Reasons My Son Is Crying, Greg Pembroke, ignoring child's emotions, crying, emotional strength kids,

3 Reasons To Detest “Why My Son Is Crying”

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Reasons My Son Is Crying, Greg Pembroke, ignoring child's emotions, crying, emotional strength kids,
Is Crying Funny? (Image: worldofoddy’s flickr photostream)

You’ve probably seen it already, a Tumblr site featuring nothing but two adorable little boys, crying. The captions share the many reasons for their misery. Reasons like, “The milk was in the wrong cup” or “It’s morning.” The site was started only two weeks ago by Greg Pembroke, who shares images of his 21-month old son Charlie and three-year old son William. The site has gone viral. Already, Pembroke and his sons have appeared on Good Morning America and been parodied by Conan O’Brien.

For anyone with small children at home the site may seem reassuring. Yes, other kids cry for reasons that test the limits of logic. And it may seem like a parent coping with frustration by blowing off a little steam, photographically.

I still detest it. Here’s why. 

It’s Easy To Reinforce Misery. What does a child feel when someone grabs a camera as he cries? It’s a strangely distancing reaction by a parent yet at the same time it gives attention to, even promotes distress. That sounds like a great way to reinforce more crying. I don’t know how it feels to be the little boy in the photos. If it were me at that age I suspect I would feel lonely and misunderstood. I’d also notice the tacit approval that comes with each image capture. Especially if Daddy enjoys taking the photos, uploading them, adding captions, and getting worldwide attention. Why learn to cope and control impulses if misery is reinforced? Acknowledging each other’s feelings is a core principle of positive human relationships. Having our emotions ignored, mocked, or treated as irrational doesn’t help us feel connected, let alone understood—no matter how old we are.

Kids Have Real Feelings. Let’s remember, kids experience emotions as intensely as adults do. They just don’t know how deal with them as effectively nor have the experience to recognize that feeling awful is a temporary state. Hence, the positive influence of caregivers.  It may seem to make little sense that a child cries because a slide isn’t slippery enough. That’s a good time for a parent to acknowledge those feelings, helping to build a vocabulary of emotion words the child can use to identify and claim feelings, as in, “I see you’re frustrated.” It doesn’t mean the tears have to be erased or the problem fixed, just that the child’s feelings are recognized. Often recognition itself helps ease the situation. The same with tears because the child can’t climb in the sea lion tank. Why not empathize with the imagination he’s expressing just behind that disappointment, that he wants to swim with the sea lions? It’s not hard to transform it into make-believe, saying something like, “I bet it would be fun to get in the water. Maybe you can pretend to swim right here in front of the tank and the sea lion might see you.” Helping kids find words and actions to express their feelings is just common sense.

This isn’t trivial. As noted in the WHO publication, Facts for Life,

As children’s brains develop, so do their emotions, which are real and powerful. Children may become frustrated if they are unable to do something or have something they want. They are often frightened of strangers, new situations or the dark. Children whose reactions are laughed at, punished or ignored may grow up shy and unable to express emotions normally. If caregivers are patient and sympathetic when a child expresses strong emotions, the child is more likely to grow up happy, secure and well balanced.

The first few years have a resounding impact. That’s when a child internalizes a sense of self based on how he or she is treated. Somewhere, deep in our pre-verbal memory, each one of us knows if we were cuddled and comforted as well as trusted to explore the world around us on our own terms. Maybe early experiences of being coerced, ridiculed, ignored, or trivialized makes it easier for us to dismiss a child’s very real emotions.

It Seems Downright Unethical. Maybe if Pembroke’s site included crying photos along with others showing a full range of his kids’ emotions it would be a more accurate representation of who they are as whole people. (Well, it wouldn’t haven’t gotten the buzz either.) All this media attention will certainly smack a label on his kids. It’s bad enough to be known at their ages for crying. Imagine what it’ll be like to start school.

I wish he’d step back to consider not only the long-range implications, but the implications right now. I don’t think any of us would appreciate pictures taken of us while we’re crying, we’d be more upset if they were posted. And we’d be horrified if weepy photos of dementia patients were posted over amusing captions. Because someone is small and helpless doesn’t make it much better.

