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Interpreting child's cry

Updated on January 24, 2016
Dr Vishal Varia profile image

Dr. Varia is a humble educationist, thinker and contributor in the field of education, parenting and character development.


Children are very emotional by nature. Whatever they see or observe they start believing in it and that may lead to their want of owning the same and which if not granted may lead to disappointments. Since children are not adapt to explain what they are going through, they start crying. Children cry out for want of something or not being provided something. Many a times we as parents react too fast to the cries of children and provide them what they demand which leads to them becoming more demanding and non-cooperative. Many a times we may respond to their cries too slow which in turn makes them insensitive and thus non receptive to the environment and often show disrespect in their behaviour. How to interpret when a child cries? What to interpret when a child cries? And how to respond when a child cries? are the topics being covered in this article. Hopefully, you will not only appreciate reading it but also will learn to respond to your child at times of need.

Crying a Physical Act

Children often cry to express their dislike or discomfort for a situation, need for food, need for rest, etc. According to pediatricians, crying is healthy for the child. It helps the development of the lungs. When a child cries, the breathing activity is rapid which in turn gives good exercise to the lungs and thus helps lungs to function better. Also crying involves muscular movements of many parts of face and body (due to unrest) which is eventually a requirement of the body and thus crying happens. Thus, crying of a child should not be taken as a negative emotion but as a scientific reason and should be provided for intellectually and not emotionally.

Crying - A psychological act

Dislike or discomfort to a situation leads to crying of a child. Even after providing for their need for food and shelter the child cries for no genuine reason that we can understand as elders. This is often due to the attention seeking requirement of the child. Children are very emotional by nature and also are demanding and requires to taken care by elders. Thus, children are attention seekers by nature. We may observe that a child may start behaving absurdly or pose discomfort if elders start talking and ignoring the child. Thus due to psychological reasons, the child will start crying just to make their presence feel and seek the attention of the one present there. This is normal and should be entertained to a tolerable extent.

Slow but persistent crying

Many a times the child cannot express its discomfort towards the situation and thus starts feeling insecure. The body will respond to this situation with slow but persistent and rhythmic crying of the child. The child may not want or need something but it is due to dislike or discomfort they start crying. One must identify this and try to make the child comfortable to the situation. Adhering to the child and involving the child in talks or activity will relieve it and divert its mind to productive work and thus will stop crying. Thus one needs to identify that the child feels insecure and requires some attention and activity to get out of insecurity.

Crying with Open Eyes

This happens when the child is denied of the facility or toys that it demands. Children are very emotional and selfish by nature. They would always want to possess what they see and like. For example, strolling in the market they may demand for toys or articles that fancies them, it may however not possible for the elders to provide for all that the child likes. In this situation the child will start crying for the want of something. Thus one should be smart enough to understand that whether it is the need of the child or the want of the child. You may satisfy the need of the child but be watchful that you don’t sooth the child by providing for all its wants. This may pamper the child and eventually may lead to the child being spoiled and often such children pose disrespect for the environment and do not adjust to the environment. Thus, tactfully diverting them to different attraction or situation will help you solve this problem without spoiling the child.

Crying aloud with huge noise

Many a times the child is not able to express what is happening to them and may start crying loudly. These situations arise generally due to lack of sleep, insecurity to the environment, child being hungry, or want of some toy or product. Incase the child is having lack of sleep then providing a silent cozy atmosphere and helping the child to get sound sleep is the only remedy. If the child is hungry then providing the child with appropriate food of choice will instantly make the child happy and forget the discomfort. In other cases, diversion to a different situation and diverting the child in other talks is often the remedy. Thus one should act tactfully to the need of the situation and help the child achieve comfort with the environment.

What to interpret and how to respond when the child cries?

The biggest concern for the parents is, “what to interpret when the child cries?”. Lack of knowledge of this or having high priorities of other work may often lead to an undesirable and unmanageable situation. There could be different reasons for the child to cry, a few of them are listed above. Moreover, what to do and how to respond is also provided for in the concerned section of this letter.

Mostly the children cry to show their discomfort for the situation and to seek the attention. Thus, parents should sensibly and wisely act towards soothing of the children in such manner that they do not develop unwanted habits or start emotional blackmailing to the elders. As a wise parent, one should take care of the needs of the child and make the child tolerate the environment in other cases. One should not succumb to the cries of the child and start responding to the irrational needs of the child.

Children are the finest creation of Mother Nature. Having their company is having the company of Gods. One should always try to make the child comfortable to the situation rather than making the situation comforting to the child. As responsible parents its our duty to teach the child the norms of the society and bring up the child as a responsible social creature that is easily acceptable in to the society. As parents, one should focus bringing up better and stronger generation rather than greedy and spoiled brats. This often goes long to establish a calm and peaceful society to live in.

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A wise parent will use childhood to prepare a child for success as an adult. Self-discipline is one of the most important character qualities a child can develop. Self-discipline is a primary quality that will help children be successful in life. Ironically, spoiled children are not happy; self-disciplined children often are! A child armed with self-discipline has a tremendous asset for addressing life’s challenges. So many relational and personal problems can be avoided or controlled when one has self-control.


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    • Dr Vishal Varia profile imageAUTHOR

      Vishal Varia 

      2 years ago from Rajkot, Gujarat, India

      Many thanks @Sharleeo1 for your motivational feedback.

    • Sharlee01 profile image


      2 years ago

      I enjoyed his hub, good read. I learned a lot.


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