I couldn’t help but think that was part of the reason Jenna was so locked down about her feelings and the school situation. Sasha was modeling for her daughter how to handle her feelings, and how to NOT communicate them. Children are more naturally imitators than they are followers of instructions. I encouraged Sasha to talk to Jenna about her own feelings in an age-appropriate way. For instance, Sasha could let her daughter know that, “Mommy’s feelings were hurt and I felt sad when that man said those things.”
As adults we must establish a tone of trust and help our children feel safe opening up about their feelings. We do this by telling the truth about our own feelings. Sad or scared feelings are a normal part of life and allowing those feelings to be expressed is healthy. When you “act strong” for the child in your life, she will copy this as if “non-feelings” are normal. In fact, human feelings are as normal as breathing, and talking about them with someone who listens without judgment, criticism or analysis can have a tremendous wholesome impact.
In a recent viewing of a This Is Us episode (NBC) Kevin quotes his sister Kate about grief, “If we don’t allow ourselves to grieve, it’s like taking a giant breath in and holding it.” Think about how long you’d live if you never exhaled. It’s a great analogy. Kevin then encourages all in attendance to just breathe out. This exhaling allows for the release of feelings of tension bottled up inside. Try it!
True strength models for our children how to communicate feelings and not bury them so that they seep out, or explode, in unhealthy ways. True courage says, “I’m scared, but I’m doing this anyway.”
Sasha has since told me that as she has been more open about her feelings, Jenna has shared with her about what is happening at school. In her little five-year-old way, she is exhaling.
Beginning April 3rd from 2:00 – 4:30pm we’ll be exploring how to truly help children who are dealing with loss in their lives. When you think about it, who doesn’t deal with loss at one time or another? Each of us can gain from the information The Grief Recovery Institute® teaches. I hope you’ll make the time to join us for four weeks of learning valuable, relationship transforming information.
For questions and more information, give me a call at 520-405-6774
or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grief Recovery Specialist
The Grief & Wellness Group
Kim has walked through the separation from her birth family for seventeen years of her childhood and the loss of innocence that abuse brings. With her B.A. in Communications and a huge heart for those who are hurting, Kim has a desire to help guide others to move beyond loss to grief recovery.