Children need to be emotionally reflected

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Article published on  www.carteacopiilor.ro, January 2014

Often, modern parents are highly interested only in intellectual performances of their children. Since early ages, children are required to learn foreign languages, to use the computer, or even to know to read. Unfortunately, children are not also emotionally educated. Children need to be listened and understood when they experience various negative emotions that can devastate them, in order to be able to develop their personality in a balanced way.

Thus, it is therapeutic to speak with children when they feel fear, anger or sadness. It also important that adults give them messages such as: “Your feelings are important for me and I will take time to listen to them.” (Françoise Dolto).

We should not be afraid of our children’s emotions

Steps for parents to follow:

-First step for a parent is to understand the emotions of his child, by using empathy.

- Then he has to reassure the child, naming his feelings, such as: “I guess you are crying now because you are upset as I came late to the kindergarten to take you home. Is that right?”

- Afterwards, the child will be invited to speak more about his feelings and the parent will listen to him carefully (“Can you tell me more about your feelings?”) Emotions should not be judged, as they are not good or bad. They need to be accepted as they are!

- The parent will express his love and compassion for the child and will hug or kiss him (“I am sorry you were so scared and you thought I will not come to take you home from kindergarten. I love you very much. ”)

- Finally, the parent will reassure him (“I will do my best not to be late again or I will let you know if this  happens. I just want you to be happy. I want to take good care of you.”)

Why are children bursting into anger?

Children are bursting into anger when they have less than 4 or 5 years old and it is hard for them to express in words what they feel. If the tantrums are often or if they happen after 4-5 years old, parents should take a careful look at themselves and notice if they are verbally or physically aggressive with the child or in the couple relationship. Usually, these often bursts into anger of a child are symptoms that indicate that something is wrong in his family. They are also a cry for help. Often, after parents change their behavior and the child is understood, these crises disappear.

Adults should be aware that their anger is contagious and that they are living models for their children. Often, some negative emotional patterns come down from one generation to another.

Parents need to understand their own emotions, too

In order to be good enough parents, adults need to have a good relation with themselves, full of love and compassion, especially when they have powerful emotions, hard to manage. If the parents were emotionally hurt when they were children, their inner child is still suffering and it could be difficult for them to reassure themselves, especially when they have hard times.

Still, it is never too late to tell their inner child those words they maybe never heard, such as: “ I know you feel afraid and alone. It seems that you want to run away and hide somewhere. I’m sorry you have difficult times. I am with you and you can rely on me. I love you and I will take care of you no matter what happens.” This way, they can heal the grief from their past.

When they have a good connection with their emotional life, parents will be able to help their children understand, accept and deal with their emotions.

Children with a solid contact with their emotions will be able to become balanced, flexible and strong adults, unlike children whose emotions are rejected, criticized or blamed.

 

Andreea Raduta

Independent Jungian Psychotherapist

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