As parents, we do our best to give our children a rich life. We work hard to raise them, feed them, buy them clothes, give them the proper education in life. We bend ourselves backward to keep a roof over their heads, a warm meal, and clean clothes at any given moment in life, regardless of how difficult that sometimes is.
But sometimes we forget that there is much more than the material things to life. We forget that while making sure they are well-fed, bathed, and clothed is our greatest responsibility, there lies a greater, much more crucial responsibility that has nothing to do with the material world we create for them, but rather with their own emotional world.
With their own feelings.
The sooner we teach our children to identify their feelings, accept them as parts of their nature, and properly manage them, the easier life will be for them.
Here are 7 things you can do to help your children acknowledge and face their feelings:
1. Ask them how they really feel. This is the first thing you can do when it comes to helping them understand what they are feeling. When you see them struggling with something, talk to them. And make sure you do that often. But have in mind that no matter what they feel, they may be confused and they may need time to process it all. Be patient and understanding.
2. Don’t shame them for the way they feel. No matter how wrong something seems. Your children cannot stop their emotions from flowing. They cannot bottle up their feelings. And they shouldn’t. Let them be who they are and feel what they feel.
3. Help them recognize what they feel. The first thing you need to do is encourage them to talk. If your kid feels comfortable telling you absolutely everything knowing that you would never judge them or yell at them, they’ll be open with you. Now, it is important to understand that sometimes, no matter how patient you are with them, they might still choose to keep quiet. If that is the case and they don’t wish to talk, don’t force them. Instead, try to identify their emotion through their behavior. But don’t give up on the conversation, for that is the only way you’ll truly understand what is going on with them. Try identifying feelings in others, for example, cartoon characters for a change. Notice how they recognize other people’s feelings through their expressions and let them know that you are always there for them. Make them feel comfortable and in time, they’ll open up.
4. Let them know how important it is to talk positively about themselves. Remind them that self-love is a very crucial thing in life. Now, I get it. Not every kid out there will understand what self-love is about. That is why the best way to teach them about self-love is through practicing self-love yourself. Instead of forcing them to change, become the change you wish to see in them.
5. Don’t be afraid to talk about uncomfortable feelings. You have to be there for your children, no matter how awkward and uncomfortable some conversations are. That is how children grow into mature, conscious, and confident individuals. If anything, those are the conversations that must never be avoided. For the more you talk about things that bother them, the more you’ll help them understand that they are not alone in this.
6. Let them express themselves the way they want to. Do not try to change them by forcing them to do something you think would make them feel better. A suggestion is fine and it really helps out. But forcing them to do something they don’t feel good about doing is not helpful. On the contrary, it can do more damage than good.
7. Make sure you set a good example. As a parent, you are the most important person in your children’s lives. You are their role model. The person they look after. So, you know what they say. An apple doesn’t fall far from the apple tree. Your choices and your opinions in life affect your children more than you can imagine. Be careful and be wise.