Crying is an emotional response and a way of communicating how we are feeling. Crying is usually a signal that something is wrong. People cry when they are hurt or in pain or when they feel sad, frustrated or angry. But sometimes, people cry when they feel very happy!
Babies cry to tell their parents and the people around them that they need something. For example, they cry when they feel hungry, cold, scared, uncomfortable or tired. Until they learn how to speak when they are about 2 years old, crying is the main way that babies have to communicate.
As babies grow older and become children they cry less because they have other ways of telling people how they feel. Children can speak or use sign language or other ways to communicate. Children might cry when they are hurt or if they feel sad, upset or tired.
Grown-ups don’t cry very often because they have learned how to control their emotional responses and have lots of other ways of communicating with the people around them. But grown-ups will sometimes cry if they feel very sad or upset or if they have hurt themselves badly. Some grown-ups also cry if they feel really happy – for example, I cried when my daughters were born!
If grown-ups do cry, they sometimes like to do it in private. Some people think that crying can be good for you: they say that if you cry when you are feeling upset, it can help to make you feel better.