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Let's stop saying "be good" to a crying baby

Carlotta Cerri
Salva

At the market. A mom holds her 6 months old baby boy while buying veggies. He observes everything, all the colors, it’s a sensorial explosion, he’s mesmerized, focus, calm. He’s in his natural state: sensorial exploration and learning.

As soon as she puts him back in the stroller, he starts crying. She gets nervous, and promptly says to everybody: “He’s been good until now” and to the baby, “Be good! Why are you like that now?”.

Why?

Because from inside the stroller, the sky is grey, there’s nothing interesting to see, that’s why. The baby is not bad, he’s communicating.

Crying is a baby’s way to communicate what they feel, but I often see that baby’s crying is associated with negativity, with “not being good”.

It’s time we shake that mentality off: a baby’s crying is not bad, it’s communication, it’s language.

Saying “Be good” when a baby cries sends the wrong messages: “When you cry, you’re bad!”, “You’re good only when you’re quiet”.

We need to change that mentality! A baby who cries is a baby who talks.

We need to stop feeling like we need to justify a baby’s crying. When your child cries, there’s no need to explain anything to anybody; instead you might interpret out loud what they’re trying to communicate: “Ah, are you telling me that you preferred looking at the vegetables? I hear you, they’re so much more colorful, aren’t they!”.

It’s not only a great empathy exercise for you, it’s also a healthy mentality to spread and in the long term it sends a positive message to your child.

Everybody wins (also future generations!).

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