Emotions often annoy me. They well up and sweep over me and take control when I don’t want them to. Sometimes I feel happy when I still want to be angry. Sometimes I feel scared when I so badly want to feel confident. And though I am 27-years old, emotions sometimes get the best of me.
So why do I sometimes expect emotions not to get the best of my two-year old? Kids are not little adults. They have no idea what to do with the frightening sensations that threaten to overwhelm their little beings.
We must not teach our kids that emotions are bad. Or that happiness is the only acceptable emotion in our homes. We must not expect them to gain mastery of their emotions without a safe place to practice (with us!).
Instead, we have to teach them. We have to name their emotions for them. We have to patiently explain what is happening to them when they feel rage over real or perceived injustices. We have to show them how to deal with sadness and loss.
We have to live our lives before our kids as good examples of self-control.
How (and what) do you teach your kids about emotions?