Trace has always been extremely vocal about his feelings, and he’s like his mama, a bit over-dramatic, passionate and stubborn when it comes to how he feels about things he wants or needs.
As Trace got older, not only did his intensity with his emotions increase, but he began to fight with his brother (seven years difference) between them, and we began hearing things that made both FD (Forgetful Dad) and I a little bit concerned when things didn’t go Trace’s way.
I wanted to hit him! I am going to burn down the house! I hate this planet! I hate you! I hate this world. Everyone deserves to die! I am going to kill myself.
Now it doesn’t help that Trace has sensory disorder or early onset bipolar disorder messing with his emotions. But still, it’s hard listening to him say these things without feeling scared, afraid that that is how he really feels deep down inside. Not knowing if I am reaching him or getting through to him at all — that we don’t talk that way. We don’t say those things.
Understanding Your Child’s Emotions
This isn’t to knock other parents because let’s face it — parenting is no easy job. But I find that many parents around me don’t take the time to understand what their kids are feeling.
Kids expressing how they feel does not mean they will act on their emotions or that they will grow up to be scary adults. Kids feel angry just like we do and it’s our job to make sure they understand how to control what they feel. Just like we learned to control ours.
Allow Kids to Express Their Feelings
Lots of people think I give in to my kids because I allow them to have their feelings. “I don’t want to go to the park today!” “I hate eating soup, I want something else for dinner.” “I’m not cleaning my room!”
Kids need to be allowed to express their feelings but that doesn’t mean we give in. I let my kids share how they feel because communication can’t be had if we just dictate to our children. Would you listen to someone always telling you what to do but never allowing you to have your own opinion?
Yeah — didn’t think so. Well kids are no different. Allowing them to share their feelings, gives them confidence, allows them to know that even though they won’t get their own way, they are still free to share what they feel.
No matter what kids will have intense feelings at one point or another. They will show those feelings, either verbally or physically (which is never good) but their feelings can be managed and handled. We just have to show them how. Talk to our kids and teach them the proper way to handle their emotions.
What tips do you have in dealing with your kids when they say something scary?