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71 thoughts on “3 Reasons To Detest “Why My Son Is Crying”

  1. I’ve taken pictures of my kids crying before. I even went when my kid got her first bloody nose and took a picture before cleaning her up. After all, life is not all fabulous unicorns and rainbows. However, I do still comfort my kids when they are crying if they are hurt, etc. Since it’s only one picture at a time, it’s hard to say what goes on when they’re taking the pictures. maybe someone else swoops in less than a second after the picture is taken, and ‘awwwwwws’ the child. Maybe they’d comforted them for 10 minutes before giving up, and taking the picture. Or maybe, the kid is just being rotten and the parents say ‘get over it’… because quite frankly, if the kid is crying that much? and over that LITTLE? Then they probably need to be told to get over it. That probably seems harsh, but, kids do need to learn to self soothe and that those ages, they’re perfectly capable of that, and are just getting their emotions out. *shrug* just another way to look at it.

    1. It is a parent’s role to teach children empathy and how to deal with their emotions. Your idea that kids need to learn to self-sooth by parents saying “get over it” is not backed up by research. If you never help you child understand what they’re feeling and why, they are much more prone to “over-react” again.
      Thanks, Laura, for another nice take on that tumblr. (I saw another great article on Janet Lansbury’s site.) It’s so disrespectful to children and really bothers me! People’s responses to the criticism are the worst, though. “Get over it! Kids cry a lot and it’s funny. They’re just kids!”

    2. I agreed with you up until you said that they need to “deal with it” and self soothe if they’ve “been crying so much for so long for so little” (paraphrasing).

      I too take photos of my son crying. I make sure he does get comfort and whatever he needs during this time. My picture taking is really quick so its not like I’m abandoning him. Toddlers handle things differently than you think they should. What YOU think is “just a small thing” is a very very big thing to little children. To make little of what is going on with them is telling them their thoughts and opinions and feelings don’t matter.

  2. Thank you for this. I’d been refusing to even look at that site because the idea of capturing my childs tears and then sharing them to the world, really struck me as wrong. For some reason, the whole idea of it bothered me. I’m glad to see I’m not alone.

  3. Oh. Come. On. I LOVE that site. I have a 16 month old that has melt downs all the time, but is a super happy and loved kid. Adored, in fact. As a parent, I NEEDED to know that I wasn’t alone, this is normal and lets be honest–its downright hilarious sometimes! Lets all take a deep breath and not take life so seriously. Toddlers be toddlers.

    1. Yes. Being amused by that site is not an indication of a bad parent who stomps on her kids’ emotions. Sometimes, parenting is a sucky job. Occasionally, I like to see things that acknowledge that in an amusing way that helps parents feel less alone.

    2. I absolutely agree with you lonnapea. This site is hilarious for other parents to see that we aren’t alone when our children turn into irrational monsters, and sometimes all you can do is laugh at their reactions to stuff. I love my little boy, I give him time, affection, love, encouragement, respect and understand that he is a person in his own right. I’m the best parent that I can be to him, yet I detest how lots of people over analyise parenting, and take it all so seriously. Lighten the frick up – I bet in ten years when those little boys see the pictures their dad posted, they will totally love it, and will do doubt see the humour in it! If you are trying to tell me that because their dad took these pics of them when they were at their most ‘vulnerable’ and that it will affect how they are as people, and how they will treat others, I will tell you to get a reality check.

  4. Let’s not assume that the rest of these kids’ days aside from the 4 seconds it takes to take and post a photo of their tears is not spent full of love, reassurance, giggles, discipline, play, and everything else that nurtures kids. I’d guess that they spend a LOT of time laughing, because their parents clearly have excellent senses of humor. I’d rather my child be raised knowing how to laugh at herself than raised to write blog posts critiquing the parenting of strangers.

  5. What a despicable thing to do to a child! Toddlers face each day being shorter, slower, weaker and less coordinated than most everyone around them. They are trying to figure out the rules of a world that seems so unpredictable. Of course there will be meltdowns when expectations (a favorite cup, for example) aren’t met. As parents, it’s up to us to recognize the struggles that seems so small to us and help our children learn to handle their emotions. If we don’t treat them with respect, how will they learn to respect others? And what about when this kid grows up and finds his crying toddler face all over the internet?!

    Parenting a toddler can be challenging and frustrating (I’m going through it right now, and sometimes I want to tear my hair out, too), but it is also incredibly rewarding. Nothing fills me with more joy than seeing my son develop into a loving child. This dad needs to find a way to blow off steam that does not involve public humiliation of his child. His actions are either very heartless or very thoughtless.

    1. All of you that are on here saying that the page is bad and hurting childrens “emotional growth” are the reason America is fat, lazy, and worst of weak. A child doesn’t need to be coddled when they are being a brat, they need to learn what is important and what isn’t.

