Updated: Oct 20, 2022
I often hear how toddlers are run by their emotions.
This is true and what I notice is the importance of two things with this. Being fully present to allow for the intelligence of the emotions to move through the body, and offering context for the emotions either while it’s occurring or after.
Why do both of these things matter?
Not trying to change my daughter’s experience reflects respect and honoring of her experience. Telling her she’s ok or not to cry is dismissive to her experience.
It doesn’t matter if it’s rational that she’s upset about something. What matters is that she feels I’m with her as her being moves through the emotion. When I don’t interfere with her experience, the emotion (big or small, short or long) has the opportunity to fully process through. From an energetic perspective, this allows her emotional field to fully develop. I’m not trying to smoosh it from the mental field. The bodies energy field is like layers of an onion. The physical layer of the field being closest to the body, next the emotional, then the mental, the heart/soul field, all the way to seven layers of our personal human energy field.
"When I don’t interfere with her experience, the emotion (big or small, short or long) has the opportunity to fully process through."
Instead of honoring emotions, we often hear phrases like:
"You don’t need to cry."
"Boys don’t cry."
"There’s no reason to be upset."
"I’ll give you something to actually be upset about."
This language invalidates the child's direct experience.
I also notice offering a bridge between the emotional and mental fields helps create an understanding of the emotions. Such as:
"Seems like you’re frustrated because you have to…"
"I get that you’re really upset right now…"
"You’re sad because…"
We need to offer this guidance to begin to understand the emotions, while also honoring them. This creates a fluency between the emotions and mental bodies instead of a suppression or separation.
We all went through this developmental stage. And many had parents who couldn’t handle the big emotions. We were taught to override or discredit or suppress these naturally occurring emotions.
Often times the big upset might not even have to do with the present thing at hand.
But when we are just with them and the big cry gets to happen, it clears the system like a big rain coming through and purifying the land.
As adults we need to get comfortable with our own emotional intelligence so that we can allow it in our children. And that looks like presencing our own inner children and giving them the attunement they didn’t get. And the beauty of this is that is also makes the practice of being with our physical child much easier.
Education about emotions is just as important as learning to read 📚❤️
Big Love and Delight,