It's all well and good to sit and stay in the difficult emotions with your child (see yesterday's post), but...then what? What's a parent to do AFTER the sitting and the staying?
Then comes the second most important part of parenting. The "doing something about it" part.
But what's a parent to do?
What do you do when your child is feeling sad and vulnerable because she wasn't invited to a birthday party? What do you do with your child's legitimate sadness about not having friends at their new school? What to do with the disappointment of not getting a good grade or making the team? Meet the need.
Just like when they were infants and you figured out they were crying because they were hungry, or tired, or in pain, or sick, or needed a diaper change and then met that need by feeding them, helping them get to sleep, addressed the source of the pain, helped them get better, or change their diaper, you meet the need they are having now. But this time it's NOT the practical need you're going to meet - you're NOT going to "fix the problem". No. This time, you're going to meet the emotional need.
So once you really understand the emotional experience of your child from their perspective, think for a moment: What need is being expressed by sadness? Or disappointment? Or anger? Or jealousy? Figure that out and then meet it!
We'll explore the needs of specific emotions in future blog posts. In the meanwhile, reflect on what YOU have needed in these different emotional states and consider if that may be the same for your child.