How Parents Can Help Kids Understand Their Emotions Better

Children are a reflection of us in a smaller form with the same desires to heard, want to be seen and respected for who they are. Swipe left to see if you are doing it right with your kids.

We are always feeling something. Happy, sad, angry, jealous, bored, scared etc – it’s always an experience we are having.

Naturally, younger children lean on their parents for emotional support when they cannot understand themselves or not control how they feel. They need guidance and support for all their emotional experiences.

Sometimes parent’s reactions are filled with their own biases, fears and motivations as they are coping with their own feelings and needs. Even in their sincere efforts, parents somehow feel a need to direct and control in keeping with popular notions to how they should act and react to children who want to be heard. Thus not giving children the support they are asking.

Any child needs two basic reinforcements – Positive Attention and Positive Power.

Positive Attention: 

Positive Attention is when we listen uninterrupted to our children and really understand their feelings and thoughts. We empathise with them and respect what they have to say. Their need to be heard and respected is met. If this need is not met, it leads to ‘attention-seeking’ behaviour. Even if destructive, children repeat behaviour which works for them. So listen and validate them at every step. They need you to just see them for who they are without any preconceived notions and prejudices.

Positive Power: 

Positive Power is giving age-appropriate autonomy. Autonomy is giving freedom of choice. By respecting this one simple aspect we make them feel equal. They feel understood and seen by us. They feel in control of their decisions and it gives them a sense of responsibility. They begin to believe their actions matter, they matter. If this power is not given, will lead them to feel angry and helpless. All human beings are born with free will – ‘It’s always their choice’. And it should be. These two tools help them to understand and manage their emotions leading to emotional maturity.

As a parent, we must be an emotional bank for our children. Where we can deposit our mutual experiences and learn from each other. Respect and listen to each other. Children are a reflection of us in a smaller form with the same desires to heard, want to be seen and respected for who they are. 

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