  6. Thank you for this, Laura. I, too, find such photos disturbing – whether they’re taken in the family home or at the mall where the child is scared of Santa. Children learn how to treat people by how they’re treated. The best way to prepare children to deal with the rough and tumble of the world is to ensure they feel heard, secure and respected in their angst. Trivializing – or even enjoying – a child’s private moments of angst gives all the wrong messages and, I fear, will return to haunt both the parent and society. If a parent wants to take such photos in the name of preserving both the sad and the happy moments, that’s their business (and yes, I have a few such photos of our daughters); sharing them with the world when the child is unable to give consent is, indeed, unethical.

    1. I have crying photos of my kids too. It’s part of who they were back then. I know how frustrating it is to have children melt down over seemingly nothing. Often I realize later that they were teething, getting sick, mastering a new skill, or reacting to tensions in the house that the adults thought they had under wraps.

      I can’t agree more with your statement, “Children learn how to treat people by how they’re treated.” We talk ourselves into circles over bullying and slut shaming and other abuses kids heap on each other. Maybe we need to look at the way society treats children when they are most vulnerable. Disregarding, even laughing at their misery, may teach them to lash out later when they perceive weakness.

  7. I agree. The comments themselves might be funny in a post after helping the child deal with his meltdown, but not when you ignore his feelings to take photos.

    1. Actually, in an interview, the dad said that he started taking the photos of the boys because they love to look at picture of themselves on his phone. They would get distracted and laugh and move on from what was bothering them. I would say this dad does anything but ignore his boys.

    2. It takes a very very short time to take a picture. My son loves looking at pictures of himself, I’m there to comfort him when he needs it, when he throws tantrums about something and is inconsolable I might snap a quick one (it also helps me reset myself when he does this) but he’s hardly neglected because someone takes a second to snap a photo. Way to be melodramatic about it.

  8. I actually didn’t hear about this site until I read this post. I looked at it and it was like a glimpse into my life between 2005-2008, when my two little boys were crying over the funniest things.

    While I wish I had thought to document my boys’ tears this way as a coping mechanism (at least privately, not on Tumblr), I do hope that Dad thinks to REMOVE this site as they get older because it will ruin their chances of getting good jobs, running for office, etc.

    So…my opinion: funny at first glance, but as I thought more about it, I hope it doesn’t last much longer.

    PS: I had a little fun with my sons once…but just once. Here’s the more tame of the two pics I shared:

  9. I hadn’t heard of this Tumblr until I read this post, so I checked it out.

    To me, it’s just not funny. Not because I think it’s wrong to take pictures of kids while they’re crying or anything like that … I just don’t get the humor behind it.

  10. Thank you, It was completely disturbed by this site. I never took any pictures of my kids crying. My mother, a mom of 5, never took a picture of a kid crying. 12 grandchildren, there has never been any pictures of kids crying and or if so, certainly never shown to anyone. It’s the same with parents who take pictures of kids crying and screaming at Santa or the Easter bunny. If this was your mother, and she had the mental capacity of a 5 year old, and you took a picture of her crying, would it be funny? If a child had any mental disability, would this be funny? So why do those instances deserve more respect than your own child?

    My children are happy, they can laugh at themselves. Heck, my daughter just got a potty seat stuck on her head this morning. I laughed, she laughed, until I had to yank it off, which made her cry. The whole incident was absurd and funny, and she eventually started laughing again, and did it without the view of millions of people. I didn’t run and get a camera to take a picture of her crying because she had a toilet seat around her neck.

    This is part of a bigger picture. Our need to get approval from people on the internet is getting in the way of respecting our kids. I wonder how the kids will feel when they turn 10 and see that mom and dad didn’t just save the pictures for a family album, but posted it for millions to see. Parents need for attention superseded the child’s need for privacy and respect.

  11. Do you think it would have been more or less popular if Pembroke had included photos of himself crying (for real)?

  12. I have mixed feelings about the site. On the one hand, it’s hilarious because my own two kids (4 yrs and 1.5 yrs) cry over the same sorts of things and it helps me see the absurdity of life sometimes. Not that we should dismiss their emotions at all–which is what bothers me about the site. I feel like the captions lack empathy and convey a sense of not caring about the crying. Since the picture is taken in just a few milliseconds and we can’t know what the parent is saying and how he/she is acting before, during, and after the picture it taken, we have no idea what really happens. We don’t even know at what point the parent sends the photo of their crying child up to the site. It could be that the child starts crying, the parent snaps a photo (which if he has his phone on him, takes all of 2 seconds), and then handles the crying in an appropriate, empathetic way–waiting until the child is happy and calm again before sending the photo. We can’t know that just from the photos…but if it were me running that site, that’s what would be happening.

