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parenting and feelings

What's a nice way to teach your child that...

1) Feelings are valid. I don't want you to keep your emotions bottled up. You should use your words to let people know how honestly you feel. Sometimes it can take some time to deal with something bad that's happened, it's normal and natural to process and good people will support you through whatever you're experiencing.

BUT

2) Your life is not over because you couldn't find your green socks and were forced to wear white ones today. Please get the fuck over it and stop whining or else I will pull this car over and leave you on the side of the road and you can tell the lady at the gas station "safe place" sign all about your socks and maybe they will care, I SOMEHOW DOUBT IT THOUGH.

I swear I can't go ten minutes without tumbling headfirst into contradiction land, it's everywhere.

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Comments

( 10 comments — Leave a comment )
becomingkate
Mar. 2nd, 2016 01:46 am (UTC)
Oh my effing god, this is my life.

You know, my nice mommy side says, this stuff IS a big deal to them because they don't have truly big deals to worry about. So they have time to worry about their socks. But on the other hand, get the hell over it. We want to teach our kids to be resilient and sensitive at the same time, right? I have no idea how either.
magenta_girl
Mar. 2nd, 2016 02:40 am (UTC)
I don't really have any advice either but I definitely am dealing with the same stuff and I laughed really hard at the safe place gas station thing.
luzclarita
Mar. 2nd, 2016 02:43 am (UTC)
Let me know the answer to this conundrum when you discover it!
smittenbyu
Mar. 2nd, 2016 03:45 am (UTC)
oh my goodness, this is us!! No answers. I think I figured it out and things seem to work and then we are back at square one!

Friends with teenage children tell us to be happy with problems with socks and they are coming to you with their problems. One day they might prefer someone else. I am beginning to understand that this is preparation for what's to come! sigh.

deep breathing helps, usually and on occasion might lead to hyperventilation! But hey... risk management of taking your child to the gas station is averted! :)
aryanhwy
Mar. 2nd, 2016 08:54 am (UTC)
We have been differentiating things into "worth crying about" and "not worth crying about" with Gwen since she was...oh about 4 months old. I don't know if it has actually helped, but at least the concepts are made available to her. The issue is, most of the things in her life fall into the latter category. When something does fall into the former (significant injuries, when we had to put one of our cats to sleep, when something upsetting happened at nursery), I always make a point of stopping what I'm doing, directly addressing the issue, confirming that it's OK to cry about this, and comforting her. I hope that by doing so she'll learn that when I blow her off, it's because it's something unimportant; if it were important, I'd never blow her off.
sandokai
Mar. 2nd, 2016 01:36 pm (UTC)
If this was Facebook, I'd click "like"!


The contradiction land of parenting, it IS Everywhere!
lookfar
Mar. 2nd, 2016 03:24 pm (UTC)
Girl, I may speak to this issue as an Old Wise One.

When Tristan was a talkative little boy and I was a sensitive, feelings-accepting, attachment parent, I made the mistake of applying First Amendment rights to all conversation between T and Mommy. This meant that there was a huge amount of complaining and begging that went on, sometimes to the end of wearing me down into a "yes" and sometimes just because it feels good to complain when someone is listening.

I failed to consider the more subtle ramifications of operant conditioning; the more attention I gave to complaining, the more rewarded he felt doing it and - possibly - the more upset he felt about said issue, since he heard himself talking.

When he was about 3 1/2 and I could hardly stand him - we had a new baby, too, one who hardly ever complained - I decided I had to stop trying to protect the little flower that was his soul by listening to his every thought (which in fact weren't really thoughts but more like his constant punching of the buttons on the Busy Box that was Mom) and I instituted a new M.O., which was "I hear how disappointed you are about those Goldfish crackers. You feel really mad that there weren't enough. I hear you. Now you are supposed to stop talking about it. If you keep talking about this, we are going to call it misbehavior."

So - validation, mirroring, then an edict to change the record. Sometimes I would have to literally say STOP, we are done talking about this, multiple times. I had to teach him how to change the subject, too.

Unexpected outcome? He seemed happier. I think the implicit message of "this is no big" was helpful, plus the less irritated mom in the front seat.
ironphoenix
Mar. 2nd, 2016 08:34 pm (UTC)
Sympathize, and remind them that this too shall pass. A misfortune need not sour everything else.

I remember a few years ago, I cracked a rib or two in a bad fall in a martial arts class. My wife and I had tickets to Cirque du Soleil for a few days later. We went to the show, although I was moving pretty carefully.

The Cirque du Soleil folks are, among other things, really, really funny when they want to be.

Breathing with injured ribs hurts. Laughing--well, laughing is a lot worse.

It was a good show, and I enjoyed it a lot, but let's just say that it gave the expression "laughing 'til you cry" a special meaning.

Keep living even though it can hurt, whether because of cracked ribs or white socks. There's lots to enjoy even so.
aliki
Mar. 3rd, 2016 02:27 am (UTC)
Hahahah this is OUR LIFE with Amelia.

We have learnt that she is what is sometimes termed a "big reactor". You might want to check this out and find some ways to parent a child who behaves this way.
filmstar
Mar. 3rd, 2016 04:44 am (UTC)
So much yes. I remember once asking the twins if they could please use different screams for "My family and pets are being tortured to death in front of me," and "I am sad because the peaches are all gone."

Edited at 2016-03-03 04:45 am (UTC)
( 10 comments — Leave a comment )

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