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A boy or a girl begins to cry (it does not matter the reason in each case) and we hear their father or mother saying phrases such as 'Nothing happens', 'Stop crying' ... Often, we say these words with the best intention, that our children stop crying and, therefore, that they do not feel sadness. However, with these phrases we are invalidating and downplaying their emotions. Which leads us to wonder: sowhat phrases do comfort and accompany children when they cry out of respect?
When our son or daughter is crying, is angry or seems upset, it is convenient know the reason that has triggered this state of mind. If we handle this information in advance, it will be easier for us to understand your position or your reaction.
It is important to understand that all emotions are caused by a stimulus and that it generates a response. In a high percentage, boys and girls respond in a reactive way, that is, they do not stop and think about the answer, they just act: either with a tremendous shout, with a slam, a bang, with a heartrending cry ...
It is important to know this so to be able to accompany in a more respectful way to our sons and daughters. Also, when I speak of 'accompanying', I mean, put ourselves at their height, not judge, let them speak and express themselves, validate their emotion, take care of our language ...
Faced with a crying situation, it is very common to hear mothers and fathers say the typical phrases of 'Don't cry', 'Come on, it's not so bad', 'That fall was nothing' ... By issuing these phrases we are devaluing what happened, as well as their way of acting, which we may like or not, but which is necessary to understand and accompany, of course, then the improvement of that response may come. Therefore, in view of the above, we must act in the opposite way, that is, understanding and empathizing with them and them.
Here are some tips that may come in handy:
1. Change 'Don't cry' to 'I understand you're crying'
Imagine when you cry, would you like them to tell you 'Don't cry it's not so bad'? Surely at that time you need to feel comforted and understood. Well keep in mind that the same thing happens to our children.
Instead of saying, 'Don't cry', you can say: 'Honey, I understand that you cry, that fall must have been painful, let's see it slowly.' You can also say: 'I understand that you cry, it is normal that you did not like what your friend told you, can I do something to make you feel better?'
2. Replace 'Nothing happens' with' I understand that you feel that way. Do you want us to ...? '
When we lose something or someone valuable, we are likely to be overwhelmed by a feeling of great sadness. In the case of adults, we can lose a family member, job, partner or a possibility of promotion ... At that time we would like them to accompany and understand our grief.
In the case of our sons and daughters, what can they lose? For example, if they change their course, their favorite toy, a friend who moved to another neighborhood or a grandfather ... At that moment, instead of saying 'Don't cry, nothing's wrong', we can say: 'I understand that you cry, you loved your teacher very much and now you will not see him so often. Do you want us to write him a thank you letter? '
3. Avoid 'Crying is cowardly' and change it to 'What do you need to stop being afraid?'
Also imagine that fear blocks you and being overwhelmed leads you to tears, would you like them to tell you 'Don't cry, that is cowardly'? Well, the same thing happens with boys and girls.
It is possible that this fear will limit and take over; and your reaction is likely to be crying. So, let's not tag and judge your reaction. Instead, we can say to them 'I understand that you are afraid, what do you need to get out of this situation?', Or 'Do you want / need me to stay with you?'.
4. Do not say 'Stop crying and do not be angry', better bet on 'I notice you angry, do you want us to talk?'
There are times when we find ourselves frustrated, angry, irritated, etc. and we are capable of reaching high levels and crying out. Yes, adults also cry and it is necessary that we give ourselves permission to do so, if we feel that way.
Well, it also happens to boys and girls. And what do you think our sons and daughters need at those times? They need us to be close, they need our love, our understanding; validate your emotion once more. Therefore, we can say to them 'I feel very angry', 'Your body is tense', 'Do you want us to talk about what happened?' Also note that with phrases like these we help them to locate their emotion in the body.
Therefore, the most important thing is do not judge his person. On the contrary, parents must help our sons and daughters to regulate their behavior and make it more adaptive. In addition, putting ourselves in their place from their vision, from their height, is what they really need.
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