 2002

    I don’t know you nor have I read your blog before. I simply googled “how to help my three year stop crying.” I too was a VERY sensitive child. Like you, I hear the same things that were said to me come out of my mouth. Thank you for reminding me. If he needs to cry from now on I am going to decide (if possible) to remove him from the situation and let him cry. When he is ready we will move on. I remember just wanting someone to say it is okay to cry. I knew I couldn’t help it and I see so much of me in him. Thanks I needed that!

  11. Anonymous

    I really enjoyed this post and can relate completely!

  12. Lil

    Stacy, thank you for risking vulnerability for hope…

    I needed to read this…I too try not to say “stop crying” (my own childhood memories associated with supressing my feelings)…and instead I say calm down. But thats still a form of dismissing their reactions to pain/hurt/anger/dislike isn’t it. the other day my daughter said “i’mjust so upset”…i need to let her be upset…and sit, like you have…whether i’m crawling outta my skin or not.

    we’re having issues surrounding the right to be angry in our house right now…which is why i’ve discovered your “mad moments”. i bookmarked you i don’t know how long…but have spent about 15 mins. in your honest posts…thank you…i’m coming back for more…


  13. ModernMommy

    I know this is a very old post but I just found this blog and am so thankful. My daughter is turning 2 next week and up until this point I’ve felt pretty comfortable with how to handle and take care of her. But the two’s are a whole new world and I find myself needing a lot of guidance.
    My skin also crawls when she cries for no reason and I hate this. I hate it when I catch myself telling her “go cry in your room and come out when your done.”
    Isn’t it frustrating that the easiest response is the one we learned from our childhood and it just sort of comes out naturally?

  14. Lisa - edenwild

    I wish I could read more stories like this. Crying was not condoned when I was growing up. I have been learning to shake off the effects my parents have had on me and be accepting of my son's crying–and whining.

  15. Saved by the Fire Fairy

    [...] Mad Mama! Moments: Shoes Paints The Middle of the Night Stop crying The Other [...]

  16. The Other Mother

    [...] Mad Mama! Moments: Shoes Paints The Middle of the Night Stop crying Saved by the Fire [...]

  17. Anushka

    read your post today – 11/23 and came back to read this one… boy was this timely. i just told ezra last week to stop crying and he couldn’t (of course) and it set off a few days worth of events that were intolerable and plain irritating. i need to just let this boy be right now. transitions are hard.

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