Who taught you about emotions?
I believe that this is a really important question; most people respond with the answers “I dunno”, “parents”, “learned it for myself”
My question is who taught you?
In my opinion, society has become very unsocial due to technology & the lack of emotional understanding, people in general, have become reactors rather than responders & have disconnected; in other words people react to a situation instead of being able to assess & then respond appropriately. It’s all go go go, do do do, now now now.
No wonder kids are emotionally confused, I don’t even know what all the emojis are for, do you?
Over the last 4 years I have been working emotionally on myself, in preparation for “becoming the best parent I could be” & I discovered that I really did not know anything about emotions. I pretty much only knew the basics. How many emotions can you name & do you know what each of their definitions are, how they feel etc?
When I started this with my kids 2 years ago I would only have been able to name about 7 & sadly they would have mostly been negative ones.
Parents are right on the money when they tell their kids “hands to yourself – use your words” as our first ways of communicating is via touch & crying. But as a child grows up, do we give them the words to express exactly how they are feeling? If they simply use the emotions modeled to them we are raising some very basic feeling kids. I sometimes cringe when my kids mimic me & use the same words, expressions & emotions I do; how about you? I used the word “stressed” a couple of times within a phone conversation chatting to a friend & next I know Sidney is telling William how stressed he is? The stress was not even mine…..but because I used the word stressed, Sidney assumed he had it…..when I questioned him about his “stress” he screamed at me & said that he hated that he could not fix his toy, I was not listening, William (aged 2) was too little to help & it was making him stressed. WOW this is all from a 4 year old – We had a really good chat after that & I explained what the word stressed means. I then explained what the words impatient, angry, disappointed & frustrated meant. He then agreed he was angry & disappointed & impatient. We then worked together, fixed his toy & did some tapping (EFT). OMG newsflash kids are like sponges, we model for our children & have to educate them correctly not just let them suck up everything. If Sidney grows up thinking that he is stressed when he feels impatient then I have created a future problem for him; an inability to correctly explain how he feels. It’s from this “ah ha” moment I came to the conclusion that people are never properly trained about their emotions & are possibly very confused about how they feel & disconnect before someone asks, avoiding having to answer.
For more info on Tapping for Children see my previous blog post
I recently read the book “Emotional Agility” by Dr Susan David a brilliant Psychologist who treated a client that could only express his emotion as “just a little bit of bother” which were the words his mother used for everything too. This condition is common in Depression, Post Traumatic Stress, Asperger’s, Autism, Narcissism Can you think of anyone that uses one phrase to describe everything they feel, is very disconnected, robotic when it comes to emotions, if so here’s the test? This is now a recognized condition there are thousands of people that can’t identify/label/understand their emotions its called Alexithymia.
Here are just a couple of emotions from Dr Davids website (sorry for the bad screenshot peeps)
Mental health is changing the way we do everything. According to Beyond Blue there are on average 1 in 4 adults (click here to take the test) & 1 in 14 children 0 – 16 (click here to take the test) being treated for anxiety here in Australia. These statistics are for the people being treated, how many people out there do you think suffer anxiety in silence & are not being treated? I think the first step in finding a solution is very very simple. I think the first step is to train kids in fun ways how to correctly identify & explain their emotions & go from there. We have to try something new & who knows it might be exactly what we need to make the world a more emotionally stable place.
If this is how we are teaching our children about emotions we are all in serious trouble
I have decided that it’s worth a shot, I would love to help kids understand their emotions & help them develop tools to help “Face Up” to them. I have designed a “Feeling Fit” after school program for children that incorporates fun, creativity & emotional education. The program begins with individually identifying your child’s starting point & grows from there. We begin with the most common everyday age appropriate emotions & targets the understanding of Anxiety & how to “Face Up” to it. It is open to all children aged 4 – 8. Starting date is 16/7/18 right here on the Gold Coast. It will run during the school terms. For more information please contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org