The Crying Game

Recently A month or so ago Stacey did a post about crying and posed the question “when last did you cry?”

It sparked quite a bit of banter on Twitter and honestly there was so much that came out of that conversation that has been bumping around my head that I’ve not quite made sense of.  That I am STILL trying to make sense of.  There were two definite camps, the criers and the non criers.  Criers seemed to be able to cry at the drop of a hat or soppy commercial and the non criers seemed to be devoid of any salt water in their bodies to eeek out.

I am of the non crier camp.  I’ve never been a crier.  I often wonder why this is?  Is it because I grew up with a military father and was taught to be “tough” and that crying doesn’t solve your problems?  Or is it because I am devoid of any crying emotion?  Who knows…

The one thing that did stand out to me was that all of us whether we fell into the crying or non crying camp did not cry in front of our children.  Comments like “I cry in the bath when the kids are asleep” and “I don’t let my kids see me chunking away” really hit me.  Hard.  Criers and non criers alike we did not want our kids to see us “like that”.  WHY??  Because crying is WEAK?  Because crying makes you somehow LESS?  WTF??  We are all trying our damnedest to teach our children to be emotionally intelligent people aren’t we?  Isn’t crying a part of that?  I hear myself berating my kids all too often “why are you crying?” “stop crying” “that’s enough crying”… geesh.  Thinking about it now, I believe that crying SHOULD be an integral part of our emotional quotient.

By hiding ourselves crying from our kids aren’t we somehow leaving out part of that emotional intelligence training we are trying to give them?  The more I think about this the more I really believe it is good for them to see us crying.  To understand that crying in the right environment can be healing.  It can help relieve frustration.  It can help open the dam of grief we may feel about things in our lives.

As a non crier, I worry about how my non crying, hard ass self is going to teach my children this important skill.  So I let those tears that brim in my eyes fall when I’m watching Greys.  I allow myself to cry with a friend who has lost a mom.  I am trying not to hide this part of myself from my family.  From myself for that matter.

It’s probably one of the hardest lessons I’m teaching to both them and myself.  But one I hope I get right…

4 thoughts on “The Crying Game

  1. I can’t believe you are a non-crier! I’m a crier and hubby is not! I’ve never ever ever ever seen him shed a tear! Even when he lost his brother abruptly or his dad no crying, happy no crying.

    Me on the other hand I cry when I’m happy, I cry when I’m Sad, I cry when I’m frustrated. I cry when I hear a cry-worthy story. Yes I’m a crier. I cry when I read soppy novels or watch soppy movies or series.
    I’ve never intentionally not cried in front of my child (it’s too much stress for me to go hide because I want to cry) and if my child wants to cry, please go ahead! My mom used to say if I didn’t cry when I was born she might never have been able to bring me home. And I use the same line on K now too – hmmm we really are like our parents some times!!!!
    I recently attended a funeral where people were trying to stop the family from crying (really, what difference would it make if they stopped crying but kept sobbing ). You can guess I asked them to please cry if it would make them feel better , maybe it helped maybe it didn’t but cry they did and I provided a shoulder to cry on and wipes to clean up after a the crying 🙂

  2. I cry. A lot. Happy movies, happy memories, bad days, sad days. I have crawled into myself at my office at Unisa and sobbed great big heaving sobs because I was so fed up.
    I have cried A LOT this month. Small tears in front of friends. Bigger tears in front of my girls, enough for them to announce “Mummy’s crying again”, and then desperate ones while curled into the foetal position.
    Mostly, I cry on my own, because that’s when my emotions get the better of me.
    My girls cry, but mostly because I have reprimanded them…or when they felt done out among their school peers. Life is tough for a 4 and 7 year old ;-). I don’t stop them, unless they are looking for attention. But that’s a balance that you will know and figure out.

  3. Good point! I am a crier, and I don’t hide it!
    I do not have much to cry about in my personal life, but I get upset when I hear about anything good or bad in life! Also the tiniest little things get me upset and it gets worse growing older!
    I can’t hide it from my children (because I get ashamed of all the crying), but you made me aware that it is a good thing! 😉

  4. I’m also not a crier but at times when I reach total overload I do cry. Having L has turned me into a crier at times – and I have cried in front of my kids in total desperation mostly about him and things around him – they may not know why I cry, but I cried. And then I cried with them when we lost our Rufus – it was cleansing and for once I did not feel ashamed about it.

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