The week's best parenting advice: April 13, 2021

Crying in front of kids, how to deal with bad grades, and more

A crying mother.
(Image credit: Illustrated | iStock)

1. Cue the water works

Should parents cry in front of their kids? By all means, says Rachel Altvater, a Washington-area psychologist specializing in child and adolescent mental health. "We want to normalize sadness and disappointment for our children. Crying is actually really healthy for our bodies because [the stress hormone] cortisol is released in our tears," she tells The Washington Post. It's especially important for fathers to be open about their emotions in front of their sons, because this challenges the cultural message that boys have to be tough. Plus, hiding one's emotions in an effort to project strength or stoicism could backfire. Kids, after all, are very perceptive. "Not showing your unapologetic, authentic self can make you untrustworthy as a parent," Altvater says.

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