Challenges As An Opportunity For EQ
Every challenge is an opportunity to create a script for your child to use in their future interactions.
What script can you offer them for difficult emotions like stress, anger, guilt or jealousy?
Firstly, you can give them a vocabulary of feelings to help them to express themselves.
Secondly, you can support them to understand that behind our feelings are needs.
Finally, you can introduce some mindfulness to this. You could ask, how did that feel in your body? Where did you feel it? Do you still feel it now? (Noting that feelings come and go). You could practise taking deep breaths together to see if that helps the feelings - this works well with fear.
An example would be this - Say your child, Fred, 5, has just got a new sister and pushes over a vase of flowers.
If you sit down with Fred calmly you are modelling your own emotional self-regulation, if you can really empathise from his perspective and validate his feelings then he will feel more connected (disconnection is very often the cause of off-track behaviour).
Often when you acknowledge feelings your child may feel safe enough to have a Positive Emotional Release (See post a few days ago).
Only once Fred feels really heard and reconnected you could brainstorm some solutions together. For example, you could ask Fred if next time he notices those feelings (you can talk to him about noticing the physical sensations first) that he comes and tells you first so that you can support him with them. Perhaps Freds need is to have more special 1-1 connection time?
Facing challenges in this way creates resilience in our children.
I would like to leave you with some resources - Go to the Centre for Non-Violent Communication (NVC) - They have a list of feelings and needs that you can print out and stick on the fridge.https://buff.ly/2sSsZLq
I will leave you with a quote from my favourite children's storybook "Layers", by Pendella Buchanon "Feelings are flags that show what I need, like fun, space or cuddles, a sleep or a feed".
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