|View Poll Results: Do you show all your emotions?|
|No, I go to the other room if I'm really upset||6||9.52%|
|Yes, I feel the child/ren need to see real emotions: happy or upset||50||79.37%|
|Other- please explain!||7||11.11%|
|Voters: 63. You may not vote on this poll|
In regards to when a child hits you and you mess up and hit back. I can't decide if it would be beneficial for my DS to witness my crying if something like that happens to us or if I should close the door, deal with my emotions and then come back to him calmer.
Would it do a child good to see that hitting his mother and his mother hitting back really upset him (natural consequences) or is that laying your emotions on the child inappropriately?
What do you do?
Dd has seen me, once, let anger get the better of me. I saw the look on her face as a result and I never want to see it again.
will voluntarily sit in his chair and give himself a time out when he has had a temper tantrum. I think he realizes when he needs to cool off too.
What about letting your child see you cry. Say, they bite you and it hurts really bad and your feelings are hurt, do you go to the other room and cry or do it in front of the child. I could see crying over financial problems perhaps being inappropriate, imo there's no need for a child to be aware of the financial stuff until they are much older and need lessons on budgeting. KWIM?
That said, I don't think there is anything wrong with giving yourself some space to cool off if you need it, and that is a good example for kids, too. That is just as important a skill as being emotionally comfortable and literate.
Talk about how you felt when you lost conrtol. Talk about what you wish you had done/ will do in the future instead. Apologize if needed. How will they learn what to do if they get angry if they don't have it modeled!?
DS: 18 DD: 15 DD: 8 11/10 4/11
DD: 3 8/11
When I go to the other room to cool off, it is to protect my son and to avoid doing something I'll regret. It's a last resort, when I need to defuse the situation before it escalates. Ideally, I'd express the anger in a constructive way, but I'm talking about times when I'm really in danger of losing it.
Finally, I absolutely agree about apologizing when we screw up.
Parents are human too...and it is just common sense that one apologizes when one hurts a loved one.
Dd has never seen her dad and I yell at each other, or being mean to each other. Maybe I'm lucky, but my voice sounds awful if I yell, so I don't do it.
I'm endeavoring to teach dd that she can express her emotions without losing control, so that is the behaviour I want to model for her.
My DH and I will argue in front of the kids. We don't yell at each other or anything. We do think it is important that they know that we don't always agree about everything, but there are ways to come together on things.
But sometimes the kids drive me nuts and say that one extra thing in that one really really irritating voice (mooomeeeee!) and I just want to throw things across the room, and my kids really don't need to see that. In those cases, I will go in the other room for a second, take a deep breath (or a scream into the pillow, or throw some laundry across the room or something), and then come back to deal with things RIGHT. Because it isn't always just about kids not seeing your emotion; it is often about you needing to vent that emotion anyway, and supressing it might mean going nuts and it just isn't always worth it.
There are times they've seen things get out of control. Luckily, it has been directed at cockroaches (DH has a phobia, we live in Hawaii aka Cockroach Capital of the US) and while they were a little weirded out by it, we explained afterwards that DH thinks bugs are scary and yells and runs when he sees one, but it is OK because we are all scared of something. Funny thing is, bugs don't phase the kids even after all this 'trauma.' It may have a lot to do about explaining things. I think my kids were able to understand that Daddy just couldn't control himself, since they often can't control themselves either, KWIM?
Mama, homeschooler, midwife. DD (13yo), DS (11yo), DD (8yo), DD (3yo), somebody new coming in November 2013.
|Originally posted by Hikaru
Cheers, nikirj! We have some BIG scary roaches in Japan too...three inches long and they fly!! And Dh is a big wimp about them so Hikaru the screaming Valkyrie gets to squash them (while praying for their happy rebirth of course!)
You know, it SOUNDS like we live in such disgusting conditions, but really, roaches are a fact of life here and expected (to a certain extent) just about everywhere. I worked in a restaurant and once a roach ran across the floor (we didn't have them, it must have come in from outside), a patron calmly stamped on it and said "no problem, eh, it's Hawaii." It still feels really weird to tell people from the mainland, who don't see roaches in anything but the filthiest places, that there are roaches in our house sometimes! Glad to hear someone is in the same boat!
Mama, homeschooler, midwife. DD (13yo), DS (11yo), DD (8yo), DD (3yo), somebody new coming in November 2013.
I don't classify emotions as "normal". There is a whole range of human emotions and they're all normal. How we react to them and how we express them - well that is subject to socially acceptable standards. Most of my reactions are acceptable, most of the time. When I lose control and yell, I always own up and appologize right away. I think it is very important for my children to see me do that. I don't want to go into another room and come back "fixed." I think they benefit from seeing me come to my senses, regain control, and take responsibility for my actions.
Just my two cents.
Just to repeat myself...I go to the other room when I think I'm in danger of losing my temper and possibly hitting my son, a negative part of my upbringing that I'm working hard to overcome. I am doing it to protect us both from a potentially dangerous situation, rather than to shield him from my emotions, which I agree are a healthy thing for him to see. I don't hink emotions should be controlled all the time, only when I might hurt my little boy.
