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This week we focused on emotions. When I found out the subject for this session I was really looking forward to it, what I didn’t realise was how hard it was going to be. The session focused on not only talking to children about their emotions and helping them to know what they are feeling, but also focused on the adult. We talked about out experiences as children and how this could, positively or negatively, affect the way we deal with our children’s emotions. This really hit me hard. Growing up with an Autistic brother (and pretty negative parents) and I often felt left out and unimportant, it’s one of those things but can be difficult to deal with when you’re young.
We looked at the importance of being emotionally honest with our children, in a way that is appropriate to them. By this I mean that if your child sees you are upset it is important not to lie about this or try and hide it, as it may lead to child child feeling that emotions should be hidden. An appropriate response would be to let the child know that you are feeling sad, but that once you’ve had a little time to yourself you will feel much better. The crucial thing is to focus on the positive, that you won’t be sad forever. Another factor is to name feelings ‘Mummy is feeling happy because you put all your toys away’.
This week we were asked to focus on naming our child’s emotions. I have to admit I felt ridiculous, and also a little worried that I accidentally misinterpret Little Man’s emotions, but it went surprisingly well! An example of this was when Little Man was refusing to get dressed, he was squirming around, screaming and being a general pain in the bum. I could feel myself get angry so I sat down to collect my thoughts. I suddenly noticed he got quieter (we’re told to look out for these moments for praise, etc) so I turned round to him and said ‘Mummy can see that you’re upset and that you want to go downstairs, once you’re dressed you can go downstairs’. He almost shrugged and let me get on with it!! OK so I’m not saying that this has worked all the time but I found this instance extremely encouraging!