    Anyways, I can see why people have had strong reactions to the site but let’s not assume the worst of the parent. It may be that he’s overwhelmed with the two children and needs that site to help him keep calm and see the more humorous side of life. Or maybe he’s a sadistic jerk who ignores his children’s crying…but I really doubt that.

    1. No matter what else the dad does in response to his children’s cries, he is doing one thing that is just not right and that is posting the pictures for the world to see. Though I would argue that in almost any case, taking the picture to begin with is not kind, the posting is what makes this so detestable. I even read that the dad hopes the whole thing blows over soon! Well then stop posting pictures of your sons crying!

  13. Thank you for this. Glad other people realise that it’s never funny to laugh at someone’s emotions and that kids are full human beings.

  14. There are plenty of pictures of my siblings and I crying, and we are all well adjusted adults. The dad likely takes pictures of the kids when they are happy too; they’re just not funny. Even then, by taking a picture, he’s acknowledging their emotion a lot more than most parents, who ignore their kid rather than reinforce crying over spilt milk…or milk in the wrong cup. I’m not surprised that this post is written by a homeschooling mom – the world at large is obviously too much for you to handle. I’d hate to deal with your coddled children.

    1. Please don’t group all home schooling moms in the same boat here. I was surprised, based on my experiences with other moms, that the author’s kids weren’t in public school. The most coddled, oversensitive kids *I* know all go to public school. The homeschool kids, my own included, are strong, self-reliant, and have the ability to not take themselves too seriously.

    2. Way to be judgemental about homeschooling parents. H/s parents don’t coddle their children. Have you SEEN the news nowadays? Suspensions just talking about a gun, eating a poptart in the (warped) shape of a gun, etc. H/s is becoming more popular due to the idiocy in our school administration system.

  15. If you only ever take photos of your kids when they are 100% happy and never when they are upset or mad it’s like denying they have any emotions. I love this site. It helps me to remember to not sweat the small stuff.

  16. I wonder how many people who commented here would have a problem taking a picture of their childrens tears, but not their dirty diapers. They’re out there, on the internet.

  17. Behaviour modification 101 – as someone mentioned above, you reinforce the behaviour you want by giving it attention -taking photos showing two little boys photos of themselves crying on Daddy’s phone seems like a sure fire way to reinforce more crying to me. I think it’s a shame that someone is looking at their children’s tears as a photo opportunity .. is just plain sad.

  18. I think some of you miss the point. The kid isn’t crying because he is stupid or annoying or irrational… it’s a very young child who can’t handle emotions. That’s why you comfort the child or tell him off or set them straight one way or another. But taking photos suggests mockery and that’s not a healthy approach. Those of you who say get a life or “aw come on”, I suspect have a guilty conscience. At least I hope so.

  19. Seriously? Did I really just read your article correctly? I am going to go out on a limb here and say that the people who are detesting that site either a) don’t have kids, b) have the perfect child (if that exists), or c) have no sense of humor whatsoever. I am the mother of 2.5 yr old twin boys who are very active and very particular. Being that there are two of them, someone is always crying, and most of the time it’s for a trivial reason such as those illustrated in “reasons why my son is crying.” To me, and many other moms that site is comforting and comical all in one. It’s comforting because I know I’m not alone in my parenting struggles and I know it’s not just my kids that lose it from time to time. And as far as the laughter, well it helps us get through the days that seem unbearable and never ending. Nobody is looking at those pictures and laughing because those kids are in “pain” and how can you say this dad is ignoring his children’s needs just by looking at a few pictures. And as far as whether its “right” or “wrong” to take pics of your children crying; how many of you have those cute little bathtub photos of your kids? Shall we then say that you are a terrible parents because that is considered child pornography to some people? People need to lighten up. Some of you are taking life wayyyy to seriously.

  20. Thank you for this post–I saw this site for the first time today and my initial reaction was “Oh thank God other kids have meltdowns because the yellow cup is dirty and they have to use the red one.” But at the same time, it really, really rubs me the wrong way. My partner is in his twenties and has very strong preferences about his silverware…but he’s a grown man who can go and wash the dishes himself and get what he needs rather than get frustrated. I spent five minutes crying the other day because I broke a bowl–fixed it, and laughed about it afterwards, but my point is…we all have quirks, things that set us off. As we age, we learn to deal with disappointments, or at least acknowledge the absurdity of our response in proportion to the disappointment, but our two year olds are learning, unable to fix it, unable to vocalize or rationalize…to have people laughing at you when you’re already overwhelmed is just cruel.
    I suppose I wouldn’t mind it as much if it documented the ups and downs of the whole family–Mom freaks out because she forgot to start the laundry in the dryer three days in a row! Grandma pouts because the Cubs game was supposed to start at 6 and got postponed! Dad has a laughing fit because of the honka-honka noise the bird recently picked up (or whatever). But focusing just on the negative emotions of the youngest and least able to prices those emotions seems a bit like bullying to me. Benign bullying. I truly doubt it was ever intended that way, but that’s what makes it so insidious….it seems OK to us at first because we’ve seen it a million times.

