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Let Your Children Feel Their Feelings

It is important to let your children feel all of their feelings. When we hold back our feelings and emotions, we do not learn how to process them effectively. Holding on to anger and frustration will cause an outburst later. Holding in sadness and despair will cause anxiety and depression down the road. Trust me, I know from personal experience.




As Disney's Inside Out taught us, we need sadness to better appreciate happiness. If we don't experience the bad, we cannot appreciate the good. The important thing is to let your feelings come and go, do not dwell on them.


I have been working on this with myself and my daughter. Here is an example of letting your child feel their feelings.


My daughter, who is eight years old, has been wearing an expander for the last eight months and recently had it removed and received a retainer. The morning after she received her new retainer her teeth hurt, she hated the way it felt, and she had a sore in her mouth. She woke up crying and upset. This is how our conversation went.


Me: "Why are you upset?"

Daughter: "My mouth hurts and I don't want to wear this retainer."

M: "I understand it's uncomfortable. Do you understand why you have to have it, what the alternative would be?"

D: "I know but it's not fair that I have to wear it."

M: "It's only for two months and then you will only wear it at night."

D: "I know but it hurts now. I sound funny and I hate it."

M: "You are allowed to be upset; you're right it stinks that you have to wear it. I'm sorry that it is uncomfortable. Cry, be mad, scream into a pillow, do what you need to do to process this."


At this point I let her cry and get through her emotions. I offered her a hug and we embraced. She cried for a bit and then she moved on. She played with the dog and began laughing. The next morning, she woke up and her teeth still hurt. She complained and moved on. Each day it will get a little bit better. I like to go over the good with her in these situations but then I allow her to sound off. We all need a safe place to be angry and upset and I am that place and person for her.


The important thing is, I never tell her how to feel and I never tell her not to cry. She has to learn how to work through her emotions on her own because I won't always be there.


Another great tool to use when feeling overwhelmed is the RAIN Method. The RAIN Method was developed by Michelle McDonald. Find a quiet place, breath and follow the process below.


R - Recognize what is happening (Recognize what is making you feel the way you are.)

A - Allow the experience to be there, just as it is (Allow your feelings to be, don't force them away.)

I - Investigate with interest and care (Figure out what you are feeling and acknowledge those feelings.)

N - Nurture with self-compassion (Be kind to yourself and show yourself love.)


Know that is it healthy to feel emotions. It's healthy to process those emotions and to get them out.




2 Comments


divinemedia111
divinemedia111
Jun 22, 2023

Beautiful

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Jacquelyn Luby
Jacquelyn Luby
Jun 22, 2023
Replying to

Thank you.

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