So we know that avoiding feelings doesn’t work. That doesn’t mean our kids will stop trying. Who likes feeling bad? We need to really convince them that these uncomfortable feelings are not only impossible to avoid but can also greatly impact their lives in positive ways if they learn to face them and deal with them. This can help them –
- MAKE GOOD, WELL ROUNDED DECISIONS: All feelings help your children decide what they like and what they don’t, what they like doing and what they don’t like doing, and who they like and who they don’t. When your child does what feels right for them, they are more likely to do things well and to be happier.
- BE PREPARED: Bad things happen to every person. It is part of being human. At some point in your children’s lives, they will experience sadness, frustration, disappointment, and anger. Everyone does. Welcoming these feelings and learning to understand them will prepare them to deal with them better in the future.
- BE A KINDER PERSON: When your child understands their feelings they will be able to better understand other people’s feelings. They will develop their empathy. To understand another person’s feelings does not mean you have to have the same experiences as them. You can explain it to your child with this example: “Your friend may be afraid of dogs and you may be afraid of the dark. You are afraid of different things, but the feeling of being afraid is similar.”
- GET ALONG WITH OTHERS: When your child learns to understand all their feelings, and subsequently the feelings of others, they will be someone others will want to be with. Good relationships happen when people understand each other’s feelings, the good and the bad.