04 May How you can support your child’s emotions
Are your kids asking questions about when they will go back to school? Or when they will get to see their friends? Are they having big feelings, or showing them with tantrums, or even regressing with their behaviours?
Recently I invited a colleague of mine, Sarvie Riahi, a psychotherapist who specializes in something called “Emotion-Focused Therapy” to have a conversation with me about how we can support our children’s emotions through this really tough time. I’m sharing that video with you here today.
Really, these strategies we talk about are important ALL THE TIME. Not just in a crisis.
The 3 B’s
She gave us several really important tips, including one called the “3 Becauses” or “3B’s” which teaches us to validate our children’s emotions by saying “because” 3 times.
“You are really sad right now….because you miss your friends, and because you miss your grandma, and because you like going to school.”
See how we give 3 reasons why we understand how they are feeling? That not only really drives home the point to them that they are seen and important to you, but it also gives their brain some time to calm down and feel better.
There’s actually not much we have to actually “fix” when it comes to their emotions.
Instead, if we can validate them and let them know that how they feel is just fine, they learn not to be afraid of hard times or big emotions.
They learn that this too shall pass and that they can withstand hard things.
It builds confidence and emotional resilience.
There was so much more that we talked about, so here is a link to the full recording.
I am sure it will be helpful for you.
There was an even more important point that came out of the conversation:
We have to be in touch with and coping with OUR OWN emotions in a healthy way in order to be able to support our children with theirs.
So many times I hear moms say “I’m pretty good when I’m with my child, I can hide my stress and be present with them”.
But that’s not really true. Children are watching ALL THE TIME.
They’re not only taking in the things you say when you’re with them. They’re taking in everything you do.
How can you really, truly help them with their own emotions if you aren’t effectively helping your own?
And in actuality, it’s a very healthy thing to show your kids that you have emotions that aren’t always “happy” or “okay”. It’s important that they see you as sad, mad, frustrated and having the less comfortable emotions as well.
Because that shows them that these things are okay to feel. “If my mommy feels these things, then it must be okay for me to feel these things too”.
The catch is that they need to have help from you in managing them when they have the big, uncomfortable feelings when they don’t yet have those skills by themselves.
Becoming emotionally resilient is a learned skill
Managing hard emotions and becoming emotionally resilient is a learned skill. Anyone at any age can learn it and everyone SHOULD learn it!
If you are feeling like maybe your own emotions need supporting, I’m here for you. It’s literally my mission to provide as much help as I can to moms, so we can all show up as the parents we want to be.
The program I created called Braving Wild Motherhood helps moms not only start overcoming anxiety, but it really builds emotional resilience.
So we can manage our own emotional and mental health in a positive way.
So we can help our children with their own emotions.
It all starts with us.
YOU matter. A lot.
P.S. Here’s a link to the video conversation “Supporting Your Child’s Emotions”. https://youtu.be/wLEor9L3myw