Famous NY Psychologist Warns Parents Not To Criticize Their Child For Crying

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If when a child cries their parent responds, "Don't cry! It doesn't hurt." or says that there is nothing to cry about, then the child loses the valuable opportunity to integrate their feelings within their developing personality.

Dr. Stanley Goldstein

Don't criticize your child for crying, advises Dr. Stanley Goldstein, a clinical psychologist in Middletown, NY, the author of Troubled Children/Troubled Parents: The Way Out, 2nd Edition, and Shopping For A Shrink, which were published in 2011 by Wyston Books, Inc.

A crucial experience for a young child is to gain language. The ability to describe feelings and experiences through words is what distinguishes humans from other species, and the severest emotional difficulties from less disabling ones.

But children are not born with this ability. They gain it by interacting with the adults in their life, who are largely their parents.

When a child cries, their parent typically asks, "What is wrong?" Through this repeated process the child comes to associate their pain with something being "wrong," and learns to describe their feelings using words. This enables them to gain help quickly and, eventually, to control their feelings and behavior.

But if when a child cries the parent responds, "Don't cry. It doesn't hurt!" or says that there is nothing to cry about, then the child loses this valuable opportunity to integrate their feelings within their developing personality. Thereafter, as adults, they will tend to ignore their feelings, which reduces their ability to achieve all of their goals including happiness. And what is wrong with crying anyway, Dr. Goldstein asks.

Dr. Stanley Goldstein is a clinical psychologist in Middletown, NY. He is the author of Troubled Children/Troubled Parents: The Way Out, 2nd Edition, and Shopping For A Shrink: Finding The Right Psychotherapist For You Or Your Child. Dr. Goldstein has appeared on national broadcasts including The Larry King Show and CourtTV.

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