Parents Emotions…

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If we were to run a system search in our head for our emotions as against our childs, there would probably be no results found.

Nurturing your emotions is important while fostering emotional intelligence in your child. You matter. Your feelings matter.

Not only children, even their parents, undergo a lot of stress and emotions, which we do not acknowledge in the pretext of sacrificing oneself, the ultimate mantra for good parents. Is it? I think it's time to recognise and acknowledge those emotions in order to have good mental health and a balanced mindset to foster your child’s emotions.

Parents have a dual role to play raising a self aware, respectful child who can deal with his emotions positively along with channelising their emotions in the right direction.

Self Care!!! So many times we as parents are also undergoing a lot of stress and anxieties. Parents always think that sacrificing is the only way to give happiness to your child.

But Pause and reflect, if you are not happy, if you are mentally unbalanced how will you channelise their emotions in a positive manner. In order to give our best to our kids, it’s important to work on oneself first. If you as a parent are unstable and your own emotional cup is not filled, how will you do so for your child. The first positive affirmation for you should be ‘I am happy and healthy’. Stay positive no matter what, FOR YOUR CHILD.

Most people weren’t parented in a way that helped them identify and acknowledge their emotions in a healthy manner, which inturn makes them do the same to their kids. Very little in fact, almost no importance was given to emotional intelligence.

Below are some simple ways that can help regulate emotions:

  1. A must have family dinner – having a dinner routine where the family sits together at the table. Create a culture such that all members can pour their hearts out without being judged, talk, discuss, laugh and cry together. This sharing will help you feel heard and respected. It will improve your understanding of your children and help you make better decisions as a parent. Emphasise on the importance of quality time together and experience sharing.

  1. Take care of yourself, pamper yourself, take some ‘me-time’, do things that make you happy and satisfy your emotions. This will help keep you balanced. It can be anything – reading, family, friends or just you. Once in a while taking up a personal retreat like meditation, yoga, spa therapy or joining singing or dancing classes, not only rejuvenates the soul but also gives our mind a healthy break from daily parenting chores.

  1. Commit acts of kindness – I don't mean to sound preachy, but give it a shot. It brings a sense of gratification that’s unparalleled. This will give you inner peace and a calm head which in turn helps making correct choices.

  1. Share worries and seek out support from friends and family. Do not keep your worries and stress to yourself, open up to your near and dear ones to decrease the burden on yourself. The more you share the less you’d be stressed.

  1. Mindfulness, a few minutes of mindfulness can rejuvenate and get you to kick start your day refreshed. It is a great exercise to calm your anxiety and stress. This is a scientifically-proven technique that combats stress. Try it out!!

  1. Date with the spouse: Parenting can be stressful. Parents have a lot on their table not only from the child but also from the environment around them. Take some private time out with your spouse, it can help you release some stress and give some happy moments. Hence, it is very important to find some time out of our busy schedules to relive those moments which have become dormant under the responsibilities of parenting.

Here are some tips on how as parents we can facilitate our child’s emotional learning.

Most parents are familiar with their child’s ability to feel and express a lot of strong emotions. They may be quick to giggle for joy, and then seconds later transform into being a cranky child. Flow of multiple emotions is common in children beginning from toddlerhood.

Being an educator and parent myself, I totally understand how sometimes it gets difficult to understand the child, it gets difficult to get through to them, how sometimes all they want is a hug.

Socio emotional learning is not a task, it is a process that a child goes through to acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions;feel and show empathy for others, form healthy and positive relationships.

It is very important to fill a child’s emotional cup on a daily basis. It’s come to attention amongst parents during the pandemic as it has become the need of every child but it should be fulfilled even otherwise. It increases prosocial behaviors,such as kindness, sharing, and empathy.

But as a parent how can you develop social and emotional skills at home?

  1. Play games. Card and board games or outdoor games, let the child understand how to take turns, cooperate, handle failure, and more. Parents should focus on having fun rather than allowing it to become competitive.

  1. Talking through a Figure; puppet or a soft toy - A lot of children born in the pandemic do not have friends and those who have, haven't met, it's a good idea to use a prop like a soft toy or puppets to talk about emotions. Even otherwise, children between 5-8 years respond well when spoken to through a third figure. You will notice that children might sometimes talk to these figures about their feelings. Puppets can also help in discussions about challenging topics that could have been on your child’s mind and otherwise complex to introduce.

  1. Express - Think out aloud. When your child hears that you are in trouble and instead of getting anxious or hiding it, you work to cope with anger and solve issues. “Whoops. My favourite dress has a hole in it. I’d better buy a new one for my birthday” or “I’d better have it fixed.”

  1. Stories - There is something magical about stories, kids make a quick connection to them and bedtime stories can be the ideal time to talk about feelings. While discussing the characters, we can ask children to share thoughts and feelings. Also ask how you think you can solve this issue?

  1. Work Together - ‘go clean up your mess, before you get your dinner’ v/s ‘Let’s clean up the room first and then help me set up the table, we’ll have dinner together’. I am sure you can spot the difference in the two sentences. Spending time together, working together gives a lot of space and opportunity to your child to open conversations. Instead of asking your child to tidy up his toys, the two of you might fold clothes, set the table, wash utensils, or water plants. It also helps the child learn that it's okay to ask for help.