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By Kirstie Greenshields
One of the questions I hear a lot is “How do I deal with my child’s anger?”
A healthy relationship with our partner role models a healthy relationship to our children. It’s not just the relationship with our partner that takes work though. The relationship we cultivate with our children is so important.
Just like us …
OUR CHILDREN WANT TO FEEL HEARD AND KNOW IT’S OKAY TO EXPRESS
Children are sponges. They pick up on EVERYTHING, so if you’re feeling frustrated, irritated, annoyed or whatever other adjective you want to describe on the spectrum of ANGER, they will pick up on it.
It’s their gift. It’s what they do. They can’t help it …
And often, as a result, especially smaller children will act out these feelings with no idea of what they are doing. Why? Because they are allowing the energy of the emotion to flow through them.
E-motions are ENERGY IN MOTION. Energy needs to flow. It is NEVER stagnant. If we are not allowing ourselves to feel and express, you can bet your bottom dollar our little ones will do it for us.
So, you can help them to feel and express it, even if neither of you knows what’s going on!
FEELING and EXPRESSING it actually doesn’t mean talking about it. FEELING and EXPRESSING it means allowing the body to move, and the voice to release. They may want to scream, cry, hit something. These are natural reactions to feeling angry or sad, aren’t they?
So allow them this freedom in a safe environment, cultivated by You. And afterwards, show them Love so they know their response is a NATURAL HUMAN REACTION.
Once they’ve felt it and expressed it, then you can talk about it together.
YOU’LL BE GIVING THEM A HUGE GIFT.
One of the best. It will help both of you to no longer be afraid of the expression of a powerful e(nergy-in)-motion. We, as a society have been afraid of it, and made it BAD, for too long.
Three steps to a more healthy, harmonious family environment:
- Allow your children to be heard by TAKING TIME to LISTEN to what they have to say
- Show them that anger and grief are natural human emotions, by creating conditions where each member of the family feels safe to EXPRESS these emotions in a non-hurtful way
- Show them Love when they have allowed themselves to express – particularly with anger. Don’t take it personally (because it’s not about you).
As we do this, we offer our children the ability to show us that we don’t need to be afraid of anger anymore, because it’s just a natural consequence of being human.
AND WHEN WE ALLOW THEM TO EXPRESS SAFELY THEY WILL HAVE MORE SPACE TO FEEL TRUE JOY.
And we can all do with a little more of that!
Here’s an awesome video that can help you integrate this into your life:
Whenever I travel anywhere now, and I’m asked of my ‘profession’, I write ‘Mum’.
It’s the most important role I play in life, besides being a loving partner to James.
It’s taken some time for me to be comfortable with that, though. I, like most other women, believed that you had to have a ‘career’ to be successful. I believed that ‘being a mum’ was simply not enough. I must be so much more and, because I’m a woman, I should be able to juggle many roles and priorities, and do them with ease, to be a ‘SUCCESS’.
My journey has been one of understanding that true strength and leadership lies in allowing myself to recognise my own importance – as a member of my family, and as a member of community.