Tolerating Negative Emotions: Yours and Your Child’s
It all started when you brought your beautiful newborn home from the hospital and she started to cry.
Your motherly instincts kicked in and told you that you needed to stop the crying immediately and fix the problem causing it.
So you fed her, changed her diaper, rocked her to sleep. You made sure to dress her warmly and protected her from the aggressive toddler next door.
These primitive instincts served you well, and helped ensure her safety and survival.
As she got older, you may have maintained the mindset that it’s your responsibility to keep her out of emotional pain and solve her problems for her. But at what cost? And until when?
Kids who are shielded from experiencing emotional discomfort lack the skills needed to deal with stress or situations that don’t go their way. This can lead to a sense of entitlement, over-dependency on others, and anxiety or depression.
Do you know the main reason parents resist letting their kids experience discomfort? Because they don’t know how to tolerate their own! They want their kids to feel good so that they can feel good.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting your child to feel good for your own sake. But just as it’s not your responsibility to make her feel good, it’s not her responsibility to make you feel good, either.
That’s up to you.
Experiencing negative emotion is a natural part of being human, and leads to emotional growth, maturity, and resilience.
So focus on what you can control — you. It’s only when you become willing to allow negative emotion, rather than avoid, resist, or react to it, that you’ll actually get authority over it, and be able to move past it to be there for your child.
What are the emotions you find difficult to tolerate in yourself and your child? How can you allow these emotions and become more comfortable being uncomfortable? Leave a comment below.
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