  21. You obviously think your a high and mighty mom… Here’s reasons I don’t detest, and why you should get your panties out of your crack: Just because a picture is taken, doesn’t mean they went and grabbed a camera every time and made a big deal. I’m sure A LOT of these were taken with cell phone, where the child was too busy throwing a fit to notice. It’s not bullying or wtf ever you wanna call it, because the child can’t understand what bullying means, And that is most likely because they are not growing up with abusive, bullying parents like you make it out to be. this is actually not blowing off steam as you called it, but enlightening a stressful situation. Your kid is screaming for something unreal, so, you unknowingly snap a pic, load it later and laugh at how upset you got. That’s not “letting off steam” at your child’s expense. That’s taking something we all do, (kid in safe place, go calm down) and turning it into something they can ALL share and laugh about as the children get older. You’ve got a lot of things messes up here, because you keep trying to throw some kind of science thru the mind of children in, but you know just as much about parenting as anyone else, and let’s face it, you haven’t perfected it. No one can tell you how to parent your child, because all children are different. Obviously no one taught you that…

  22. Is there sand in your vagina? Or did pushing a crying ball of flesh strip you from your sense of humour?
    Jesus, you are everything that is wrong with parenting today and why future generations will be pansy ass humans.

  23. I find the idea of capturing your child at his worst and posting it for all to see abhorrent. To say it is less than respectful is an understatement. Adults who are capable of controlling their emotional reactions would be horrified to have their worst moments posted for all to see. As parents it is our job to protect and teach our children. To name call when someone calls you on bad behavior just adds to it. If you think ridiculing your child is OK, fine. But I will always take up for a child. Kudos to this blogger for standing up for kids.

  24. “As children’s brains develop, so do their emotions, which are real and powerful. Children may become frustrated if they are unable to do something or have something they want. They are often frightened of strangers, new situations or the dark. Children whose reactions are laughed at, punished or ignored may grow up shy and unable to express emotions normally. If caregivers are patient and sympathetic when a child expresses strong emotions, the child is more likely to grow up happy, secure and well balanced.”

    First of all, the only two NATURAL fears that human children are born with, are of loud noises and of falling. ALL other fears are learned-from the adults in their lives. Secondly, emotions are temporary-and we need to help kids understand this. Of course we empathize with our kids when they are crying/upset- but when we over-focus on the “empathy” -taking away their pain and helping them “feel better” , we grossly overlook the part where we are supposed to instill a sense of self-reliance and teach kids self-control-and how to effectively communicate & respond rather than react to our own (temporary) emotions. This only comes through actively overcoming whatever they are upset/crying about. Who is to say that this parent who took the photos didn’t give their child the “proper” support? And as a parent of three kids, age 13 to 30, it is nice to know that others are as baffled about what the ‘right’ way to parent is as I am sometimes. The blog offers a humorous look at parenting-and what we do right as well as what we do wrong-and that we are all in the same boat: that is, clueless until we are presented with a situation. While we are all entitled to our own opinions, In ,y opinion, I think that judging and “detesting” a blog – or a parent – based on an attempt to bring us all together with humor, is in itself more harmful and divisive in general, than taking a photo of a crying child.

  25. My kids run to me and ask for pictures of there injuries. I am hybrid homeschooling/ public mom to two boys (3 and 15). My kids run to me and ask for pictures of there injuries. I photograph life as it happens!!! My kiddos love to look back at life as it happened both the good stuff and the unfortunate. My boys are loved, understand empathy, mischievous and well educated!!!

  26. My grandmother took a picture of me at approx age 3 having a meltdown. I’m so glad she did! I actually love the picture, pouty face and all. It taught me that it’s never as serious as I make it out to be. It also taught me to laugh at myself. Both are excellent life lessons.

  27. I find sad that once again, parents getting flamed on how they deal with a situation. When I see these photos, I see good parents, who are out playing with their children. Enjoying life with them at zoos, parks, playing ball with them, sharing snack time, and trying to capture moments of fun, and in an instant, they capture a silly moment of a toddler being upset, and instead of recoiling into the house, humilated to bring their kid out, they share it, in most cases to say, you aren’t alone, raising kids are tough, and if it says to one mom or dad, try again, then it’s a beautiful thing. is it abusive for the parent who takes a pic and posts of their children with spaghetti smeared? no. whilst dirty face, is not a cry of emotion, you can compare the humiliation factor? Parenting is hard, people love to enjoy all aspects of life and I see the pics as one parent to another, dont take life so seriously. laugh, love, and you will be ok.

