Reliable Ways to Help kids manage their emotions.
Being a mother is the most honoured position I hold and one that I take very seriously.
I will never forget the feelings I had when I had my first born, Daniel. I honestly just wanted to wrap him up and protect him from the nasty world that the media portrayed.
As the years have passed and I have birthed 2 other children, I now realise that I cannot wrap them in cotton wool. The best I can do as a mother of three boys is teach them to be conscious of their thoughts and feelings. At least this way they may become emotionally mature. The ultimate intention is that they are equipped to express their thoughts in a way that is not misunderstood and help them to realise that they are apart of a wider community and Society.
I recently had a life coaching client that had got into a lot of debt and was over eating which lead to weight gain. After an initial assessment it soon became clear that as a child when she was growing up, if she experienced any negative emotion or trauma her mother/grandmother would either feed her or buy her something. Telling her not to worry and that everything will be ok.
As an adult this pattern continued. If she was experiencing upsetting emotions such as loneliness she would eat to make herself feel better. The only problem was that the food she chose to eat was high fat, high sugar/salt and high carb. So initially she would feel better but, then her blood sugars would slump, the reality of what she had eaten would kick in and she would feel depressed and guilty.
On other occasions she would try to make herself feel better by buying things. Examples include Gym memberships plus all new gym kit . Or she would decide she was going to start a new hobby, card making as another example. All the items would be purchased only then the realisation that she couldn’t afford to pay the bills would kick in and depression would rear its ugly head and back to the food she would go.
From this experience I have learned that retail therapy and searching for food to fill the void is not going to solve anything. The key is to embrace your feelings, then think about how you feel and why you feel that way. Some of these emotions could be triggered from childhood.
Emotions are fantastic and their true intention is to offer us an indicator that something is unfinished and we need to mature through the feeling and engage our thoughts and draw on experiences to help us process the pain and learn from it. Only then do you graduate that emotional experience as you have learned the lesson it was trying to teach you.
My son recently came to me and said “mum, I am so angry because Declan (name changed) has come onto my game online and caused trouble” He then added “when I get to school tomorrow I am going to punch him” Instinctively I wanted to tell him off for saying how he felt. However, I choose to discuss it with him. I asked if he felt embarrassed in front of his friends to which he replied “yes”. Is that why you want to hurt him? “yes”. Ok I then added if you do punch him, do you think the school will let it go? “No”. Ok well if you punch him are you aware that this could go on your record and affect your upper school choice? “erm no”. He then said “ok then mum what can you do to help”, I replied, I can call school and log the incident so that if he starts again, he is the one who is in trouble, rather than him looking like the victim if you punch him” . He agreed to this and concluded “we should pray for him, I wonder if he is lonely. Also mum I think you should leave it and not tell the school”
The bottom line is our children have emotions, good, bad and ugly. It’s so important for us as parents to help them express and feel all emotions and then learn to communicate why they feel the way they do and then guide them to think themselves out of the situation, using logic, compassion and mercy.
It’s sad to say but we live in a narcissistic society, where children are often not disciplined with the correct communication and are constantly told I am so proud of you, you are amazing.Your so special and can do no wrong. Then the child grows up only to find the world doesn’t revolve around them, they are not always right and there are consequences to their behaviour and there is other peoples emotions to consider outside of their own.
The key is helping our children is be honest and open. Give them the space to explore what they feel and guide them through it. For example Daniel felt angry towards his friend so his next reaction was revenge. The root for him was his bruised ego, but once he took time to think about why his friend would treat him that way he moved up the emotional ladder and gained empathy and understanding. Winner!
If you struggle to communicate or understand your Childs perspective why not invest in the following books…
Download the 22 Point Emotional Scale…
The 22 Point Emotional Scale is taken from a book by Esther and Jerry Hicks called: Ask and It is Given: Learning to Manifest Your Desires.