I recently heard that in Japan, they hold crying clubs. They watch sad movies, and read sad books in order to induce a good, healthy cry.
I know that I love me a good cry. Don’t you? I swear I need to have a good cry weekly. If it’s the week before my period, that might get upped to daily. When I’m sad, I cry. When I’m mad, I cry. When I want to scream, I cry. When I’m laughing on the phone with my sister, I cry… sometimes until I’ve almost wet my pants. I’ve had three kids, after all.
So, my point is… I can appreciate a good cry.
However, as a mother of three little ones, I do not appreciate a fake cry. I’m cruel and heartless, I know. Maybe the three people that read my blog that don’t have kids don’t know what a fake cry is. “A fake cry?” you ask in astonishment. “What’s that!?”
You lucky people.
If you are under four feet tall in our house, then you fake cry. Often. And, it’s getting so out of control, that sometimes, they have fake crying competitions in the backseat of the car.
And, there is nothing more infuriating than a fake cry. I can still hear my Dad’s voice ringing in my ears when I used this tactic. “Quit your fake crying!” he would yell. Between the fake crying, and my real crying, it’s really a miracle that I didn’t drive that man to the loony bin.
But, I swear, we get kids like us for a reason. To humble us, and make us appreciate that our parents didn’t beat us as often as they wanted to.
If you are like me, you are desperate to find ways to stop this behavior. Here are a few tips:
1. Beat them. Kidding. Seriously, I’m KIDDING! Instead, give them the fake crying right back. Get theatrical. It usually makes my kids laugh, or confused. Either way, they almost always stop fake crying.
2. Distraction. I loved this dad’s approach to ask his kid “What does the Cow say?” in the middle of her fake crying. Hmm…I wonder if this would work for the seven-year-old? Doubt it.
3. Tell them to produce real tears. If this cat can do it, they should be able to also!
4. Get to the source and call their bluff. Put a smile on your face while you’re asking, “Are you trying to get your brother in trouble?” It will confuse them enough to possibly confess. Is mommy happy about my trickery? They will wonder… since you are smiling and all.
5. Ignore it. OK, this works sometimes. In fact, it’s what the “experts” say to do. And, by experts I mean moms on message boards. It could work, in theory. But, just make sure your child is really old enough to fake cry. K? Hint: Three-months-old is too young.
6. Tell yourself it’s just a phase. It probably is. But, it’s scary how young they figure this out.
And even scarier how long they keep it up.
7. Give in. OK, I know that this should definitely be the last resort, but sometimes, we just have to keep our sanity. Am I right?
And, just FYI, it’s quite possible this blog post is the worst parenting advice ever. But, good luck! I hope you don’t let the little people win, unless it’s absolutely necessary.
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