Teaching emotions, really getting into the nitty gritty about them. Something, as parents (GUILTY!) I feel we are quick to dismiss. Instead we discipline outbursts (don't hit your brother!), try to understand what a tantrum is over (5 minute 'turn' timer for toys) or instruct 'better' language use.
'that's so weird, right?' no, it's 'different, not weird. And everyone is different, we celebrate our differences'.
Good response, but not always appropriate. Instead of reading it as word confusion, why not emotional response? A translation for an emotion? Why the exclusion or necessity to point out a 'different' behavior as irregular?
And words - can cut worse than a knife (as my mother used to say, I had quite the tongue as a child and I'm noticing some of the same behaviors with the kids). We have brute - the hitting and stomping as translation for emotion in addition - words 'I'm not listening to you anymore.' or 'that just looks weird' (with a super snide inflection). We encourage the kids to talk in place of hitting, but sometimes these words hurt worse than any punch they've taken. And you can see it in their faces. The defeat - the exclusion.
Initial reaction? Correct the speaking terms. Try to figure out where this learned behavior is coming from. I'm realizing that's not going deep enough. What if it's a coping mechanism? What if this is their way of expressing anger, sadness, loneliness, confusion, etc...? So I went on a search for emotion cards and found these and this great site.
I'm kicking myself for not thinking of this earlier. Our kids are going through a huge change in their lives. I can't even imagine how confusing and out of control they must feel. I can't wait to get started with these. Trent and I are already coming up with ways to use them in the home. It was suggested to do role playing games for the emotions to make it a fun learning experience. I think the kids will really enjoy that.
Hubs, don't be surprised if I break these out with our next argument *wink. Because don't we, as adults - fall into the same traps as our children? We are all students.
authored by Chelsea Crutcher