As a parent you will know that young children have very intense emotions. It is possible that when there is a stressful moment in parenting, you may have caught yourself saying inappropriate phrases to your children . They are phrases that do not give emotional support and what is worse, they could emotionally hurt your little ones for a long time, almost without you realizing it.
Children are learning to understand their world and their own emotions. It is normal for them to get tired, angry and frustrated. This will almost always lead to tantrums and crying. It is possible that at some point you feel that it is too much for you, but it is essential that as a parent you know how to keep your composure and guide your children in their emotions.
If you tell them phrases like: “Stop crying”, “Stop it”, “Don’t be a baby”, “If you don’t stop crying, I’ll make you cry but with good reason”… Stop doing it. These phrases will only make your child feel worse and will also make him feel emotionally abandoned because you don’t understand him.
Tell him phrases that give him emotional support
You may think that there are only two options in these cases: give in to your child’s crying and negatively reinforce this behavior or scare him into obeying you and stop crying. Neither of these two options is valid. There is a much better third option!
It’s as easy as giving your love and offering emotional support phrases… It’s an option that brings empathy. The parent will feel better about helping their child, and the child will feel understood and respected.
Crying is okay
When you tell your child to stop crying, actually, it won’t stop doing it! He needs more support from you, not less. Don’t ignore your child’s feelings and tell him that crying is okay, he will make him feel better. Crying is a natural and healthy emotional release for children. By telling children to stop, we are basically saying that their feelings are not important.
A child’s perspective of the world is very different from ours. Something that for you means nothing to your child can be the whole world. Therefore, he understands his emotions and allows him to express them freely by teaching him to do so in a positive way.
As children grow, they will learn to manage their feelings in a more socially friendly way. acceptable, but for now crying is totally “developmentally appropriate.” So if we all agree that constantly telling our kids to stop crying isn’t going to help, what positive phrases can we say instead?
It may take a bit of getting used to using these new positive phrases… but as with any educational strategy for Parents, practice makes perfect. Next we are going to tell you some phrases that you can say to your child when he cries or feels bad. In this way, you will be teaching him empathy and he will feel understood.
- “It is okay to cry.” It will give him peace of mind because he will not feel that he’s doing nothing wrong.
- “I see you’re upset about…”. He’ll feel understood.
- “You are angry (or frustrated)”. This way he will understand his emotion and your positive attitude will make him feel better and realize that you are by his side to give him all your love whenever he needs it.
- “I know you’re tired, I’m sorry my life.” Sometimes kids break down just because they’re tired, in this case, tell your child who will soon be able to rest (for example if you have spent the day away from home).
- “It is normal for you to feel scared, but I am by your side”. Sometimes kids cry out of fear, and if they sit with you all the time, they’ll get over it sooner.
- “I’ll help you figure it out” . Sometimes things don’t go as planned, but when you’re little this generates a lot of frustration. If you notice that your child is struggling to complete an assignment, offer your help and guide them through the process.
- “I know, it doesn’t seem fair.” Kids only follow rules, they don’t create them. They do not have much control over their day-to-day life, so they may feel that many of the things they experience are unfair. In this case, it is better to offer him all your empathy.
- “Tell me what you want, I’ll listen”. This is essential for your child to feel understood. Allow him to tell you anything he needs, this will help him overcome negative emotions and know that you will always be by his side to support him.