“Keep crying, and I’ll give you something to cry about”.
This is something too many of us heard growing up. We cried for a reason that adults didn’t see as valid and ended up being threatened with something that would make us feel worse.
As an emotional person, and someone who was an emotional child, hearing the threat never made me stop. It only ever made it worse.
But, before you dismiss me for pointing out that it’s a threat, I want you to ask yourself this: what do you mean?
“Keep crying and I’ll give you something to cry about”, meaning that you will hurt them to make them cry for a reason they you believe is a valid reason to cry.
A valid reason is often physical pain, and most of the time the only valid reason seen by adults. Why would you, while upset that someone is crying and annoying you, think that threatening them and physically hurting them is a good way to make them stop?
To make it worse, it enforces the idea that they’re not allowed to cry or be emotional around you. If you question why your depressed child isn’t speaking to you about their mental health, ask yourself why they don’t feel comfortable showing you their emotions.
When I cry, I feel scared. Scared that someone is going to scream at me, threaten me, or attack me for showing emotion.
The only place I can cry without that fear is on my own. And when I do cry in front of others, I panic and apologise.
Hitting another person is illegal – it’s assault. Threatening someone is also against the law.
So, why are people threatening their crying children?
If you have kids, keep this in mind the next time they cry for no reason. Don’t let the trauma continue.
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