Helping my Daughter Cry it Out

After school one day, my daughter, who is 7, and I had some time together on our own and went out for a hot chocolate. In the café, as we talked about various things, she said, “It’s hard for me to cry because I literally can’t breathe when I cry.” (I reflect on those times, from birth to two years as an attachment parent, before I learnt of Aware Parenting and later, Hand in Hand, when I breastfed my daughter when she was upset. I also reflect on an aspect of her birth story, when she had a thin tube put down her throat right after birth.) I told her, in response, that I had recently been told that it can help to make a sound when you are crying rather than trying to breathe it down. This was something my Hand in Hand mentor had said to me in a class call that I’d found very helpful.

That evening, after listening to a CD of the children singing, recorded at their old school, my daughter and her 5-year-old brother got into playing a very energetic, physical game of chase together, laughing, squealing, chasing and letting off tension. I was cooking dinner and only keeping half my attention on them in the other room. My daughter fell while chasing her brother, and hit her ear on the banister. I went straight to her. She cried loudly, howling so loudly I momentarily wondered what the neighbours would think! This was new for her to be loud like this when hurt. I told her she was doing great to make a noise, and reassured her that she was still breathing. She kept crying hard. Later that evening and the next morning, she was more relaxed and playful than I have seen her in some time.

A mother in London, England

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