“Your child isn’t giving you a hard time, your child is having a hard time.”
As a new mom I heard this phrase and it completely shifted my perspective. Rather than viewing my child’s difficult emotion as an annoyance or something that was an inconvenience to me, something they were “doing to me,” it became about them and what they needed, and how I could help. A shift from me, to them. A small life lesson on the virtue of selflessness in motherhood, that made a huge impact on the way I myself mother my children.
When my child is having a hard time here is what I ask myself.
1. How can I help them through this?
2. How can I help them in a way that will further develop their trust in me?
When my child is having a hard time, here are a couple ways I may respond.
1. I’m so sorry you are having a hard time. Why don’t you tell me what’s going on.
2. I see you are having a hard time. Let’s see if we can figure it out together.
I always want my children to know their feelings are valid and it’s ok to feel them. I always want to be a safe space where they can share those feelings with me, and we can work through them together. I always want to be their safe space. Guiding your children in this way will bring you closer together, teach your children emotional awareness, problem solving, and build their trust in you as their confidant.
A lot of this is generational as I was raised in the “quit crying or go to your room” era. It’s hard to break those cycles but putting in the work is always worth the effort, and like with anything else, the more you focus on it, the more you work towards it, the easier it becomes.
What has your experience been with this? What generational cycles are you trying to break free from?