As moms, we all want to protect our daughters and make sure they're happy and healthy. However, one of the biggest concerns moms have is when their daughters cry a lot. It can be hard to see our daughters upset and we often want to fix the problem right away. But what if I told you that crying is actually a healthy coping mechanism built into our bodies? What if I told you that when girls stop crying, they lose a critical way to self-soothe and reach equilibrium?
In this podcast episode, we'll explore why there's a negative energy around crying and why it's so important for our daughters to feel safe in their bodies with big emotions. It's a common belief that crying is a bad thing and that we should stop it as soon as possible. We've been taught to feel uncomfortable and unsafe in our bodies when we experience really big emotions like anger, sadness, and profound grief. This is because the people around us have also not felt safe in their bodies with these emotions.
The truth is that crying is a natural and healthy way to release emotions and self-soothe. When girls cry, they release all kinds of hormones, like oxytocin and endorphins, which help to dull pain and activate the parasympathetic nervous system. This is the rest and digest part of our hormone system, which is the soothing aspect of our nervous system. When we cry, we give our bodies a chance to come back to equilibrium and achieve a state of equal being.
As a mom, you can shift your perspective on crying and reflect on your experience with it. What are your feelings on crying? Why do you associate crying with something bad or tragic? When you can feel safer in your body with these emotions, you can create a space for your daughter to feel safe in her body with these emotions too. You can let your daughter see you cry so she knows it's okay to cry. When someone is having big emotions, it's important to hold space for them. That means being present with them while they experience their big feelings without trying to shift or change what they're feeling. Just sit with them and be there for them. This will help them feel safe and understood.
The more we can give our daughters these healthy coping tools at an early age, the less likely they are to engage in risky behavior in the future. Mental health issues are a big concern for girls these days, and feeling safe in their bodies with big emotions is a big part of it. So, take some time to reflect on your own experience with crying and how you can shift your perspective to create a safe and healthy space for your daughter to express her emotions.
Remember, it's okay to cry. It's okay to feel big emotions. And it's okay to hold space for your daughter while she experiences her big feelings. Let's raise strong, resilient, and emotionally intelligent girls together!
Here are some action items that can help mothers preserve the healthy coping mechanism of crying in their daughters and create a safe space for them to feel their big emotions:
- Reflect on personal feelings about crying and how it affects interactions with daughters: Take some time to think about what crying means to you. What emotions does it bring up? Do you feel comfortable crying in front of your daughter? Are there any negative associations with crying that you have? By understanding your own relationship with crying, you can better support your daughter when she needs to cry and create a safe space for her to do so.
- Shift perspective on crying and its benefits as a coping mechanism: Crying is a natural and healthy method for our bodies to self-soothe and regulate emotions. By understanding the science behind crying and its benefits, you can shift your perspective and help your daughter understand that it's okay to cry.
- Allow daughters to see mothers cry to normalize the act of crying: By letting your daughter see you cry, you can normalize the act of crying and let her know that it's okay to do so. This can help her feel more comfortable expressing her emotions and seeking support when she needs it.
- Hold space for daughters when they cry without trying to shift or change their emotions: When your daughter is crying, it's important to hold space for her and allow her to express her emotions without trying to change or fix them. By being present and letting her know you are there for her, you can create a safe space for her to feel her big emotions and process them in a healthy way.
Remember, the more that we can give our daughters healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with their emotions, the less likely they are to engage in risky behavior or develop mental health issues. By creating a safe space for them to cry and process their emotions, we can help them build emotional resilience and become strong, resilient, and powerful young women.