At a time when anxiety and depression are rampant in our youngsters, helping them to understand their feelings can go a long way to relieving these debilitating problems.
Children do need to be allowed to feel their feelings and we can help our children to labeltheir feelings. However, we help them to understand where their feelings are coming from when we don’t validate them. In other words, it is OK for my child to feel angry when his best friend breaks his toy, but it’s best not to agree that the anger was because his friend broke his toy. We are never upset for the reason we think.
No, the anger comes from his interpretation of the situation, not the situation itself. That the toy was broken is a neutral fact. Any emotion linked to that event comes from an underlying belief that my child has about himself.
Here are a few possibilities:
As an adult, I learned that feelings only serve one purpose and the only reason to be upset (in a feeling other than love, joy or peace) is to alert me to the need to correct a mistaken belief about myself. I have found this to be profoundly healing on many levels and leads me to much greater happiness. It gives me a way to monitor my thoughts and helps me to maintain a state of being that is free of depression and anxiety, things that plagued me until I discovered this way of thinking. By teaching this concept to our children we can help them to grow up mentally-healthy, free of depression and anxiety.
How can you help your children with their feelings?
If you’d like to learn more about my approach to parenting, please explore my book: What They Don’t Teach in Prenatal Class: The Key to Raising Trouble-Free Kids and Teens and online course: The Key to Raising Trouble-Free Kids and Teens.
I know firsthand the emotional and financial costs of having a troubled teenager and I don’t want that to happen to you. That's why I wrote my book What They Don't Teach in Prenatal Class: The Key to Raising Trouble-Free Kids and Teens (available on Amazon).