How is it going with feelings and emotions in your house? Do you find them exploding all over the place? (yours and your children’s?) I know I do *sigh* but I also know that it is not always the case. Less exploding, a lot more family and fun!
WHY TEACH FEELINGS?
Why teach feelings? We all need to learn about them. They are something we are born with but we are not born knowing how to deal with them.
We need to teach our children that it is totally ok to have feelings and emotions. Everyone has them – both good and bad. We cannot feel ashamed for feeling. But we do need to know how to name our feelings and express them appropriately. Sometimes we feel sad, especially when someone we love goes away. Sometimes we feel happy because we are having fun playing. Or we could feel scared, angry, guilty, lonely or ……..the list goes on.
Don’t we wish that we all were suddenly endowed with amazing parenting skills the moment our child is placed in our arms for the first time? Instead, we sometimes stumble along, we sometimes rely on what has worked for friends, or sometimes we just make it up as we go. Teaching feelings and emotions would be something that would be wonderful if it were fully ingrained. At least, that is how I feel.
We have a few things that are unique to our family. The Diggle Technique, Fart it Out, The Magical Flower Transformation… I have shared these in previous vlogs…well, we have added yet another to our parenting tool kit.
ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL
As a parent, when you have more than one child, you know that one size does NOT fit all. We have two children the same age and still one size does not fit all. We have one concept that is utilized in two different ways.
Brief background. We call behaviors we don’t like as “acting like a turd” because a turd stinks up the room and no one wants to be around a turd. It’s just not nice. We do make sure we say “acting like” rather than “you are” as it is vital they know that they are NOT the negative thing, just the behavior is not ok and like an actor can turn off the character they are playing, they can turn off the turdish behavior.
This is where is it very important that we communicate the “acting like”. We have had many discussions with Kira on how an actor will wear a costume to help them become that character. The actor is NOT that character, no matter how good a job they do in portraying that role.
So when we get the rise in the crappy behaviors we start asking “Oh, it looks like you have put on your turd suit. Did the suit get stuck? Do you need me to help with that emotional zipper to help you get it off?” We will then go into what might be causing the suit to get stuck (here we are naming the behaviors) and work out ways that we can calm down, get the suit off and move on. We will act out the moving of the zipper and the removal of the suit. This action helps to remove the behaviors from her, so that I can talk to Kira and not the attitude, etc.
Soraya has taken the whole turd part and made her own world. She let her creativity run wild and one day, when I asked why she was acting the way she was, she gave this “I am definitely not going to responsibility for my actions” answer.
You see, there is the Queen of Turd World. And what she does is kidnap children and take them to Turd World. There she poisons their hearts. Then she releases them back into our world and they just wander around. You don’t know it and they bump into you and the poison gets off out of their hearts and rubs off on you. I must have bumped into one of those children and the poison got onto me and that is why I am acting like a turd.
Very creative. But oh, sweet one, nice try. But that has enabled us to tweak what works for her to establish what she is feeling and what we can do to close off or get rid of those feelings. I will say something like “Woah, did you open the door to Turd World? It smells like you did and the turds are getting in. We need to close it.” We will talk about the feelings that led to the opening of this portal and then we will physically (pretend) to slam closed the door and then lock it so the turds cannot continue to come in. We have even been known to spray around this “door” with our turd repellent (water in a spray bottle). The physical act of slamming this door helps to bring closure.
So, our tools keep changing. I am often on my toes trying to work out what is best for the girls and how to help them navigate their feelings and emotions…… and behaviors. It is a journey, a marathon if you will, rather than a sprint. I know that we will keep on changing them as we see fit.
And this is where I say DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU. No two families are going to do the same thing the same way. I offer up what we do as an idea, to spark something for what might work well for you. Honestly, Turd World and Turd Suit have worked well for other families, but they have tweaked them for their needs. How do you think your tools have changed in the last 6 months? 1 year? How are “feelings” going in your house? I am here if you need me!