As Dads, a crying baby can drive us nuts. But if you know a few key tricks, we can turn a nightmare into a wonderful moment
When my daughter cried in her younger years, it was amazingly challenging for me to be the parent I want to be. The sense of powerlessness and frustration were so intense.
I knew I could leave her to my wife, but I didn’t want to be that Dad. I saw so many dads who were 2nd class citizens in their own family, with the moms running the show and being overburdened.
Fortunately, I found some truly transformative ways to deal with those moments and I lay it all out for you here:
Today I want to talk to you about one of the most difficult things about being a father, namely being with your crying child.
Dealing with your crying child is a very disturbing experience and often it leads to us just handing our child off to our wives who, although they’re often better at it, they don’t like it anymore than you do. The reality is that when a child is crying it creates a physical response in our body that calls us to action. That physical response can be so upsetting that we end up acting in really poor ways trying to get our child to stop crying, trying to get them to quiet, either through jiggling them too much, or giving them a lollipop, or trying anything we can and running around with our head cut off.
How to Deal with a Crying Child
- The child actually needs is for us to be able to be calm in ourselves.The question becomes, how can we become calm in the face of having extremely upsetting sensations happening in our body? Of course there are times when the child needs a number of things and I will do a subsequent video on how to attend to the child’s needs, but the most important thing once again, is how do we be with this disturbing sensation?
- How to get calm. The next time your child is crying, either in your arms or it may even be easier if it’s in your wife’s arms, just close your eyes and go into the physical sensations of your body. Notice how your gut feels, how does your abdomen feel, your chest, your throat, your face, your eyes? Does it feel comfortable or uncomfortable? In what ways? Where does it feel uncomfortable? What is uncomfortable? Notice the actual nature of the sensation and notice that you can just be in it. Like sitting in a big stinky room, you’re just sitting in it rather than running around trying to get it unstinky.
- This leads to a very different experience in yourself and the child can really feel it. We can all feel it. If we’re with somebody that’s anxious and upset as compared to if we’re with somebody who’s relaxed it makes a really big difference, particularly if we are upset.Being with that distress, leads to a much better experience for the child.
- One great side effect is that when our wives see our ability to provide for the childin those difficult moments, not only does it relieve the burden from them, which they greatly appreciate because it is hard to deal with a crying child no matter how good you are with it, they also get to see us being a master of a situation and being empowered. The research has shown that the number one thing that women are attracted to is men being in an empowered situation, where they are mastering their moment. When they get to watch us providing for their child in a hard moment with skill it leads to them deeply appreciating us and feeling their attraction to us.
Go ahead, next time your child is crying, go into your experience and see if you can be with your child in a different way.
Thanks for watching another episode of Full Frontal Fatherhood. If you’d like to join the conversation I would love to hear your opinion on these things. Let’s be friendly because we’re all trying our best. If you like the video please share it with your friends.
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