Our children feed off the energy, tone, and mood that we exude. The way we show up can make a huge difference in the behaviors and interactions that we have with our children from both vantage points. Our ability to successfully interact with others requires us to look inward.
It is extremely hard to hide our emotions. Kids are brilliant. They pick up on both the verbal and nonverbal expressions that we sometimes try desperately to hide.
Clients often ask me how they can set a positive and calm tone in their home and in their interactions with their family. I remind them that it is important to find ways to do so without neglecting their own emotions. How do we keep anger, frustration, and mood under control? While it is good for children to see others process negative emotions, it is imperative that it is done in a healthy way, so that appropriate modeling occurs.
In moments like these, I offer some tips to keep your cool without neglecting your own needs:
When you are feeling moody, crabby, or out of sorts, share it with your kids. Kindly tell them that you are sad, frustrated, etc., and even a brief reason why so they don’t think it is about them. Share that you might seem a little distracted because you are working through these emotions. Be sure to state this in a simple way that speaks to the age and stage of your child.
Offer to play a game. Board games and card games can help us focus on something other than how we are feeling and can serve as a reset for our mood.
Go outside and get a breath of fresh air; connect with nature.
Sometimes we need to have a conversation with ourselves to help us to be more mindful of where our emotions are coming from. There are times when we compartmentalize the things that are going on so that we can be mindful and present with our family and not feel like they are absorbing our moods. However, it is important that at a later time, we check back in and acknowledge and process the emotions.
Whatever the emotion or mood is, bring compassion to it. Validate your feelings. Sometimes compassion can help us to either put things in perspective or separate ourselves in a way that allows us to move forward.
Journaling is a fantastic way to release your mind from whatever is going on. Use the journal as a place to dump your feelings and process your emotions.
Take deep breaths. Inhale the joy and exhale the negativity.
Now what? Ask yourself what you can do right now that would help you shift these feelings or manage them for this moment. For more information, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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