Are we allowed to feel?
It is rare for us to clearly express what we feel.
Sometimes, it’s to avoid hurting another’s feelings, sometimes, it’s a social norm.
The child looks at us and understands that we mustn’t.
We mustn’t want that this little brother who takes up so much time from mum disappears, we mustn’t want to hit a friend that takes our toys.
Yet, all these feelings are valid. We must of course, nevertheless, make the difference between the wish, and the realizatdion of that wish.
These feelings are valid just because they are, as was explained in Liberated parents, liberated children. (chapter 2: They feel what they feel)
In Understanding children’s emotions, Isabelle Filliozat comes back to this. To prevent the child from feeling, is to decrease his belief in himself, his self-esteem : he is wrong to feel what he feels, he must contain it, he is bad…
No, on the contrary, let’s explain to him that it is normal to feel: “You must be sad that he said that!”, we can even show him that we accept him with his feelings: “I understand that you are mad, I love you all the same.” (Isabelle Filliozat)
Just this morning, we were talking about it with Léon (4 years old). We are going through a period where his little brother (2 years old) won’t stop hitting him. I know it will pass, but meanwhile…Pfff, let’s just say I can’t wait for it to pass!
Anyways, I was talking with Léon, and commenting how anxious we were for Anatole to learn not to hit anymore, and he answered me with this phrase, so true : “I too, sometimes, want to hit him, but I don’t.” I’m just very happy to see that this difference is clear to him.
As for the expression of his feelings, sometimes he also says : “I want to throw Anatole into a volcano!” The message is clear…
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