Wednesday, February 29, 2012

10 Ways to Tell Your Child is Fake Crying

Children learn from infancy that a well-placed cry will usually get them held, fed, changed or just the attention they’re craving. As they get older, some drop this behavior but others take it to a whole new level. The fake cry can be difficult to spot when the child in question is particularly gifted, but here are ten of the signs that a meltdown might just be melodrama.

  1. No Tears – Though it initially sounds obvious, this little detail can slip by a parent facing the wailing, howling fury of an outright emotional episode.
  2. Eyes Look Normal – During an uncontrollable bout of crying, a person’s eyes will inevitably begin to swell and become bloodshot. Eyes that aren’t actually producing tears will almost always look perfectly normal.
  3. Nose Isn’t Running – Another unavoidable side effect of a good cry is the runny nose. Though a fake crier with natural talent may make sniffling noises, the trained ear can tell the difference almost immediately.
  4. Sobbing Sounds Forced – The wail of a truly injured or unhappy child is a jarring sound; while a the screech of a forced cry might be hard on the ears, it doesn’t pack the same emotional punch. If your child’s sobs sound forced or like a simple expression of anger, the tantrum might be less than genuine.
  5. Crying Stops if You Leave the Room – The most common reason for a child to launch a full-scale, tear-filled production is simply to get the attention of a parent or caregiver. When that attention isn’t given, they usually won’t keep the act up for very long.
  6. Child Covers Their Face – Clever kids realize that their parents might be looking for the teary, red eyes and runny nose that comes with a crying jag; their solution? Cover the face. When adults cover their face during an emotional moment, it’s normally to hide contorted features and a dripping face. This behavior isn’t typical in a child, and could be the result of mimicry or a crafty need to hide the lack of tears.
  7. Breathing is Not Labored – Truly upset children will cry so hard that their breathing becomes labored. For a child who’s simply bored, seeking attention or trying to avoid trouble, this change in breathing patterns isn’t likely.
  8. The Situation Doesn’t Warrant Tears – If your child starts to cry over something seemingly insignificant and it doesn’t seem like a genuine exhibition of emotion, they could be forcing a cry in an attempt to get a need for attention met.
  9. Tantrum Becomes Very Theatrical – When a little bit of whining becomes an all-out, in-the-floor, kicking-and screaming extravaganza, it’s almost always done for the sake of attention. Real tears might get loud, but rarely will they be quite so showy.
  10. Child Stops Crying When the Tantrum Doesn’t Get Results – When you firmly and calmly explain that your child’s behavior is unacceptable and that they won’t be getting their way, they’ll almost always wind it down if they were acting to begin with. An upset child will take longer to calm themselves down, where their faking counterparts will bounce right back in no time at all.
Taken From Hire a Nanny

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