When children are showing us their their ‘big emotions’ it can be overwhelming for both them and us, as their parents or caregivers. It is important to remember that these emotions can overpower a child’s logic, and sometimes children just need someone to support their feelings and to be present for them rather than to fix their emotions. Our response and acknowledgement of their emotions is very important. Janet Landsbury discusses this in one of her Unruffled podcasts. Read more below:
“Yes, in a general sense, a child who is whining, acting out, et cetera, is in a place of disconnection, and they do need us to connect with them, but what does that look like, and then what does that look like when we have another child or multiple children there as well, and they seem to need our attention? How do we connect with all of these children at once, and how does connection actually look with each child?
…the way to connect with children is not necessarily to give them what they seem to want on the surface or in the moment. That is not what it means to connect with an upset child.
When children are upset and behaving erratically or even just whining, they’re not in the logical part of their brain. They’re in the emotional centers of their brain, just in their emotion. The things that they ask for or demand or want in those states aren’t logical either. Oftentimes, it’s just a part of expressing that feeling, that they want to tell us to do this or that or that they need this or another one of those. When it’s out of those feelings, what connection is about is really just holding space and supporting those feelings to be expressed. It’s not to try to offer a solution to make the feeling stop. Connecting is seeing what’s really going on with our children, which isn’t always easy because we get touched off by their behavior and the emotions that they’re expressing. We get easily overwhelmed.” (Excerpt from Janet Lansbury’s Podcast ‘Unruffled’)