Do you know the difference between complaining and venting?
Complaining is asking to be fixed. Venting is wanting to be heard.
How do you react when your child is venting?
It’s hard to make space for your children to express in ways that weren’t welcome in your home growing up.
As a child, if your attempts to vent triggered discomfort in your parents, you learned to repress them.
When your child vents, do you feel pressure to change or fix whatever is bothering them, in order to avoid your feelings of discomfort?
When I vent to one of my friends, I get insight from hearing myself speak. I take more self responsibility once I get it all out in the open.
I come into balance.
However, if my friend tries to fix me or make things better by pointing out the positive, I get really pissed off because that’s not what I need.
I discovered my daughter is the same way.
If I receive whatever she brings, she finds balance.
When young, if your parents valued only “positive” expression, this most likely led to you repressing the negative.
The problem is, this denies half of reality.
There are benefits and downsides to every situation, and focusing on only one side or the other keeps you stuck.
Think about a battery, it needs both the positive and negative in order to get a charge.
As your child is venting, see what it is like to receive both the positive and the negative, supporting your child to come into balance on their own.
Try reflecting back what you hear, or even keeping your mouth shut and listening.
Welcome their expression in the moment without needing to fix or change anything.
What a relief!
Listen to podcast Ep. 38 “Tired of Hearing Your Child Complaining? ?”