My son’s sobby protests really get to me. Should I give in?

When I returned to find my son crying in a heartbreaking way, he quickly detected that a weak link had entered the equation

I returned home from a gig the other night and everyone in the house was asleep, bar our four-year-old son, who was crying in a heartbreakingly sad way. Like all parents, I am immune to many types of crying. There is the high-pitched cry when you refuse to buy something in a shop; there is the “I’ve fallen over and you looked shocked and that made me cry” cry; and, of course, the “I’m really tired so I’m going to cry without prompting and without cessation at a level that suggests recordings of this should be used at Guantánamo” cry. Our youngest, however, was doing the heartbroken “I want you to love me” cry, and I have to confess that this particular one really gets me.

I felt devastated for the poor guy. This is a potential minefield, however. In the past, I have been guilty of returning from work with some parenting words of wisdom, ignoring the fact that my wife has been dealing with the situation for a while. The correct strategy at these times is to wind my mansplaining neck in.

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