If you've read this or this Bored Panda article, you know that kids cry over a lot of ridiculous things. Like hearing someone say Darth Vader is a bad guy. Or the fact that the Golden Gate Bridge isn't actually golden. But parent and Twitter user Henpecked Hal has learned this first hand — his children do it too. In fact, they've shed tears over trivial circumstances enough times to make Henpecked Hal put out a tweet about these humorous moments.
Over 440,000 people liked the tweet, and thousands of mothers and fathers replied to Henpecked Hal's call, sharing the unimportant things that their little ones cried over as well.
Bored Panda also spoke with Vicki Broadbent, a writer, director, broadcaster, and founder of the parenting blog Honest Mum, to learn more about the ways in which parents can react to their kids making a fuss about something. So continue scrolling to not only check out the funny entries but also learn how the author of Mumboss defuses these situations.
Image credits: Vicki Broadbent / Honest Mum
Broadbent said her response to her kids crying over little details usually depends on the day they've had, what the incident was, and whether this was a common trigger for them. "I do believe [that] as parents, we should listen to our children, however trivial an issue seems, to create a safe emotional space for them. If our children feel comfortable coming to us with small problems, they will, in turn, seek us out when it comes to the bigger problems," the mother explained.
"Of course, I want to raise strong and resilient children so if the issue is minute, I would distract them firstly in order to calm them down then we'd discuss once the tears had stopped, and often laugh about the issue if it was something small."
When Vicki's children were younger, tears could escalate into complete meltdowns, particularly during the terrible twos and the threenager years. "Distraction, usually in the form of entertainment (me), a game, song, etc. often worked well as did simply being patient and not freaking out myself in response to their tears and/or anger."
Broadbent knows that sometimes this is easier said than done, particularly in public places, but if she takes long, deep breaths and ignores disapproving looks from judgemental people, it helps her to respond more calmly to her child. "Being reactive will only exacerbate the situation. Model the behavior you want your children to follow. This has also proved useful now that my eldest is 10 and is experiencing puberty and all its challenges!" she said.
Psychologists also say that being calm and clear about behavioral expectations is what helps parents communicate more effectively with their child. So it's not, 'You need to behave today,' but rather, 'You need to be seated during mealtime with your hands to yourself.' Observable, concrete things that make the child realize what's expected (and that can be reinforced with praise and rewards later on) is the way to go!
Henpecked Hal, the author of the original tweet, has two kids—a 4-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter. Though they're close in age, the parent said they're pretty different kids. "My son can't sit still for more than a minute and wants nothing more than to race you across the house or jump on the trampoline together. My daughter, on the other hand, is fiercely independent and though she enjoys doing family activities, she'll often wander off and we'll find her in her room taking her My Little Ponies on some imaginative adventure," they told Bored Panda.
"My son is verbally advanced for his age. He's not composing symphonies or studying physics or anything, but the kid can talk. This has been really enjoyable as a parent because although he can express himself and his thoughts very well, his understanding of the world and his ability to make sense of things is still limited like any young kid's," Henpecked Hal explained. "So you end up having these fairly articulate conversations with someone who still believes you open the garage by yelling 'abracadabra.'"
As you can imagine, his meltdowns, particularly at a younger age, were legendary too. "Normally a kid starts crying and they can't even explain why, whereas he would take you on a long journey of irrational grievances," Henpecked Hal said.
"Kids are insane," the parent said, only half-jokingly. "It's hard to reason with a crazy person, so get crazy too! Roll around on the floor with them, make fun of the dog (make sure to give him a treat later), just go with the flow and enjoy the madness."