I’m going to share a really powerful lesson that has totally changed my life for the better and has the potential to change yours too.
How do you feel when your child is upset?
I know I don’t like it. My 16-year-old son is a fairly positive person overall. But, like everyone, now and again he gets upset about something and I’d like him to feel better again.
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Whatever he is upset about, there’s part of me that wants to convince him of all the positive things he could focus on in his life. It’s quite difficult for parents to bear it when our children are upset. We may try to convince them that they don’t really need to be upset, after all.
For example, say your child is upset because they feel they don’t have any friends.
You might say to them, “Oh, but you do, you’ve got so many friends! There’s Jamie and Suzie, and what about Andrew and Finn?“
Or they say, “I don’t like my sister.“
Immediately, you’d want to say, “Oh, but you love your sister. Remember how you played so nicely together?“
Perhaps they say they’re no good at something – drawing, or some school subject, perhaps. We try to convince them that they are good and that they should feel confident.
We launch into being Mr or Mrs Fix-It. We want to make everything better because we love them and care so deeply about them.
I totally get it, and I want to help you see how this approach can be unhelpful. When we don’t allow our children to experience their difficult feelings, it’s more difficult for them to work through them and let them go.
Because feelings just want to be felt. That’s their whole purpose.
We’re quite good at feeling the nice feelings, like joy and fun and happiness.
But when difficult feelings come up, whether in ourselves or our children, we’re less willing to go there. That’s why we come with all our positive affirmations – and our Mr and Mrs Fix-It approach.
Thing is, when we don’t allow our children to feel their difficult feelings – when we don’t welcome them and can’t be present to them – we convey the message that we don’t want them to have those feelings.
We may make them feel that those feelings are bad and they shouldn’t be having them.
This paradoxically, can compound those feelings – and make children very nervous and prone to feeling extremes of emotion.
When we don’t allow those feelings, or feel grounded enough to embrace them, the feelings are compounded – and it makes them worse.
However, when we do feel grounded, we are better able to be present to those feelings in our children and embrace them.
In this case, they pass more quickly. Children get over them and regain balance more quickly.
Overall, they feel more settled, happier, and the whole family feels more relaxed.
This learning has certainly been a game changer for me. And I’m really excited about how this might help you find more relaxation and ease in everyday life, too.
If any of this has touched you and you’d like to reach out to me for a chat, please go to my Let’s Talk page and book yourself in on my calendar. I’d love to talk with you.
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