Child Development

Letting Them Feel!


June 15, 2023

How comfortable are we with our children’s emotions?

As parents we often have a hard time accepting certain emotional responses from our children. This is precisely because that is what we have learn’t growing up. People around us had a hard time accepting all our emotions as well.  All our lives emotions have been categorized, as ones that are okay to feel, and ones that are stopped every time we feel them.
So every time our children are sad, crying , angry, we want them to stop feeling those emotions, but why? Most of these emotions arise when children are unhappy with the way things are around them. Specially when we stop them, or limit them.
Every now and then we need to, and want to set boundaries for our children, but are we comfortable enough to accept and validate the responses or reactions they have to those boundaries.  We can’t have it both ways, that we limit them but at the same time expect them to not express their discontent over it. Children have their own perspectives and emotions. We need to be open and willing to accept it. This act from our end is very necessary to raise secure, confident, emotionally resilient and happy children.

Think about a time when you really wanted something and you couldn’t get it. How did it feel? What did you feel like doing? Were you upset? Did you cry, yell or fight about it?  This is how it feels for our children a lot of times. Something that may seem really trivial or petty to us, could be the most important thing for them, and they feel these same emotions that we do, and maybe to the same or greater degree.  So instead of always talking them out of things, or discarding their feelings, we could help them express and just feel.
There are umpteen no of ways that we as parents use to distract our children from feeling their feelings. When our children are young, we start with the easiest, and I believe, is the favorite for most parents.

DISTRACTION – This usually works, making our babies happy again, without leaving us with any consequences to deal with. Why wouldn’t it be the go to for any parent ! It happens without any mess. Works well if you can master that smoothness. As nothing can ever be too good. This method also comes with an expiry date. It works only until your child is a couple of years old and then you have to again go back to dealing with their emotions, or figure another way out, until that doesn’t work anymore.
Why is it that we are always looking for solutions to figure out how to stop our children from feeling their emotions. Instead we should be helping them feel their emotions, and learn to manage them in a healthy way, giving them enough time to learn that skill. It may just be one of the most important skills that we will be teaching our children over the years.

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