A client asked me a great question this week – should I let my kids see me cry?
She noticed her oldest holding back tears and despite her effort to encourage him that it was ok to cry, he didn’t seem comfortable doing so. It got her wondering – do our children tend to keep uncomfortable emotions hidden because they rarely witness us expressing sadness, disappointment, anger, etc. in healthy ways?
Let’s dive in:
Our kids can handle tough things; but they need our help.
Our kids are resilient, but they often lack the tools to navigate complex feelings on their own. When we let them see our emotions, we provide a valuable learning opportunity. They’ll realize that experiencing a range of emotions is normal and expressing those feelings is okay.
Reassure them that they’re safe.
When our kids see us cry or express uncomfortable emotions, they might feel anxious. Reassure them that everything is okay and that their safety is secure. Explain that these emotions are part of being human and don’t change your role as a loving parent.
Clarify that it’s not their responsibility to fix things.
Kids often want to make things better when they see their parents upset. Remind them it’s not their duty to fix things or make us feel better. Let them know that our emotions are ours to handle.
Above all, remind them that they are safe and loved, regardless of the emotions that arise. They don’t need to fix our emotions; we’re equipped to handle them while guiding them on their unique emotional journeys.
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