  28. At the end of the day, I’d have to say this: your post is nicely written, your concern for those little boys is admirable, but they’re not your children. You all wouldn’t want someone coming up to you and sniping and snarking at you for homeschooling/not homeschooling your children (been there, oy that’s a pain…) or telling you that you’re a bad parent for not panicking and cooing over your child that just fell down in the store…for the fiftieth time (been there too). So we shouldn’t immediately rush to judgment on someone else’s parenting because we don’t live in that house!

  29. I’m a mom of a toddler who has those moments. And I do take photos of him crying. Why? To show that he does indeed have “those moments” (a lot of friends thought he never cried). I don’t do it for attention or because I don’t care about my son, and I don’t do it to disrespect him. I do it because its a moment in time that is life. There doesn’t need to be 100% happy photos 100% of the time.

    When my son throws a tantrum, there are times when he is INCONSOLABLE, which means there isn’t anything I can do for him at that time anyway since he always fights against me wanting to comfort him. Sometimes I’ll snap a quick one if I have a cell phone or camera handy. Sometimes he can be consoled, so I’ll hug and hold him. I can snap a quick pic then if I want to.

    Some of you talk like taking a photo takes a lot of time. Its actually fairly quick (or at least I’M fairly quick, and you guys take forever to take one). Its not disrespecting him, its not neglecting him, its hardly a blow to their self esteem.

    Life isn’t all roses and giggles, and those moments can be captured as well.

  30. Geez Lighten up lady! It’s not like he’s posting pictures of the kids when they actually get hurt or stuff like that, its all trivial little quirks. It’s just a bit of poking fun at how irrational children can be, which every person is aware of, even when they are still children themselves! I’m sure his kids will grow up and think its hilarious and find it humorous and innocent. And if one day they want dad to take the site down, he can. Won’t your kids see what you post on your blog too? Would they be emotionally scarred for life?

  31. Lady, are you serious? Do you realize this man is a comedian, as in he makes jokes for a living? Sometimes when our kids are crying for the millionth time we just need a break and it’s either laugh or cry with them. I’m actually grateful for posts they make me feel a little less frustrated and alone when my kid loses his mind and sometimes it is just as simple as he wants the yellow cup that is sitting in the sink full of dirty dishes. Stop taking everything so seriously and have a laugh, it causes less wrinkles and ulcers.

  32. If some parents want to take life this seriously ◇every single day◇ then that’s their burden to bear. There are times to be serious and times where you just have to laugh. My 2 year old fell off the couch onto his little head and burst into tears. That I don’t laugh at and take pictures of. If he walks over to feed his food to the dog and when the dog does in fact eat it he begins to cry… that’s something to take lightly. Comforting your child every time they cry for trivial reasons will only reinforce more crying, because they want the attention. Self-soothing is ACTUALLY an important trait to teach a toddler, and you’re not being neglectful in doing so. Also, we’re not walking around with the camera taped to our foreheads constantly dismissing our children’s tears. My parents took plenty of pictures of me doing ridiculous things all the time, and I turned out just fine. I think you’re looking for a problem where there isn’t one. Lighten up. I love the blog because it makes me feel like I’m not alone in my daily parenting frustrations. I don’t have friends with toddlers, so this is something I definitely need.

  33. I love his blog. My second son is almost 2, and he is the master of turning on fake crocodile tears. I know this because when we talk to him during one of his fake fits, he stops to listen, then continues with his ridiculousness.

    When I found the blog, I thought, this man is a genius! We started doing it and sharing the pictures on Facebook. They are hilarious and both of my boys laugh, it diffuses the situation and we move on. We never photograph our kids in true pain whether physical or emotional. I see it as he cries, throws a tantrum, etc. we take a picture and we all laugh at his silliness. We are teaching our children to have a sense of humor.

    If you coddle each little pouty faced melt down you’re teaching your child to manipulate you with fake emotions.

    Now my 6 yr old says to his brother, stop crying or mom will take your picture and my somewhat obstinate little toddler will stop, grin and loudly proclaim CHEESE! I think he will grow up and be just fine and we will all have a good chuckle when we bust out the photos to show his future wife and kids someday.

