Breakthrough to Uncovering My Child's Emotions
Being a parent does not come with a “How to” guide, we all learn as we go along.
Providing kids with qualitative attention is key to instilling the confidence and motivation every child needs while growing up. I recently picked up that my daughter was going through emotions such as mood swings, sudden quietness, eye's filling with tears at any given moment, and loss of appetite that were concerning based on her happy go lucky character. I needed to find out what was causing such behaviour.
“Since the earliest period of our life was preverbal, everything depended on emotional interaction. Without someone to reflect our emotions, we had no way of knowing who we were.”— John Bradshaw
In adulthood, certain situations bring a heightened sense of emotion and we often don't know to deal with it at the time. This got me thinking, if adults find it a battle, how do we expect a child to overcome obstacles.
How do you bring a sense of calm to a young mind?
I needed to find a way to assist, not as an interim solution but long-term.
I spent hours of research, and came across interesting information, which I chose to explore.
These are the following advice tips I put into practice:
- Do I allocate one-on-one time with my child, daily?
- Do they receive my undivided attention during that time?
- Do I allow them to solve a problem and brainstorm on their own?
- Have I shown my child coping skills to remain calm so they may think clearly?
- Have I embraced mistakes, showing them that accountability and ownership allows them to learn from it?
- Have I shown them that with any bad experience, it should not deter them from thinking positively?
- Do I allow them to talk about their feelings and emotions?
- Does my child and I partake in any sport or exercise activities together?
After applying myself to these questions, I had a good sense of my next steps.
It became evident, that I seldom have one-on-one time with my kids individually, we usually spend time together as a family unit.
I resorted to making the effort and set a mother and daughter day, where my child was given my undivided attention.
It was not long during our quality time together, my daughter began sharing her many wonderful stories with me. It was clear that she had found a new foundation of trust in me, allowing her the freedom to unconsciously share her situation with her best friend, that caused her to act out.
As best friends they complimented each other, so it was assumed the bond between them could never be disrupted. The friendship duo had now become a trio.
My daughter felt broken down as the new addition to the circle of friends consistently excluded her. With tears in her beautiful eyes, she asked me, "Mum, what is wrong with me?", she continued, "I feel like I am losing my best friend".
My heart was shattered, she was experiencing something of this nature for the first time in her life and she thought she had to do it on her own.
She needed the assurance that there is nothing wrong with feeling these emotions. I shared with her that when faced with a dilemma, her strong spirited beautiful personality is still being projected to others and these traits on its own attract aider circle of friends. She needed the confidence to build the courage in dealing with her situation.
“We nourish the bodies of our children, but how seldom do we nourish their self-esteem? We provide them with the best food to build energy, but we neglect to give them kind words of appreciation that would sing in their memories for years like the music of the morning stars.”— Dale Carnegie
She heeded the advice and actioned the next day. By the end of the school day, she was so eager to share the success of her approach. I was so proud of her and filled with glee.
She is now surrounded by many friends and her best friend started rethinking her actions.
My little angel included and encouraged her to be inclusive of their respective new social circles.
On that note, if you are currently guided by the questions I continue to ask myself, as it has effectively worked for me, shows you are empowering your child in taking healthy risks, problem solving, building confidence, strengthening their body and mind.
They need to know that they can handle any situation life throws at them, still have the comfort of their support structure (that's us) being by their side.
By giving your child the lead, you entrust independence long term. This instils mental stamina and gives you peace of mind.
“The job of parents is to model. Modelling includes, how to acknowledge and express emotions; how to have emotional and intellectual boundaries; how to communicate; how to cope and survive life’s unending problems; how to be self-disciplined; and how to love oneself and another.”— John Bradshaw
A parents love is selfless, best of luck and enjoy every precious moment with your children.
© 2020 Mitara N