Toddler crying for no reason? Here’s how to handle it

From the time a child enters the world, they cry when they need attention. As they get older, they may also cry simply when they want attention. And if your toddler cries for seemingly no reason at all, you may be desperate to figure out a method to make it stop. There are a few approaches you can take to solve the issue.

Why do toddlers cry?

Crying baby in onesie
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To know how to make a child stop crying, it is important to understand why they do it in the first place. Crying is an important, if not crucial, part of grief. It is a healthy and normal mechanism by which to show sadness. Crying also serves as a good physical release. Studies have shown that after crying, people have lower blood pressure, pulse rate, and body temperature values. Big displays of tears evolved as a means to demonstrate a dire need for attention. Remember that young children have a very limited scope of the world, so things that might seem trivial to an adult can be devastating to a toddler. Children experience emotions that are equally as deep as those in adults.

While you can discourage crying, most psychologists suggest you do not. Although many people were raised with the idea that crying is bad, in actuality it is not necessary to try to divert a child’s coping mechanisms away from crying. Crying is really an act of healing, not one of pain, as a person who cries has recognized that something negative has happened and is beginning to process that fact. You should have a kind and nurturing attitude when your child cries. Both you and your child should cry when the urge to do so comes on.

Crying is a person’s first available mode to communicate with their caregivers. There are a number of readily apparent reasons for the behavior. These include your child feeling hungry, wet, tired, or hurt. Be sure to rule out these justified explanations for crying prior to jumping to the conclusion that the crying is baseless. As your child gets older, they should hopefully vocalize most issues they have instead of crying about them — speaking is more concise and allows the problem to be addressed quicker, so they will want to talk to you. But again, if they do cry, don’t fear. Help is near!

When to address crying

boy crying and being held by mother
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For the most part, crying is OK for a child. If they are crying, you can try to comfort them and address the reason for their sadness. Ask them what emotions they are feeling. In some cases, a child may be crying as a way to act up and get a parent’s attention. In these instances, a parent should ignore and turn their back on the child (as long as it’s safe to leave the child be). Giving in to purely attention-seeking crying gives your child the idea that crying is an acceptable means of getting what they want. If your toddler wants attention to get a certain demand fulfilled, do not comply and avoid talking about the request at length. You may also let your child occasionally cry to teach them that they don’t get everything they want right away.

Tantrums are another example of a time when crying should be dealt with. Unlike attention-seeking behaviors, tantrums should not be ignored. These crying fits usually occur as a way to avoid doing something asked of them. While tantrums aren’t easy to fix, they can often be prevented. You can potentially decrease the number of tantrums thrown by your toddler by explaining to them prior to a difficult situation that if they start to struggle, you will gently put your hand on their head and offer to help them. Children don’t like having their autonomy interfered with, so telling them about that plan is intended to encourage them to complete the task independently.

Crying can be annoying and frustrating at times, but it never lasts forever. By working with your child to assist them in communicating their needs, you can hopefully lessen the time they spend crying and have more enjoyable moments together. That means a happier life for all involved.

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