Children share what is going on in their internal world by expressing their feelings. When they are young, they don’t have the filters that we, as parents, have learned. When they feel discomfort, they express with BIG feelings. Often these don’t come out appropriate, to our senses, and we find ourselves feeling discomfort with the nature of their expressions. We can have the tendency, in the moment, to try and control the expression so we don’t feel our discomfort. Instead of hearing our child and addressing their needs, we often inadvertently suppress their expression in favor of appropriate behavior. How can we tolerate their BIG feelings when we haven’t learned to tolerate our own? How do we support feelings while still teaching appropriate expression? Let’s see how.
- Recognize when you are triggered
- Become aware of the feeling that is arising in you
- Take a deep breath and see if you can name the feelings
- See if you can open to the vulnerable feelings underneath your discomfort
- Steer yourself and your child toward vulnerable waters
- Share with your child what you are feeling and ask them what they are feeling
- Remember, once the feelings are processed then you can talk about appropriate ways to express
- Be loving to yourself and your child as you learn to feel safe expressing vulnerability
Once the feeling is processed your child will return to the loving being you know and love. Have faith that they won’t turn into spoiled, rude children if you allow them to express. What they are really learning is how to ride the wave of feelings so they can return to the ocean of love.