I think a lot of us can remember being told “Get over it” or “You have to learn to deal with it” when we were growing up. If we were sad, angry, feeling left out, or “that’s not fair” we were often told basically not to feel that.
Not showing empathy towards a child when they are going through a tough time may scar them later on. Studies show that children with parents who comfort them emotionally are better socially adjusted. When we tell our kids to toughen up, we are teaching them that their emotions don't matter.
Children are not born understanding their emotions and when these big feelings hit them they often have no idea what to do with them. Well meaning adults label children’s feelings for them believing it is helpful. Is that really what the child feels? Is that the child’s truth or the adults interpretation?
A child who does not want to play with other children is very often misinterpreted as needing help finding friends and fitting in. Quite possibly the child is not lonely, not feeling left out as the adult is seeing it. The child may be feeling overwhelmed by pressure to be more social, go play with Johnny… they may be a frustrated introvert and just want some quiet alone time.
Growing up I believed there were certain ways I was supposed to feel. Parents, teachers, church, society all sending messages of how I was supposed to feel. When those messages conflicted with what I was really feeling it set me on a path of questioning myself and my feelings. I tried to bury what I really felt so I could meet the expectations being laid out for me and my feelings.
The concept that we are allowed to feel how we feel is something I think most of us did not discover until much later in life. By that point we had stored volumes of bad feelings inside our subconscious.
Fostering a habit of intimate conversation where the child is allowed to reveal what they feel, their truth, builds a foundation for them to process and regulate their emotions. It is the basis for developing emotional intelligence.
FTT4KIDZ gives children a process to communicate and deal with their emotions. How do they feel, do they want to let go of the bad feelings? What do they need to help them let go? Then one of the most magical parts, they learn that they get to choose how they want to feel.
It’s all about the child’s truth.