We have a fairly robust approach to the general sobbing and misery that the kids tend to exhibit. Unless it’s something that we feel they have a genuine right to be upset about, the tears get short shrift with us. For example, tears are acceptable if one of your friends has been mean to you and won’t play with you, but rather less so if I’ve put a tiny bit too much milk on your breakfast cereal. Tears are okay if you can’t find your favourite teddy at bedtime but rather less so if you’re sobbing because I won’t pass you your teddy when it’s under 20cm away.
You get the general idea.
We’ve begun to combat the histrionic display of upset with a new powerful weapon, Misery: the Playlist. We’ve networked music devices in our home (Panasonic have literally just sent us some ALL Plays on long term loan, reviews to follow), and we have a Spotify subscription too. Anytime a child kicks off in an inappropriate fashion, we stick this on:
It’s fairly self explanatory but I should note that when Alice What’s The Matter comes on, we shout the child’s name over the Alice bit for added insult.
When we eventually jolt said child out of the tears for no good reason phase, I usually stick LEGO Movies Everything is Awesome on to make a point.
Of course if it’s genuine upset rather than random sobbing for no reason, I tend to put some of the plinky piano music much favoured by sentimental TV shows on, grab myself a chunky knitwear jumper and do a proper job of consoling them because, you know, I’m a great dad but even great dads need the appropriate soundtrack to properly assist in the atmospheric setting. If it’s a warm evening, I might even have to whip my phone out and turn the central heating down via our Nest so we can snuggle up for a nice cuddle.