Should We Let Our Children Cry ?


Today is last day of school !

My son had pain and tears this morning, he said he will never see his friends again as we are moving  to another country this summer. He showed me the school yearbook and I saw many kind words from friends  like “thank you for being nice to me” and I know it was sincere.

Yesterday when I came back home, the kids in the street had written on the driveway with colored chalk: NICK Your Are Great, We Will  Miss You ! that brings tears to my eyes too.

So what should have said to my crying son  this morning  ?

At first I said he is going to have even more friends next year, but why should he believe me ? He already went to 4 different schools in 3 different countries and even worse he had pain NOW so why should he cares about the future ?

Then, I just hug him very strongly and told him that I understood his pain and that we are going to invite his best friends home today or tomorrow and have fun with water guns.

I am sure more tears will come but I think we should let our kids cry , it is a healthy emotional reaction and that is part of the transition process, especially for expats.

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4 thoughts on “Should We Let Our Children Cry ?

  1. cedricj June 20, 2012 at 10:12 am Reply

    Validating one’s tears as well as those of our children normalizes the experience and sets the stage for emotional health as well. Thanks for your posting Anne

    cedric

  2. thesmartexpat June 20, 2012 at 11:14 am Reply

    Lovely article Anne. Our kids need the opportunity to grieve for their losses and by letting the cry, we give them the space to do that. Congratulations for giving your son room to experience his loss (even when it makes you want to cry too!)

    • Anne Egros, Global Executive Coach June 20, 2012 at 2:00 pm Reply

      Thanks Evelyn. I am not far from thinking that expats become experts at dealing with emotions, not that the pain is less, but I felt really understood when I read your comment-Thank you.

  3. Adventures (@in_expatland) June 21, 2012 at 2:35 am Reply

    While it can be difficult to see, I do think it’s important to allow our children the space to think through, process and feel what they are going through. We can hold them and soothe them, but bottling up emotions inside us does us no favors. He’s crying because he cares, these friends and this place mean something to him. Crying is his way of grieving the loss of them, and it honors them. It also paves the way for healing. Saying goodbye is one of the hardest aspects of being an expat, yet a recurring theme. How wonderful that your son cares so much and that he is cared about.

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