While no parent wants to see a child to suffer, we have to accept that it is a part of life. In this day and age, there are infinite ways for our kids to attempt to avoid and escape negative emotions and discomfort. Even though medications can be helpful, when we expect them to numb all discomfort we are sending our children a further message that any suffering in unacceptable and intolerable.
Validate how uncomfortable it is to be embarrassed, sad, scared and feel guilty and show them that you empathize. But the truth is, life is not without physical and emotional suffering.
Anger activates the energy to try to make something STOP or to try to confront injustice to make change. Let your children know your stories of how you have tolerated and grown from your negative feelings.
Jealousy is about losing an important relationship. Guilt, on the other hand, lets them know they have violated their own sense of morality. Rather than tolerating the space for something creative to emerge during unstructured time, kids can immediately fill the gap with playing games on the tablet.
This begs the question, what are our children missing when they avoid these feelings? These negative emotions are essential for personal safety. All of this is not to mention the lesson they learn when they watch adults managing their own negative feelings with alcohol or illicit drugs.
And clearly, suffering for extended periods of time is unacceptable. Rather than escaping or avoiding them, it is important that we help our children face their negative feelings and heed their lessons.
They are part of the bumps and bruises of being human which build resilience, teach compassion and grow experience to tackle future challenges. They have quick access to distraction and sources of entertainment in the palm of their hand.
Envy is an emotion that arises when our child compares himself to another and concludes he is inferior in some manner. You can also model how to apologize and repair. Embarrassment means they acted in a way that was out of the social norm, raising the alarm that they need to reconsider their future actions to be socially acceptable.
Why not unplugging the devices? Disgust is vital to disease avoidance and hygiene maintenance. At the first pang of loneliness, they can check their social media, read tweets or send selfies.
Continuing with the driving metaphor, sadness helps us accept what is and inspires us to consider how we might find alternate routes in the futures.
Supporting our Children on their Path While bearing our own suffering is bad enough, watching our children struggle can be almost unbearable! It can be the loss of a relationship or dream, a sense of disadvantage, helplessness or an unmet expectation. On the other hand, envy and jealousy are comparison emotions.
Fear is like a stop sign in the face of danger or an orange traffic signal alerting us to proceed with caution or reconsider our actions. Attending to this distress can drive differentiation, and help your child explore the gifts that are uniquely his! From the moment our children are born, they need to breathe on their own and communicate their distress.The New Hampshire Children’s Behavioral Health Collaborative has established that the Wraparound approach to behavioral health for children and youth is fundamental to supporting children and youth with complex behavioral.
Learn more about the SOVA: Supporting Our Valued Adolescents study at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. “educating and supporting our children: a guide to Education for Children and Youth in DCFS Care in Illinois” provides resources, links, and other information in a user-friendly question and answer format.
Negative Feelings, Essential Signals on the Road of Life: Supporting our Children on their Path While bearing our own suffering is bad enough, watching our children struggle can be almost unbearable!
It’s natural to want to avoid things that are uncomfortable and unpleasant, and especially to protect our children from experiencing them. Every child has a story—a story that is aching to be told. Given the chance to tell it, a child feels better, and then they are given the opportunity to Imagine new possibilities in it’s place.
When we speak our truth—when a child speaks their truth—their hearts feel heard and healing happens. SUPPORTING OUR CHILDREN: RESILIENCE IN A TIME OF CRISIS Vetta L.
Sanders Thompson, PhD Washington University in St. Louis, Brown School. In collaboration and consultation with.Download