Thinking about Inside Out, Our Children’s Emotions, & the New School Year
My family has gone through a lot of changes this summer. A lot. While many of us don’t like change (it’s hard, uncomfortable, unpredictable) at least as adults we are somewhat prepared for them. We know that the unsettling feeling is temporary. Adjusting takes time. Things will get easier. Etc. My almost four year-old daughter knows none of these things. We have totally uprooted her world by moving across country, leaving beloved friends, her first preschool, and the only home she has ever known.
My daughter is certainly letting us know how she feels. Sometimes it has come through from her behavior (extra tantrums or increased bossiness- “You MUST do as I command!”) but she is verbally expressive, too. Frequently, while we are driving around our new town, I hear her little voice from her car seat in the back. “Momma, I’m sad.” “Momma, I miss California.” Even though I know these words were inevitable (even a good thing- she feels comfortable sharing these feelings with me) – they break my heart. I don’t want her to be sad. I want to fix everything and make it all better. NOW. No parent wants to see their child in pain. We have an innate, instinctual tendency to protect. It is what keeps our species alive. (more…)