My kindergartner told me this morning that kids at school make fun of him when he cries. Grrrr . . . that raises my mama bear hackles. What’s wrong with crying when you’re five years old? Are kindergartners supposed to keep a stiff upper lip? This is a kid who runs on high all the time—he’s passionate and expressive and almost always in great spirits (sometimes he laughs WHILE he is crying). Although we don’t put up with whining in the 500Jerk household, neither do we expect our children to be stoic.
So I got down on the floor and hugged him, and I told him that it’s OK to cry when you're sad. That we all feel like crying sometimes. And thanks to my mom’s long-ago gift of Marlo Thomas's Free to Be You and Me, I even had a line at the ready: “It’s all right to cry. Crying gets the sad out of you.”
Right on, Marlo, and thanks, Mom.