Before I had kids, I never cried at weddings or while watching movies, even during those parts where one is supposed to cry (unless you’re dead inside, apparently). This slightly freaked out my mom who used to put me to the test, making me watch sad movies just to see if I would cry.
I remember her flicking on Old Yeller and saying something about how there’s no way I wouldn’t cry. I didn’t. Now? Cue the tears at the most indiscriminate, slightly sad — or really sad, or even funny — emotional moment in real life or on the silver screen.
I blame all the fluctuating hormones of pregnancy, motherhood and life forever-more on having kids. I’m no longer that impenetrable force of cynicism.
I, too, am now a sentimental fool. So, when I came across this adorable toddler on “The Huffington Post,” crying her sweet little heart out while watching and listening to her parents’ wedding song, I could relate at once. As I sit here in a rare(ish), childless Starbucks moment, I actually wiped a stupid little tear, watching her connect with a feeling and understanding far beyond her years.
But are the feelings she’s having well beyond her years? What is it about having toddlers that leads us to think that they are incapable of feeling what us adults deem as complex? We’ve seen a baby cry over listening to their mother sing (and if you haven’t, yet, click and grab some tissues).
So, are we really witnessing babies and toddlers being moved to tears?
According to Siu-Lan Tan, Ph.D. of Psychology Today, we are, indeed:
“What we may be witnessing is a remarkable demonstration of emotional contagion, the tendency for humans to absorb and reflect the intense emotions of those around them. Emotional contagion is the foundation of human responses that are essential to social functioning (such as empathy), and is facilitated by the mirror neuron system in the brain.
It is shown in young infants’ tendency to cry when in the vicinity of another crying baby (known as contagious crying), and just as easily to mimic the joy or glee expressed by another person. Emotional contagion may also be seen in the blank stares of infants of depressed mothers or fathers, reflecting their caregivers’ flat affect (emotionally unexpressive faces).”
Watch the whole video below and let me know what you think!
Top image via: YouTube
More Babbles From Selena…
- You Can Do It! 4 Steps To a Successful Toddler Screen-Time Diet
- 3 Ways My Kids Have Helped Me Unlock My Own Potential
- 7 Tips For a Weekend That Your Toddlers Will Never Forget!
- Are We Overindulging Our Kids?
- 10 Things I Hope To Teach My Kids About Being Happy
Selena is a crafty, culinary mom. Regular writer here and on Disney Baby. Part-time mischief maker, all-time geek. Elsewhere on the Internets… via her humble beginnings, mastering in general mayhem: le petit rêve