Monday, July 5, 2010

Steppin' On Toes

I spent the weekend at the beach with my husband and had many opportunities to just be. We were able to talk without being interrupted, take naps AND I didn't have to repeat myself one time!

While eating lunch one afternoon at a little outdoor cafe, I noticed a little boy crying. He was clearly having a hard time expressing himself. I know all too well, how many times these situations can really get out of hand. My heart went out to the little tike as well as the tired parents, trying to be patient in public.

And then I thought a little always. When we are little, we just say it like it is. We cry when we need something, we cry when we are frustrated, we kick and scream and fall on the floor for intense affect. We don't know how to hold in our feelings; we don't know how to "suck it up", we don't know how to "deal with it".

And while I agree these are important things to learn as a growing human being, I do have an issue with just how much we have been trained to hold in and "deal with".

Think about it...this is a learned behavior. To hold your true thoughts in; to stop crying; to hold back tears. What happens to all those held in feelings? I can tell you, they manifest as anger, fear, resentment, greed, despair, attachment and other debilitating feelings as an adult.

So how can we stop this cycle? Let them talk. Comfort them when they are having a tantrum. Ask them how they are feeling. Tell them it's ok to express themselves. Maybe it can be in private later, but it's still ok to say how you feel!

A great friend of mine told me once, "If you don't let your kids step on your toes as children, they will step on your heart as an adult."


If anyone has any comment or outlook on this, I would LOVE to hear it! Hope you all have a great day! I'm going to get my toes stepped on!

1 comment:

Debbie said...

Perfect timing!! I think this goes hand in hand with learning to have those crucial conversations vs. sucking it up. I think as adults we often suck it up vs. saying how we feel. Why is it so hard to say, "wow, that really hurt my feelings." I know this is my struggle, which often leaves me holding on to feelings much longer than necessary.