  34. IT’S A FUCKING JOKE ARE YOU SERIOUS? People like this are why the next generation is full of pussies who can’t fend for themselves because their parents treated them like they could never recover from someone fucking laughing at them. Kids are funny. Especially when they cry at ridiculous thigs. Get over it. Sure they have real emotions but think about your childhood. How much do you remember of it? Probably a handful of things. Thats it. The rest is fucking ponies and rainbows and shit. I think adults have the right to deal with essentially a tiny insane person by laughing at their antics.

  35. Although I’ve never had children myself, my mother has always taught me to laugh when a toddler or child cries. It seems like a weird concept but I watched My Mum laugh at my brother, cousins and various children when they fall over, cry for no reason or cry because they’re grumpy, every child without a doubt stops crying immediately and stares at everyone for a brief moment then goes along with what they were doing previously without another tear or sob to be seen or heard. Giving them comfort is sometimes necessary but not always, I’ve grown up knowing that if I need comfort I can get it, but that also, sometimes my troubles are just funny and not worth the fuss of feeling sorry for myself and running to Mum for comfort.Maybe you should encourage parents to instill those ethics into their children rather than running to Mum every time something goes wrong. As for the bloggers Son, being known as the ‘boy who cries’ maybe he’ll be able to laugh at himself and not take himself too seriously, which more people should do, maybe that’s just because I’m Australian, and taking your self too seriously in Australia will mean everyone else believes you are inflicted with tall-poppy syndrome, but I think its the best way to look on life.

  36. If your kid, even as a teen, can’t laugh at stuff they did when they were little, then let’s hope you don’t keep scrapbooks or any of their old school stuff. As a freshman in high school, when looking through old stuff like that, whether pictures or mementos, they all seem funny. Thinking that this is going to come back to haunt the kid is ridiculous. Try to remember being a kid before psychoanalyzing anything and everything a parent does to them. Absolutely nothing this father has done will harm the child. Kids are getting more and more bratty because parents coddled them too much as a toddler. Giving a child space allows them to form independence instead of being a “momma’s boy”, which, trust me, would get them teased way more than some pictures of them crying would. If you can’t remember being a kid, don’t throw out some therapist stuff about them.

  37. Shut up. Your kid or kids (if you even have any) are probably all little whiny bitches because you coddle the fuck out of them.

  38. I apologize if someone already said this, but I feel like a simple compromise is to take this concept and turn it into a group sharing site. If thousands of parents each submit one photo, the longterm effects you speak of would not be an issue (as opposed to one parent doing it all the time). And it builds that sense of community and “we’re all in the same boat” that the people who enjoy the site seem to feel.

  39. Wow, the level of vitriol in the comments amazes me. Does anyone really care that much either way?! I think the reasons blog is funny. But thinking it isn’t really isn’t justification for being called a bad parent.

  40. Oh dear lord, someone needs a sense of humor transplant, stat!

    Life is too long to take everything so fucking seriously. Besides, you’re never going to make it out alive so you might as well lighten up a little.

  41. Understanding that the majority of the people who read this will have already made a polarized decision on how they feel on this topic, I ask that you open your mind temporarily before continuing reading this message.
    Firstly, you can not base an entire child’s upbringing by a blog capturing photos of their everyday life, no matter how many there are, you just can’t infer the 99% of the rest of their lives through these pictures. If you compare the amount of time it takes to take a photo to the amount of time a toddler spends crying daily, it’s completely ridiculous to say that the parent is “ignoring the child’s emotions”. If the average tantrum lasts, lets say, seven minutes, do you really think the parent taking the photo is completely ignoring their child for the rest of the six minutes and forty seconds of this period?
    Secondly,the average age of the kids posted on this site, is quite young. As in, the majority of these kids don’t have the full comprehension of how a camera/camera phone works. Hence, why the blogger’s kids are so intrigued at looking at pictures of themselves. If the child doesn’t understand that, how would they feel like they are being “rewarded”?
    It’s understandable how some might be upset by this website, but to publically defile this man’s parenting as “unethical” and “wrong” seems vindictive and incredibly narrow minded.
    To see such a hastily concluded article on this website is embarrassing and dissapointing.

