Little people, BIG emotions.
I have learned to love the big emotions that are present in the little people that surround me. The reason is pretty simple. Children live fully in the present, and their emotions are a raw, and true representation of what they are feeling at any given moment.
No emotion is either positive or negative, and all are equally important and have a meaning, a purpose and a place within us. That is why it is so important to allow your little one to feel, express and understand each one of them. Repressing any emotion can have a damaging effect on future beliefs and behaviours.
Emotions are present from birth, but at that age, children are not yet capable of fully controlling them. There are usually five core emotions present in young children. These include anger, fear, jealousy, sadness and joy. Most of what they experience and feel will be expressed as one of these emotions, or one can often and easily manifest as another. For example, sadness can manifest as anger and fear as sadness.
Children can be overwhelmed by their emotions and can have a hard time regulating them. This is because they have no prior experience to pull from, they’ve had less time and opportunity to learn about managing their feelings. Children simply react based on how they feel.
As a parent, this is where you can make a difference. They need help from you (or a caregiver) to learn how to identify, name, interpret and use their emotions, and how to direct their energy effectively and express their needs.
Children learn best by seeing. They tend to follow examples rather than advice, so how you work through and handle your feelings, will reflect in your child. It is beneficial for them to see you, as an adult, experiencing different emotions and not be floored by them. They will use you as a model when it comes to expressing and feeling their own emotions.
Helping your child to identify their feelings and explaining each emotion to them, as well as paying attention to your emotions, is the first step to empowering them to manage them.
Take time to truly listen to your child. Often all they need is your full attention. Simply allowing your child to verbally process what is going on for them and articulating an emotion can help defuse it. Acknowledging a “negative” feeling can take its power away.
When you respond to your child’s cues in a meaningful way and help them manage their big feelings, they feel safe and trust that they are supported to feel these emotions. With time children learn how to cope with their emotions from the experiences they have with warm, responsive and trusted adults.
The purpose of feelings is to make sense of what is going on inside and around us.
How can we support your child emotionally?
Treatment allows us to identify and treat any hidden issues and resolve any problems that may upset your child’s balance. It allows us to support them through anything they are going through which may include:
- Separation anxiety: welcoming a new baby in the house, Mum going back to work or having to go to daycare;
- Performance anxiety: competition or sports event coming up, academic performance, even the pressure they put on themselves;
- Dealing with grief or bad news;
- Unforeseen changes: parents separating;
- Having a hard time at school or being bullied.
We treat everyone, from newborn babies to Mum and Dad as well as grandparents.
Always remember that your ability to help, nurture and protect your child depends on your wellbeing. In order for you to parent well, you need to lead a balanced and healthy life in which you care for and love yourself. Treatment at Centered Health can be beneficial for you as a parent. Mums are, generally, the spiritual head of the house, and children will naturally follow their energy, so if Mum is doing well, the whole family is doing well.
Get in touch today, we would love to be part of your family’s wellness regime.
“The greatest gift you can give your kids is the ability to experience, recognise, and deal with emotions – it will be their key to resilience later in life,”
– Jamie Gleicher –