How to help your child acknowledge sad feelings
We’ve all been in a packed shopping centre and seen the toddler tears in full flow. Either you’ve been on the receiving end of one such outburst or thankful you’re not in that situation. Children are going to feel sad and get frustrated – it’s human nature.
Our campaigns manager, Caitlin Holmes, and Sue Asquith, childhood consultant recently shared some guidance on supporting your early years child with these emotive feelings with Lemon-Aid…
- Know that it’s okay to be sad
Most of us are not happy all the time, so why should we expect our little ones to be? Of course, you want to see your child smiling and laughing, but there will be times when they might feel tired, frustrated, ill or sad.
Both positive and negative feelings are important for children to experience, and parents to recognise. Take the pressure off, step back and listen to what they’re trying to tell you (even when you’re faced with an eye-watering scream!)
- Use appropriate language
As you begin to get to grips with your child’s emotions, speak to them in a way they understand. Ask them why they’re upset so they take ownership of what they’re feeling, tell them it’s okay to be sad sometimes, and use language they can relate to.
- Provide reassurance
Some children like to scream and cry, others crave a hug from their grown-up. Whatever your child needs in that moment, be their support system – even if it means giving them space. Keep your voice calm too so you can soothe your little one in the best possible way, and help them to also take a breath and acknowledge their sadness.
- Be at peace with the fact that you’re doing a great job
We all make mistakes and can look back on certain situations and think, ‘I could’ve handled that in a much better way.’ But parenting is all about learning from each experience. Plus, the older your child gets, the more able they should feel when telling you why they’re upset.
Don’t beat yourself up. If you’re providing a loving and fun family home, you’re doing okay.