Negative Emotions and Parenting
The last few days I have had difficulty focusing on writing. It’s not that I can’t find things to write about. It’s because I have a had series of bad days. I believe that life dictates, when and if, we are going to have good days and bad days. As a father, I have a choice to make when life’s emotions swing from the left to the right so quickly. I can become negative myself or I can use what I am learning and try to turn it into good.
Children have no control over a parents well-being. I have heard many parents (including myself) make idiotic statements without thinking to their children.
“You are making today very difficult by not listening to me!”
“I am so tired of you acting up!”
“I am becoming angry because of your attitude!”
The statements may seem randomly harmless but they are full of negative emotions. Each one of the statements gives a child more control over a situation. According to definition, negative emotions are any emotion that leaves a person feeling sad, frustrated or having a loss of control (selfgrowth.com) . Negative emotions undermine the effectiveness of decision-making and leaves a person with a feeling of doubt. If a parent is going to gain back control of a situation they need to check how they are feeling and try to change their thoughts to a positive.
You are making today very difficult by not listening to me
When we tell our children they are making things difficult for us, we are actually saying we don’t know how to gain back control. It is possible that a child might make a day harder for an adult but it isn’t the child who is making the day more difficult. As adults we have to remember that we own our emotions as much as a child owns theirs.
I am so tired of you acting up
I get tired like any parents. At times, my son can become challenging and I do get tired of saying the same things over and over. Children are learning their way in the world still and trying to learn the difference between right and wrong. Full emotional control won’t happen until they are grown. If I say, “I am so tired of ….” I am leading my son to belief that he is the cause of my tiredness. Ultimately, my son can’t cause me to become tired. It is a statement said in frustration.
I am becoming angry because of your attitude!
In my opinion, anger is the worst of the negative emotions. As a parent, I know it is very easy to say we are angry. Children can make parents angry easily. If I tell my son I am angry I am giving him a feeling of “fear or dread.” Parenting isn’t about making our children fearful of us. Being a parent is about teaching our children to control their emotions and make appropriate responses toward us and others. Children learn emotional control based on our responses.
Tips On Dealing With Negative Emotions
1. Think - Work towards thinking before you make statements to your child. It’s easy for any of us to make a harsh statement quickly. It is a lot harder for us to take back the words once we have said them.
2. Evaluate – If a child isn’t doing what we need them to do we should try to figure out why they aren’t doing it. Is it because their bored? Do they want more of your attention? Do they need more outdoor activities? It is a parents responsibility to figure out why a child isn’t behaving.
3. Step back – It may seem like a simple thing but it is actually very difficult for a parent to stop and step back from a situation for a minute. Unless a child is in immediate danger take 5 minutes for yourself to regain your emotional control. Gathering your emotions and using them in a positive way will save you an apology to your child. It also can show your child the proper emotional responses to various situations.
Children are worth the effort!
Everyone has negative emotions. As an adult, we are the ones responsible for teaching our children how to deal with their emotions. Children aren’t responsible for our happiness. We have to become willing to show our children positive emotions and learn how to deal with challenges. Sometimes, parenting is about learning about ourselves as much as it is about teaching our children.
Parenting is never easy. Have you ever had problems with dealing with your emotions? Have you said things out of haste and later apologized? What tips do you have that can help a parent to stop negative thinking? Tell me in the comments!
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, decision making
, negative emotions