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A great way to help your child through intense feelings

October 2, 2013 by admin  
Filed under Peaceful Parenting

A really great way to help your child through intense feeings is with a trusty pen and paper! I would like to invite you to make use of pen and paper to help your child feel understood, release tough emotions and practice self-regulation.

Example with a child aged 2-4:

Child: “I forgot teddy at home, I want teddy.” ( child is clearly very upset)

Parent: ( gets a peice of paper and pen ) “Let’s write a letter to teddy and tell him how you feel right now and what you wish. Maybe you would like to tell him how much you miss him.”

Child: ( stops crying and thinks about what he wants to say) dictates: ” Dear Teddy, I miss you and I wish you were here. You are my favorite teddy.”

Parent: “Here you go sweetheart, why don’t you hold onto this letter as long as you like.”

When you and your child write a letter in this way, it will not solve the immediate problem but it will help your child feel respected, understood and it will strengthen your bonds of trust. You are not dismissing his feelings by trying to get him to be happy with an explanation. You are seeing from your child’s point of view and dealing with the situation from his persepctive.

Often this is enough to ease the tension and fear in a child. Your child begins to learn how to label emotions and understand them better. Your child feels valued and listened to. This activity helps your child capture exactly how he is feeling in the moment so he can move on.

By doing this, your child can release those angry, frustrated and scared feelings in a tangible way that makes him feel normal while supporting the importance of literacy. A child who likes this exercise will be more likely to WANT to read and write.

There are hundreds of ways to do this so allow your imagination and intuition to guide you. Your child can dictate ( aged 2-4 ) or write out for himself ( aged 5-10) what he is feeling when:

He feels realy angry, when she feels frustrated, when something happens that changes her plans, when he is afraid or hurt, when she needs to say something to someone else and she is afraid to do it or any other reason along those lines.

Make sure that the words you are writing as your child dicates are his exact words. Read the words back to him. This validates his feelings and also makes him feel important and confident when he knows that his feelings matter. You can get your child to sign the letter making it more official and important. Make sure that you gently affirm that the letter will not make a wish come true. Explain that it helps to let go of yucky feelings so he can choose a new feeling, ( one that feels lighter ).

If your older child is upset with you ask him to write down all that he is feeling in a letter. Receive the letter without taking it personally, understanding that you are going to read this from your child’s perspective. Notice if you start to go into judgement and make yourself or your child wrong. Let that go and just notice what you child is feeling in the moment. Remember the letter is a way for your child to release a feeling that is occuring at that moment, this is not how your child always sees you or relates to you.

Accept the letter and ask your child if he wants to talk about how you can both make different choices. Your child may already have worked it out for himself as soon as he handed you the letter and knows that you are reading and acknowledging it. Sometimes this is all it takes and he gets to move on to a better feeling.

Melinda Asztalos is a parent coach, speaker, author and the founder of Life Positive by Design. She assists parents through a conscious parenting process that enables them to achieve and sustain, positive solutions to their specific parenting challenges. For more information, Please visit: http://lifepositivebydesign.com

Julian Kalmar and Rick Beneteau want to know if you've got what it takes to step up and be a leader in the new world transformation. CLICK HERE to find out.

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