Yesterday my son had a big, big cry because his house in Minecraft burned down. And I can definitely see why parents roll their eyes or feel frustrated with things like this… because it seems like nothing much to get worked up about… right?
But I’m sure that you too cry over little things from time to time.
This sounds ridiculous but just the other day I cried because my partner wanted me to change the time of our dog’s vet appointment! I’m not even kidding. Why would I cry about something like that?
Because, my tears actually had nothing to do with the vet. I was holding onto lots of stress and feelings of overwhelm from other things, so much so that this one tiny additional task was the ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’ so to speak.
Visualise an iceberg for a moment. Imagine the small part popping out of the water is the seemingly insignificant thing your child is crying about. In my case, the Minecraft house, we know that the part we can see is only a tiny fraction of the whole issue, right?
Generally, the part we can’t see, what’s underneath these tears, is built up emotions from a range of other experiences. They could be big things like divorce, moving house, death of a pet or loved one, starting school etc
But more commonly they’re really little things that build up over time like:
– Maybe they’re really frustrated that they couldn’t tie their shoes
– Maybe they’re disappointed because you said they could go to the park and now it’s raining and they can’t go
– Maybe they’re angry because their brother or sister broke their toy.
– Maybe they really wanted pancakes for breakfast and you made porridge.
All of these emotions building up contribute to more and more tension simmering away in the body, until eventually something leads to boiling point. It seems like your child is having a big disproportionate reaction and this is why so many parents feel frustrated but the truth it your child is not trying to manipulate you. It’s just the last straw.
It’s really about all the other stuff that’s been building up over time.
So, what can we do?
The most helpful thing is to simply be present with what your child is feeling and expressing in the moment. Acknowledge. Validate. Empathise. It doesn’t matter if it seems silly to you. To them, right now, it feels big. After having the opportunity to ‘get it all out’ of their system your child will feel calmer, happier and more relaxed.
Do you have questions or would like to know more about this – I’d love to hear from you! You can get in touch through my Facebook page or via the form below and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. And if you’d like my support to create more balance, ease and flow at home with your children, you can book right here.