Thursday, October 17, 2013

Day 16: Acknowledge feelings


Late again! No excuses, just living it up in the city and going out, catching up with friends and coming home near midnight. One of the practices that seems counter intuitive but really helps is acknowledging feelings. I don't have my books with me to consult, but this has come from a couple of different sources, I'm pretty sure one of them is How to Talk so Kids Will Listen and Listen so Kids Will Talk, and also Janet Lansbury  (here and here).

When we were at the trendy restaurant having lunch and Charlie fell oh his stool, he hit his head on the hard polished concrete floor. He started to cry, hard. A waiter picked him up for me and as I took him in my arms and walked outside so he could cry freely, I didn't shoosh him or tell him he was ok or try to stop him from crying at all.  Instead, I acknowledged the incident and how he was (most likely) feeling. "Ohh, you fell off the stool and hit your head" "That hurt your head" "Show me where it hurts" "That really hurts doesn't it sweetheart?". With a really quick cuddle, and a kiss, the tears were over and he wanted to get back inside to his blueberries, as happy as he was before the fall.

We think bringing up the incident will only upset kids so we try and distract them. Honestly, if we just give kids a chance to feel what they're feeling and let them know we understand, they can work through the hurt and the shock and move on. They feel validated in their experience and they don't need to keep sooking or crying to get our attention and know that we understand. Thinking about it from my own experience, who doesn't want to be acknowledged and validated?


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