8th June 2020
Dear Wellfield family,
I hope you’ve all had the most wonderful week with your families.
This post is directed more towards the adults at home, and how they can support you with what you’re feeling at the moment.
We’ve spoken a fair amount about how children feel and their emotions, but quite often we don’t think about adults having those feelings too. We tend to try to hide our worry, sadness and anger from children through fear of upsetting them, or that it will make them likely to display more anger. This isn’t true, it’s actually helpful for children to see us showing our emotions in a controlled way. It teaches children that these feelings are completely normal, they shouldn’t be embarrassed about them, or frightened to share them. When we keep our emotions hidden, they build up, and become more difficult to deal with. Showing your children, or talking with your children about how you’re feeling helps them learn to express themselves in a healthy way.
Adults are human, if you’re feeling cross, explain to your children what it is that’s made you cross, and discuss with them what you could do to make yourself feel better. This teaches them how to take responsibility for, and respond to their own feelings. Similarly with every other emotion, sharing that, makes it a much less scary thing, because you are teaching them that what they’re feeling is okay, it’s just about how they express it.
If you have a child for example who can get quite angry, and can become physically violent, or verbally aggressive, discussing how you handle that feeling can model a more healthy response.
What is most important in this post is that the conversation starts flowing, adults aren’t perfect, and neither are children, we all have our moments and our wobbles. Discussion paves the way for understanding, and understanding leads to healthy expression of emotions.
The ELSA website has a brilliant worksheet based activity as an ice breaker for conversation, so if you can, perhaps both you, and your child could have a sheet each, fill in a box at a time, and then compare your experiences, ask them questions, make suggestions for them, and listen to their suggestions. This activity shouldn’t be taxing, it isn’t about handwriting or spelling, let them draw their experiences if they wish, and try to be creative with it, but most importantly, listen and share.
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend together, and I’m looking forward to catching up with more of you next week.
I shall see the rest of you soon,