Comfortable with Feeling
It can be so easy to want to 'fix' our children’s hard feelings or struggles ourselves.
Seeing our children frustrated, angry, upset or hurt can often bring up similar feelings in ourselves. If these moments of tantrum, resistance or anger come at a time where we are already running on an empty tank, it can be even harder to make space for difficult emotions.
Being able to help children name their feelings, and let them feel them when they are young, can help to create positive emotional health into teenage years and adulthood.
Many parents of current and previous generations may have been more accustomed to hiding or denying how they feel, to produce a tough or strong exterior to the world. But just like an egg appears hard at first, it doesn’t take much to crack under pressure.
Holding harder feelings like hurt, fear or anger inside is very rarely benign. Doing so on a regular basis has been linked with depression, anxiety, and even violent behaviours in childhood or later life.
Research has found that many adults actually struggle to name many feelings in themselves.
The common feelings of ‘happy’, ‘sad’ or ‘angry’ are often as wide as emotional awareness stretches. It has been suggested that these three feelings represent around 10% of what adults should be able to name.
Something as simple as ‘I can see you are feeling sad/angry/frustrated/excited’ can be such a powerful tool to help children start to recognise these feelings in themselves.
You might be surprised by how quickly kids can start to describe emotions in themselves and others!
Acclaimed author Trace Moroney has created beautiful books to share with children, which describe and illustrate a vast number of feelings to pre-school and school aged children.
Find out more at www.tracemoroney.com