Also–and this is more tricky–sometimes children cry over something little because it “represents” something bigger. Being aware of this helps us treat the crying the way we should–with compassion, patience, and respect of what the child is enduring.
Some children experience far more grief than others. This could include children who:
- are born with physical struggles such as missing limbs, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, deafness, or blindness or many other struggles
- are born with learning struggles such as autism or dyslexia
- are born into poverty, which usually affects their ability to thrive emotionally in public school
- have parents with chronic (or even short-term) illness
- experience greater losses than most, including parents divorcing or losing a parent to death
- are born into abusive families (although these children often learn early to stuff grief, and others may not be able to draw them out until they become adults)
In general, these children are far more likely to cry over something “little” to release grief over the big things in their lives. This is because they cannot grieve like adults.
For instance, on the day of their birth, they do not have the chance to cry over the discovery of their physical struggles (like the parents do).
And they don’t have the capacity to one day sit up and say, “Hey, I’m deaf; now I can grieve that I won’t ever hear music.”
Not to mention that even though parents may grieve a physical problem with their baby at birth, they will continue to grieve off and on through different ways.
Why wouldn’t a child?
We need to be careful not to shut down a child’s grief.
Otherwise, this unresolved, unmourned grief will carry over into adulthood, affecting their relationships, emotional health, and emotional and mental strength.
In the worst scenarios, they may reject God because they were not shown enough of His compassion, love, kindness, and caring.
Allowing a child to express sorrow helps them become loving and compassionate toward others as well.
For a serious post, this is getting long, so I will stop and continue next time.
Christa Upton Black Hills Picture Books PO Box 293 Custer, SD 57730