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Editor M.Aktar and F.Mehmeti
A women once told me ‘’You cannot protect your children from the hurt they will face in life but you can prepare them for it.’’ Her story is more heart wrenching than what I can even begin to express.
We often fantasize about being the superheroes of our children and put pressure upon ourselves to ‘’save’’ them from the harsh realities of the world. As beautiful as this world maybe there are some things you cannot predict such as the death of a loved one; a divorce between yourself and your soul mate 5 years down the lines; a child’s abandonment of a parent. I could lie to you, as we sometimes do to children, and title this blog ‘’How to raise a happy child!’’.
Yet in all this despair what I can advise you on is ’’How to raise emotionally intelligent children.’’ This will be by sharing mindful parenting strategies that will make you a conscious parent when trying to raise emotionally intelligent kids.
It starts with yourself
Many follow the mantra ‘’Although I was messed up as a kid. I’m going to make sure my kids are not messed up!’’ The problem with this is the fact that a lot of people don’t actually know what messed them up as kids. Our patterns and choices in life are largely defined by how our childhood affects us. The School of life has an informative video on how it’s important to understand your own childhood.
Yet this does not stop here. We also need to understand how the behaviours that our parents implemented affect us as an adult. I have recently purchased a book called: Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents. This book has a beautiful insight into how the upbringing of my parents has affected me in the long run and is an amazing journey to healing your own childhood traumas. This is key to avoiding the same mistakes your parents made with you and avoiding negative hereditary patterns.
How to be a Mindful parent when talking about big issues
Many parents struggle to talk to their children about big issues but those who do also fall into the danger of oversharing. It’s always difficult to find a balance but it is crucial.
Here are some no go topics with your child:
- Negative things about the other parent and/or family members
- Talking about financial difficulties that the child has no control of.
- Physical flaws you see in yourself
- Criticizing your child in front of them or in their earshot
Without tactful discussions, there are long-term effects that produce low self-worth within children and can be detrimental to their emotional growth. These are factors that cannot be controlled by your child. There are many studies that support this view and you can read up on it here.
Children stop believing in themselves and never feel capable of reaching their full potential. However, it can manifest in other ways such as; getting into unhealthy relationships, negative self-talk and many other factors. If you’ve been doing this for many years and only now realise that this isn’t right. Stop now and explain to your child your mistakes and tell them you’ll try your best to not make these mistakes.
These were inspire by https://www.instagram.com/sitwithwhit
Here is one way to have a tactical discussion:
- Telling your child when you are sad.
You don’t have to explain who upset you it’s a simple sentence of ‘’I’m feeling sad today because of XYZ. I think a cuddle would be nice’’ or ‘’Let’s just relax today.’’ What this does is show children that there are lots of different emotions that people go through. If you’re going through an emotion, whether it be happy or sad. Here is the structure of how to explain it to a 3 – 5 year old:
Step 1: Name the emotion
Step 2: Name the scenario (Without names of the people involved)
Step 3: Name the coping strategy.
Here are some examples:
‘’I am very frustrated because someone said something that wasn’t nice to me today so I am going to call my mum and talk to her to get it off my chest.’’
‘’I am very sad because my friend said something I didn’t like. I will speak to them tomorrow about making me upset.’’
‘’I am feeling a bit scared because I watched a video that scared me. I might hang out with you and daddy for a while until i’m not afraid anymore.’’
This is the beginning of allowing your child to understand what to do with emotions and that emotional turmoil is normal. This will stom them from panicking when they’re sad or angry. They begin to learn healthy coping strategies.
How to break down big concepts:
Many people I know find it difficult to break down big topics with little children, especially, when they don’t have experience with children. I would advise parents to use books as a guideline. A marvelous book I used to help teach children about worries was one called Ruby’s Worry by Tom Percival or a book about managing anger called The Red Beast.
Children’s books are the best guideline for breaking down those barriers. Not everyone is good about talking about emotions but if you follow children’s stories or read books it is easy to break down big concepts and learn new coping strategies! I have a discount available for those interested in purchasing emotion books click the image below for your discount.
If you want more positive parenting strategies have a look at my blog post How to get kids to listen (The calm way) – How to Teach My Child or download my guide for Top Tips for Managing Difficult behaviour in children.
I hope this blog post helps your child on their learning journey if you want to be notified about more blogs like this download a freebie!
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