Teach your little ones to work through their big feelings by showing them empathy.
Simple acknowledgements like:
“If my friend did that, I’d be angry, too.”
“I would be frustrated, too, if that happened to me.”
“I know it’s hard when …”
This will help de-escalate the tension they are feeling as they become aware that they are not the only one who carries this burden. Their parent understands how they feel. They have experienced it too. And their world didn’t end.
Slowly but surely they will become more resilient, understanding that big feelings happen but they can work through them and grow from them and come out the other side stronger.
In a similar way, when we feel like our worlds are crumbling around us we need to be comforted by someone who understands. We might be running late for work, forgot an important document, spilt coffee on our shirt, overheard some bad news, burned dinner. When we pick up the phone to call a friend at the end of the day to unload, do we want a lecture about how we ought to really be more organised and told our life is a disaster? How do we think about ourselves, that relationship, our place in the world in that moment?
There. You DO understand how your little one feels.
Respond to them in the same way you would want a good friend to come alongside you, remind you that the world is messed up sometimes, we will do better next time, and offer to help in any way they can. “Need me to bring over some pizza?”
No one wants their little one to feel like a loser, unsure of our love for them or unsafe and fearful of the world around them.
To get help in implementing some of these parenting strategies in your own family, get in touch with Cradle 2 Kindy Parenting Solutions. We offer in-home coaching, group presentations, ebooks and long distance coaching for interstate or overseas families.