Taking responsibility for our own emotions – Aajol

Taking responsibility for our own emotions

Children are often told that when they do something or don’t do some things, it makes us sad or angry.

“I have made this so lovingly, if you don’t eat it, I’ll feel bad.”

“Give me a hug, otherwise I will feel sad.”

“When you shout, you make me feel angry.”

These things are said with good intentions and/or with a lot of love in our hearts for the child. But what happens here basically is that the child is given the responsibility of the feelings of the adult. 

For the child, the centres of the brain which help in managing emotions are still developing. This makes their own emotions, especially negative emotions overwhelming for the child. It is a big task for them to learn the skills necessary to manage their emotions. It is a daunting task for us adults many times. We can imagine the pressure it might create for the child when they are made to feel responsible for our emotions or the emotions of others.

Let’s not burden our child with our emotions.

Activity:

Observe if you say anything to your child where you imply that your child’s behaviour makes you feel an emotion.

Notice what expectation you are holding when you say that.

Ask yourself, is there another way to either let go of that expectation (when appropriate) or convey that expectation to your child in a way which is free of your emotions?

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