  42. Understanding that the majority of the people who read this will have already made a polarized decision on how they feel on this topic, I ask that you open your mind temporarily before continuing reading this message.
    Firstly, you can not base an entire child’s upbringing by a blog capturing photos of their everyday life, no matter how many there are, you just can’t infer the 99% of the rest of their lives through these pictures. If you compare the amount of time it takes to take a photo to the amount of time a toddler spends crying daily, it’s completely ridiculous to say that the parent is “ignoring the child’s emotions”. If the average tantrum lasts, lets say, seven minutes, do you really think the parent taking the photo is completely ignoring their child for the rest of the six minutes and forty seconds of this period?
    Secondly,the average age of the kids posted on this site, is quite young. As in, the majority of these kids don’t have the full comprehension of how a camera/camera phone works. Hence, why the blogger’s kids are so intrigued at looking at pictures of themselves. If the child doesn’t understand that, how would they feel like they are being “rewarded”?
    It’s understandable how some might be upset by this website, but to publically defile this man’s parenting as “unethical” and “wrong” seems vindictive and incredibly narrow minded. To see such a hastily concluded article on this website is embarrassing and dissapointing.

  43. My parents took pictures of me when I was child and throwing a fit and I’m just fine. Honestly, children indeed need love but aren’t going to be damaged in every way possible if a parent takes a picture or doesn’t tend to every single fit and problem they face the moment they happen. Children in a sense need to “grow up” and learn from what they’re doing wrong/right so please. To all the parents thinking this site is “oh so terrible and dehumanizing” get over yourselves. 🙂

  44. I found this blog post when Googling for the Reason’s my Kid is crying page that my wife showed me last night (parents of a new born and 22 month old… as if i have to justify myself for this comment).

    To all the parents (INCLUDING the original author) saying this is cruel and harsh or ingrains some sense of self worthlessness, or even teaches lack of empathy, or whatever psychological issues you believe such photography will have on their children.

    Many people have provided great rational reason, or provided alternate scenarios than what you might have considered when these pictures were taken… but now my emotional and visceral response.

    Finding humor in the difficult situations of regular parenting life and taking solace in “not being alone in this” is nothing to detest… I suggest you get over yourselves. How pretentious. Maybe you should be concerned about how THAT level of over analysis, micro management, stress, and inability to shrug of the common occurrences of daily life will impact your children’s development.

    I am really sorry that Google brought me back this page. What a shame.

  45. I stumbled across this blog post by mistake. Emphasis on mistake. Please, Ms Weldon, lighten up a little. You act as if people are purposefully making their kids cry just to get a picture on that website. Comparing it to posting pictures of dementia patients is not even remotely an equitable comparison. If you psychoanalyze everything to this degree, you really miss out on a lot.

  46. “Disturbing”? “Detest”?

    It’s moms like you who raise children who are unable to laugh at themselves, and have self-esteem issues because they were always tip-toed around.

    A child crying because his milk is in the wrong cup IS funny. No one suggested berating this tot for hours. A simple snap of a photo is not abusive nor unloving. I would argue this child will have a laugh of his own when he looks back at these in 20 years.

    Get a grip

  47. I’m late chiming in, but I have to commend you for your tack on this issue. It’s right on the money.

    I live in a large city, and I view parents just ignoring their crying children … just…ignoring them. As someone who grew up in what I will politely call a non-nurturing household, it actually hurts me to see this type of thing. So parading your own kids and holding them up to what I can’t help but feel is lightly salted ridicule can only be called new-age abuse.

    To see any child suffer and not try to make things better is a concept I will never understand.

  48. My wife and I guffawed when we read this article. She started out, oh, how shall we say it, all “over-sensitive” about the kids crying, just like you. But by our third child, she realized why I didn’t get too worked up by our kids’ emotional swings, because – SOMETIMES THERE’S JUST *NOTHING* YOU CAN DO TO CALM THEM DOWN EXCEPT IGNORE THEIR CYING! With a zoom lens, it’s been easy (for decades) to snap a shot of your kid *acting ridiculous about something irrational*. These aren’t shots of kids who’ve been shot, or bitten by a rabid dog, but shots of kids losing their sh1+ for NO GOOD REASON! LOL! With phone cameras, it’s even easier than ever to snap off a candid shot, not to mention the shots taken while shooting a sequence for another reason, and just “lucking out”, capturing moments as they happened (which seems to be the majority of the shots in the book made from the various photos posted on the blog).

    Really, these aren’t callous shots, they’re just a HILARIOUS reality check. Sometimes our kids just freak out. About nothing. And trying to calm them down often just makes them *more upset*! My wife and I have three kids in college, a twelve year old, and a 4 year old, and we LONG AGO learned that sometimes *these pictures can help your kids see how ridiculous they can act*! Now, should their names be posted next to the shots? Probably not. But in the Internet age, there are a LOT of things we need to be careful about posting. Hilarious pictures (the occasional shot, okay – I concede that you’re right about what kind of non-constructive reinforcement *constantly* taking these kinds of photos could produce) of kids losing their minds over silly things (which Mom and Dad have no hope of “talking them down” from) are harmless fun. Get over it.

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