3 keys to helping your child tolerate frustration and emotional pain
Tips for raising your children by helping them manage emotional discomfort.
Just as there are sunny days and other days when clouds cover it, there are also days or moments when we feel joy and others when frustration, sadness or pain flood us.
To achieve mental health it is essential to prepare ourselves for all these situations. For years positive psychology has done a lot of damage in this regard, encouraging and directing us to bury the pain deep within us as if there were a place where unpleasant emotions could magically disappear without further ado..
All emotions, both pleasant and unpleasant involve a change in the electrical frequency of cells and their chemical composition. This process is fundamental for survival and adaptation to life. Unpleasant emotions, not negative ones, cannot be buried in the underworlds of our interior without further ado; on the contrary, this leads in the long run to a high probability of presenting pathology.
The importance of managing unpleasant emotions
It is not a question of not hurting, but of accepting and learning to manage pain. Perhaps everything would be easier if from an early age we knew the world from a real prism and a real look.The world would show us the world as it is, helping us and providing us with healthy channels to handle this type of situations to which each and every one of us will be exposed throughout our existence.
Our children see themselves, know themselves and know the world through their primary caregivers. Their brains are born unformed, and it is through learning, through their caregivers, that they acquire these beliefs and knowledge about themselves and the world around them.
We are their companions and their guides on a path of wondrous discovery, we are teachers of teachers where probably most of us have never looked at the world in this way but where thanks to the neuroplasticity of the brain, instead of anchoring ourselves in the world of guilt and error, we can learn, we can incorporate this information into our networks and provide our children with beliefs and channels to face the incredible challenge of life from safety.
1. Explain to them that emotions are important and necessary.
Each and every one of our emotions are our most precious messengers.. They bring us valuable messages, sometimes pleasant, sometimes not so pleasant, but all are necessary and natural and all have a function. Accompany him in each one of them and provide a model of acceptance and support from the calm.
If as an adult you are unregulated or tired, first allow yourself your time and care and only when you are calm provide this accompaniment.
2. Tell them from an early age that suffering is part of life.
And tell them about it in a way they can understand. Use examples from the animal kingdom and nature.
I am going to tell you a great secret that you can keep in your Heart forever and it is important that you listen carefully: suffering is part of life and is natural. Just as the trees bear fruit and at other times shed their leaves... just as the butterfly, before being able to fly, suffers the darkness of the cocoon, and the effort of breaking it... Just as the bear remains still, sleeping and protected in winter before scampering in spring... just as the tree breaks its structure to be able to grow...
Just like the eagle, when it is 40 years old has to make the decision to let itself die or renew itself and if it decides to renew itself it will have to take refuge in a nest and beat its beak and will spend five difficult months until it has a new beak and new feathers that will allow it to fly again...
You know, just like all this, human beings also go through pleasant and unpleasant moments, it happens to us and it happens to you too, and it will happen to you and it is natural, and I love to be at your side in your joy, when your sun shines and I also love to accompany you in your pain, when the clouds cover it up..
3. Act as a model, practice it with him and offer him an exit channel.
Let's lie down on the grass or on the beach or on a park bench, face up looking at the clouds, and imagine that the cloud is the pain, the suffering, the discomfort. It seems that it does not move, right? It seems that it will never go away.
The truth is that if we look we can see how slowly, little by little, the cloud follows its natural course and moves until finally it always ends up leaving.
Remind him or her of this story every time he or she feels pain and accompany him or her by reminding him or her that he or she is always bigger than his or her cloud, bigger than his or her discomfort, bigger than his or her discomfort, bigger than his or her pain.bigger than his or her discomfort, that the sun will eventually rise and that, in the meantime, you will always be happy to stay by his or her side.
If we accompany the child in both pleasant and unpleasant emotions, naturalize them, help them identify them because they do not know them, label them, give them a physical form, give them examples and give them a model and tools to handle each of these situations, and we do it from joy and love, the child's wonderfully plastic mind will develop with resilienceAnd of course, let's not forget that together with this great challenge we will make millions of mistakes as caregivers because that's how human beings are and because mistakes are inherent to learning, and this is also natural.
The fact is that, even if as caregivers or guides there are situations in which we do not regulate ourselves, if in most or at least 30 or 40% of these occasions we can accompany, support or even repair, this will be enough for the child to incorporate these tools that, without a doubt, will be the best inheritance we can leave both to our children and to humanity itself.
(Updated at Mar 28 / 2023)