The Wisdom of Crying and Aware Parenting

Mums & Bubs/Pregnancy Yoga Class

With Aware Parenting Discussions after class-> Planning for Parenthood/finding more ease, joy and connection as a parent.

At the Lismore Birth House

July 14, 21, 28

$50 for 3 classes or $20 for drop-ins

Are you looking for more sleep as a new mother or some valuable tools in preparation as a mother?

Come and join for a 3-week mums and bubs/pregnancy set of yoga classes, which also incorporate Aware Parenting discussions after class.

These special 3 classes will run on Wednesdays at the Lismore Birth House:

July 14, 21, 28

$50 for the 3 classes or $20 drop-in

Quiet the Mind

Strengthen the Body

Nourish the Soul

While learning about the Wisdom of Crying for more Ease and Joy in your Parenting Journey.

I’m always amazed to see the correlation between stress and crying. Did you know that there’s a direct link? Babies and children that have stress or accumulated emotions due to stress or trauma can heal by crying to release these big emotions. Stress can come up from overwhelm on a big shopping trip or days apart in daycare with experiences to process. Trauma could be related to a frightening experience, big day out or birth trauma (or other reasons).

Children that are healed and free of stress or emotions from trauma are relaxed, sleep great, alert in the day (can mantain eye contact), communicative, non-violent and no longer triggered by trauma reminders.

If your baby or child has trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, separation anxiety, challenges around sitting in car seats or other cooperative requests, concentrating for periods… then, you may want to learn more about Aware Parenting to find more ease and joy in your parenting journey.

Aware Parenting (AwP) is an approach to parenting that was founded by developmental psychologist Aletha Solter. I can vouch, first-hand, that both of my children sleep great, communicate clearly with me (sometimes through tears and tantrums or laughter and games), enjoy therapeutic play games (attachment play) to process, laugh or heal, cooperate with each other, learn lucidly and love life! This approach has not only changed my parenting life but also me as a person, learning valuable listening techniques, self-care reminders, healing from my childhood and a deeper sense of presence, empathy and mindfulness in my daily life.

Sometimes red flags come up, and I notice that my children are feeling upset. They may become aggressive (ie hitting) or suppressive (ie screens). I calmly set loving limits and allow their tears to come through, as I lovingly support them. As babies, I would notice their clinginess, or lack of eye contact, or disturbed sleep as a sign of stress and need to release big emotions. As parents, we can meet the needs of our babies and children, fill them with warmth & love and support them to be the best versions of themselves. Ever since my daughter was 6 months old (5 years ago) and my son was born (2.5 years ago), I have listened to their tears and tantrums with love and without judgement.

Babies and children who are/were stressed or had traumatic experiences can release the emotions that are held in their bodies through crying and being listened to in arms. they can always catch-up. If parents were stressed during pregnancy, or there was a birth trauma, for example, if a baby has developmental frustrations or had frightening experiences, or even if babies or children have really big days or new experiences to process, crying or laughter attachment play games with the support of a carer can help babies and children relax, heal, be more cooperative and be able to concentrate better.

According to the Aware Parenting Philosophy, we can ask: Why Do babies cry?
1.) -> Communication: Baby has an immediate need, like physical closeness, food, stimulation, etc, so as carers, we can fill the baby’s need as best as possible.
2.) -> Stress Release: Baby has an emotional or physical hurt or stress, such as a physical hurt or trauma, emotional hurt, accumulated stress.
If #2 is the reason, as parents we can remove the source of pain, hold our baby or child lovingly and listen to the crying.

This helps our baby feel loved and safe. Crying and tears that are emitted though crying has anti-stress hormones that are excreted from the body (oxytocin). It is an emotional healing mechanism. have you ever had a beautiful crying release where you felt held and supported, whether with a friend or therapist? The same feeling of lightness happens for our little ones when they are supported in their crying with their most loved ones. Emotional stress can be healed by babies being held in arms and empathetically listened to while crying. Toddlers and children may want to move around, but to have their carer close by. Healing happens when another is supporting us.

It’s always important to check for a pain or an immediate need when our babies or children cry. If they need to cry to release emotions, the AwP approach suggests to stay calm, listen hold our little one lovingly and to say something like, “I hear you. I’m listening.” (I wouldn’t suggest something like, “Here’s a cookie. Stop crying.” Or “Let’s go for a walk in the pram to stop you from crying.”) Allow the crying to continue for as long as it needs and as long as the carer can be present through the emotions. All of these big emotions coming out will help our little ones feel better! Our little ones must feel safe and connected to the carer. They will keep trying to cry and be heard until they are healed from the stress or trauma, which is why often babies wake up in the night to cry. I recommend finding time and space during the day or before bed to allow emotions to be released, so that our children can sleep. They want a great night’s sleep as much as we do.

Post-crying results in health benefits, such as lower blood pressure, lowered heart rate, lower body temperature and the ability to learn better (yup, a higher IQ). Research has found that crying is actually more beneficial to our health than exercise.

If you are interested in learning more about this approach, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I am an AwP practitioner, helping families sleep better and find more joy and ease through workshops, 1-on-1 consultations (usually 1 hr in person or online) and mother’s circles. My email address is [email protected] or 0415533311. Also, I teach mums & bubs/pregnancy yoga classes at the Lismore Birth House on Wednesdays. After class in July we will discuss AwP topics. Alternately, I have time after the classes and discussions for 1-on-1 appointments on Wednesdays from 1pm at the Birth House.

I hold a Master’s degree in Conflict Resolution and Mediation, and I am passionate about supporting families find more understanding, peace, joy and sleep.

At our local water hole/favourite nature spot in the Channon