Amy, mom to Tsuneo, 09/12/
I have a temper and am ALWAYS working very hard to manage it - it's not something I am proud of or I find becoming
But my kids have seen me lose it, my husband and I have fought in front of the kids (bickering and arguing) none of this am I proud of. That said, I am human, I make mistakes and I always appologize for my mistakes. I continually try harder and have improved imensely - but that doesn't mean I don't screw up every once in a while.
My parents were and still are very emotional people, they were always very open with my sister and I, they cried, fought and laughed in a BIG way but they always made us feel intensely loved and never faltered in the security they gave us.
I think as parents it is our job to always work at doing better for our kids but still allowing ourselves to be human and make mistakes, then appologize for them and learn from them.
I have never hit my children, I don't condone violence of any kind - but sometimes that just makes the need to boil over even a greater one - I would rather get frustrated, cry, fight than hit KWIM?
I am rambling here, just trying to make sense of it all *for me*-
Sometimes it feels like we always talk about the 'optimum' way of raising children but don't get into the 'messy' reality of it.
This isn't directed at anyone other than myself - I am feeling the need to be very honest today
Totally agree with Nikirj. The emotions parents express (negative emotions) don't need to be seen by children because it obviously is not the way to handle our emotions, and we do not want to teach children to react that way. They see us handling a situation frustrated, or mad not even yelling or throwing something they will still see and feel that emotion in you. If you don't show it they will definitely feel it. But who knows which one of those effects a child more.
With a child imitating how we react to being afraid of bugs definitely can be stopped in its tracks. Right, just by explaining to your child right after he/she reacts that same way you did, that it's fine, you don't have to be get scared like mommy was with that one bug (explain which time and where so your child is recalling the same memory) or just say you don't have to be afraid like mommy and I'm sure he/she will recall a or the time that you reacted that way. Will learn as well by seeing you not get scared that time, when you explain it to him/her. Then that reaction will in most cases not stick.I am deathly afraid of spiders and now after I said that to them they learned not to be scared, I can control myself sometimes when it comes to spiders my talking at least :) but anyway they are 5 and 6 now, they both want to kill the spider but I even tell them not to because I don't want to see them miss or it move, so they react their own way but still respect my fear, and they don't kill it. Kids can be so cute though. Emotions of sadness I believe can be shown then you can explain to them the emotion. and why you're sad. That is a healthy emotion. Unless it was a bad reason they don't need to know about I guess. but
That's how they learn of things is observation! So. it all depends on the situation. I hate that they soak up every reaction, you really have to control yourself and take the time to explain your actions if you can't control them. Don't forget to stop yourself once in awhile to explain yourself or they will handle their problems the same way you do. If you handle a situation badly the same way a lot of times over and over again, and don't comfort your children afterwards they will definitely pick up that reaction and handle their problems that way. Don't ask me how or when you can try and reverse it. I just know it is possible. Don't wait til they're 20 though!
I have moments as a parent that I have flipped out on my children. I start yelling and acting upset. It hasn't happened very often but it has happened. I don't regret it. Afterward, I have sat down with the kids and apologized. I explained that I was in a horrible mood and I am having a hard time getting out of it. I am sorry for yelling and acting like that. They forgive me and we move on. I think it is important to show them that life happens from time to time and I show them how to deal with situations correctly. I want them to grow up knowing that they will make mistakes and that is ok and learn a positive way of dealing with those mistakes. Probably 2 times a yr I get upset enough with my husband and will slam a door or we will raise our voices. I don't regret that either. They see that mom and dad get upset with each other and we are ok. That day they will see us hug, laugh and be normal again. I feel my children need to see conflict to see that it is normal and can be worked through.
Now I don't agree with parents flying off the handle and hitting their children or having a major blowout with their spouse. Not that I haven't made a mistake and spanked one of my children but I dealt with that in the same way. And yes, they saw me cry. I felt awful about what I did and I am glad they saw me cry after.
If the emotional reaction is directly related to the child's behavior, I think it is important for him to see it, up to the "Mama needs a Time Out!!!" point several posters have mentioned. If the emotion is a major thing affecting the parent's life (for example, parent is upset because a close friend is dying) I think it is important for the child to know what is going on rather than feel like it is a terrible secret and/or notice that the parent is upset and wonder if it's because of something the child did. In general, I think it's better for kids to see that adults have a full range of emotions and have strategies for managing them, than to see that adults run out of the room and mysteriously come back all calmed down.
When the issue is more one of the parent feeling cumulatively overwhelmed by life stresses, in which the child plays a minimal role, then it may be best for the parent to take some time off to get herself together out of the child's sight--especially if her coping strategies involve any substance use, because even if that's done responsibly it can be hard for a child to understand.
That said, I have had some very sweet moments when I could really have used time off but no other adults were readily available (and my son is NOT the independent type, so until a few years ago there was no chance of saying, "I really need to be alone," and having him respect that for >15 minutes) so I was very honest with my son about how worried and overwhelmed I felt, and he became extremely kind and helpful, encouraging me to have a pleasant refreshment and quiet activity, giving me a back rub, etc. It would be bad to have times like that too frequently--child could start feeling responsible for keeping the parent propped up--but once in a while, it's very nice.
Mama to a boy EnviroKid 9 years old and a new little girl EnviroBaby !
I write about parenting, environment, cooking, and more.