Our kids are so little but they experience big feelings! We all want our little ones to lead healthy lives and successful relationships. Learning how to deal with our own feelings and emotions is vital for our well-being; this is why as parents we can't ignore the importance of teaching our kids this skill.
When your little one is feeling angry, sad or upset there are simple actions that you can take that will make a huge difference.
Here are 3 things that you should start doing:
1-VALIDATE FEELINGS: Allow children to have feelings and validate them. If your kid is sad because he lost his toy don’t tell him 'don't be sad, you have other cool toys', instead try saying ' I know you really love this toy, I feel the same when I lose something I love' Help your kid understand why he is feeling this way and take his feelings seriously. On the long run this will teach your kid how to express and deal with his own feelings.
2-Don't try to fix the problem or try to talk your kid out of her feelings. Let her know that it's okay to feel this way, and don’t rush to solve the problem yourself; instead let her figure it out herself and in some cases you can help her brainstorm for solutions.
3-Don't over-validate: Although isn't hard to see your child upset, over-validating won't fix the problem. A simple 'yes I know that Iosing your toy is so upsetting' or 'I know how much it hurts' will do the trick. This will allow your kids to learn that they can work through their feelings and will give them the confidence to work it through.
WHAT I FEEL AND WHAT I DO ARE TOTALLY DIFFERENT MATTERS.
Although it's important to validate feelings and be supportive that doesn't mean that we should tolerate unacceptable behavior. Children should learn that what they feel and what they do are two totally different matters. For example feeling angry doesn't mean that it's okay to hit my friend. Children start to understand this when they know that it's okay to feel the way they do, and when they know that their feelings are validated they can then calm down and begin to think for solutions.
So we should start to teach our little ones that feelings are okay. For example when your child tells you "I'm Hungry" don't dismiss his feeling by saying "No you're not, you just ate 20 mins ago" instead try to validate his feeling by saying 'I'm sorry you're hungry, but we just cleaned up after lunch 20 mins ago, how about you try to wait for dinner or if your super hungry you can pick a fruit to eat"
Our kids will become resilient when they know that feelings are okay and that they will eventually pass. Having feelings and learning to deal with them is an important life experience that will teach your kids a lot about themselves!
Until next time :)
Salma from ConyWorld