Regardless of the age of your child, they will pick up on your feelings. If you have a situation when you cry in front of them, there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, it’s quite beautiful. What you’re doing is modeling for them that crying is healthy.
One thing that’s important to remember, though, is that if your child wants to know WHY you’re crying, you need to give them the truth. The age-appropriate version, of course, but nevertheless, the truth. If you don’t, what they make up in their head will be worse. And you may cause the child stress that you don’t mean to.
When my husband was sick, I had a therapist guide me through this, because I wasn’t sure how to handle my intense emotions around my kids. She taught me that a child’s imagination will be infinitely worse in what they make up in their head. I worked to learn the skills I needed to be honest about what I was feeling.
It’s so much better to be honest. I learned this the hard way. And I hope my vulnerability in sharing helps you.
As my children are now adults, I see the benefit from learning this. I am so glad I made the effort to learn.
Although not all causes of crying require therapy, if that’s what you need, we urge you to seek it. If you just need someone to hold the feelings, we’re here.