As human being we are a beautiful (yet complex!!!) mixture of what goes on in our mind, body, heart and sometimes we all get very much “in our heads”. It is at times pretty difficult for us adults cope with all these energies, and even more for children who haven’t yet learned coping mechanisms. So I would like to share an easy practice to help children with their big emotions.
When our child gets overwhelmed by his/her emotions, feels sad, angry, upset or whatever, as parents or carers it can be difficult to know what to do. We sometimes get overwhelmed to by the child’s emotional outburst. I would like to share with you some ideas/tools (in this and following posts) that can help us support our child. The first suggestion I give is to help our child be in his/her body and feel the emotion (whatever it is – we don’t have to name it). A huge amount of studies is showing that emotions themselves are not the problem; the issue is when emotions get repressed, remaining in the body, as the energy remains blocked leading to an unhealthy behaviours or condition. So the only way for our children (and for us) to feel their emotions is to remain in touch with their body, not in their minds, but in their body.
The next time your child feels sad, cries, is angry, just ask him/her “Where does it hurt in your body?”. If the child can localize the pain, you can then ask if the pain has a colour, shape, texture, smell, sound …. What you are doing with these questions (ask them at a slow pace, give time to your child to get in touch with the pain) you are helping your child be in the body, feel the totality of that emotions and thus release it. I remember when my son was very upset he was telling me that the pain was in his heart and that the heart was black (that made my heart go black too ), but just allowing him to feel that pain and express it, and me being there with him with all my love, helped him shift his heart from black to green and feel better! A great life skill to teach children is to learn how to manage and stay with the emotions as they arise, as it is the human condition to feel hundreds of emotions per day. So not hiding them, shutting them down, or pretending that everything is always fine. If our child learns to be with his/her emotions, he/she is learning that it is safe to have emotions and will know how to manage them in the future … We are also teaching our child to be true to him/her self by feeling exactly what he/she is feeling … What a gift!!!