Isn’t it funny how adults will acknowledge that children are sponges in all areas, BUT energy and emotions. I have always found frustration in adults not allowing their children to have emotions as it relates to being sad, mad, or frustrated. Especially when children are picking this up from the adults around them who are feeling these emotions. As adults, we transfer certain energies onto children and get frustrated when they exhibit them in their own ways.
I remember growing up hearing, I was too young to have an attitude or that I did not know what it meant to be mad. It was not until I was on the floor crying a few months ago that I realized that being a sponge goes beyond the scope of repeating cuss words and saying “oh lord,” when he is shocked. As I was on the floor crying, Aiden not only demanded to know what was wrong, but seconds later he was on the floor pretending to cry beside me. Immediately I thought this was hilarious, but over time it has provided me with a new perspective. He initially came into my space very energetic and this quickly turned into him worrying about me and trying to match the emotion that I was feeling at the time. Children are sponges to much more than what we like to acknowledge. Imagine if we taught our children how to be happy, how to properly love, and what it feels like to have internal peace.
With this, I have been doing a lot of spiritual/soul work to be more in tune with my own emotions in order to better regulate them. It has led me to the question of, “What kind of energy or emotions am I comfortable with transferring to my son?” Adults have one thing if nothing right about children experiencing chronic negative emotions, it isn’t natural. Children are experiencing anxiety, stress, and anger at higher rates, not only due to the world we live in today, but parents are unintentionally transferring these things onto their children. It is not something that is thought about on a regular basis, because most times it is not something that is being done purposely. And while it is easy to get lost in the stress of all that parents have to worry about, it is important that we start being more intentional about the emotions and energy that we are teaching our children to carry.
I do not say all of this to say that it isn’t normal to experience negative emotions because they are too natural emotions. What makes it scary is the fact that when you have no control over them you are not able to teach your children what it means to be be sad, mad, or hurt. Speaking for myself, I grew up a very angry child and person because I did not know what to do with the emotions or energy of being “down.” I lived in spaces where arguing and fighting was normal, negativity was normal, and being stressed was normal. This led to me picking these things up and exhibiting them in my own ways. which often led to me being in trouble. We set children up for failure when we can’t tell them something as simple as, “you are upset right now, I will let you feel this emotion.” Believe it or not, I have people that actually judge me for allowing my son to have emotions. At two he is able to communicate when he is mad, when his feelings are being hurt, when he feels someone is being mean to him, and so on. I am happy to say, that he will never get in trouble for telling me or his dad that he is upset.
I’d like to challenge all my mommies this month to be intentional about what emotions and energy you are transferring. At the same time, when your child experiences an emotion that they were taught, but have no clue what to do with it, use it as a teaching moment! I’d love to hear feedback on how this goes!