Children and emotion: study the language of the heart

One sees clearly only with the heart. The main thing is not see. The little Prince

In the Studio of the photographer from the Mexican city of Oaxaca, the walls are covered with photos of children smiling, laughing, embarrassed, angry, crying. When the owner of the Studio asked why he captures all of these displays of emotion, he responds that they are a part of life and parents want to keep showing pictures of them. His statement is particularly fascinating, given that usually the walls are decorated with photos of happy. then Where are all these photos of other emotions – frowns, tears, children, turning in protest, or disobedience?


If you think about it, these photos can better reflect the emotional life of the child, taking the photos just mere smiles one-sided, limited, incomplete. Do not pass these photos to a child is like an invitation for the expression of emotions outside the Studio? What these photos say about our attitude to children's emotions, as well as to our own adults?

We can prevent emotions more than you can prevent the daily rising of the sun. The presence of emotional States suggests that something in our environment affects us – something excited. Emotions are something that man shares with other mammals, something instinctive in nature, triggering the body's chemical and physical reactions. As expressed by Pascal (17th century): “the heart has its reasons, which reason knows nothing”.

Emotions are not feelings. Feelings are names that we give to emotions; our subjective assessment of what is affected within us. The process of bringing these instinctive, emotional control of consciousness occurring in the prefrontal cortex (when we think before doing) begins in the first years of life and lasts long in to adolescence.

It is the development of integration and Executive functioning in prefrontal cortex starting from about 6 years old, gives us the opportunity to experience more than one feeling or thought at a time, allowing better control. That is part of our human nature and separates us from other mammals is the ability to be in touch with emotions and understand them more and more. The question remains: what is the role of adults is to help children develop the ability to more civilized expression of their feelings when they are overwhelmed by emotions?

People are born with the capacity for self-expression and stress relief in the emotional system. This ability is reflected in stable expressions: “I must follow my heart”, “to give something all my heart.” The role of expression is partly instinctive and serves us to “digest” the fact that we “absorb”, especially in regard to emotions.

James Earl Jones once said: “One of the hardest experiences of life is to have the heart of words cannot Express it.” People have many faces of emotions: non-verbal crying baby to biting and stomping feet two-year-old, to a teenager, rolling his eyes. We can also Express emotions through speech, we often ask the preschoolers: “Use words, not fists”. The way to the heart is through the words we use to tell that in my soul.

When my 7-year-old daughter had to take the blood, instead of run away or to fight and resist, during the procedure, she was sitting on the ground and shouted loudly: “Ah, Ah, Ah!” To move was impossible, but it was possible to Express their pain through words (although this has frightened people, waiting for their turn). Help children to learn to Express in words what the soul, is a crucial step to help them develop a more civilized way of expression, when they are overwhelmed by emotions.

Why, being born with the ability to Express ourselves, we may face difficulty to find the words to Express what is on your mind? Sometimes we resist his feelings – we don't recognize them, don't want to admit it or drives away. The problem is not our emotions, and our attitude towards them. Emotions aren't right or wrong, they just are part of the wonderful complex system of our human nature and its interaction with the surrounding world. That is the question here arises: how to learn to Express emotions without affecting others, but also giving them a way out? It is the task, the answer to which is worth it to find it, for the sake of mental and physical health of our children and expand their potential for forming healthy relationships. On building a healthy friendship and the partnership/marriage is affected by the ability to be in the present moment and to behave with dignity when the heart is restless. The ability to identify and name own feelings also fosters personal growth throughout life. The more senses we can put it into words, the better we can establish a relationship with ourselves and the less likely it is that instead of lucidity inside appear gaping void. Too many suffer alone, separated from other people because you can't or don't want to share what on your mind.

What may prevent to learn the language of the heart?What can prevent us to help your child learn the language of the heart? First of all, there are the complexity of development as inherent limitations of susceptibility and emotion. Children Express themselves nonverbally in the beginning – the emotions develop faster than speech. The ability to find the words to Express what excited, requires the support and preparatory work, which begins with the names of feelings that reflect emotional distress: sadness, frustration, disappointment, shame, etc. If you can't name something, you can't build with it relations. How can we even begin to figure out what to do with your jealousy, envy, disappointment if we don't know the names of these feelings? Names given a value, they open dialogue and help to understand this experience, and provide the opportunity to build their attitude toward it. My daughter once told me that her “belly feels like there is oil whip”. This feeling of “turbulence” was accompanied by the expression of fear, anxiety, and fear of what loomed on the horizon. She could not begin to understand these emotions, giving them first names.

Sometimes children are unable to resist emotions and conceal them, especially when you think that you will not get approval from significant people for them. The opinion that “good girls are always nice and don't mind older,” and “brave boys don't cry” continues to impose the beliefs of adults, forcing them to suppress emotions that contradict them. If we get tied up in trying to be nice and brave, I wonder where you will get the emotion of fear and unwillingness to be nice? In addition, we have grown up with the false belief that expression of emotions will lead to greater based on their actions. The study, in contrast, show that the expression of emotions leads to a decrease in their total effect, and the need to act.

When we try to cut off the disturbing feelings, the disappointment, the frustration needs to find a way out, and the question arises, where does this energy? When our emotional system is activated, and the expression of emotions is blocked, the energy stagnates and accumulates, fully preventing, thus, self-expression and spontaneity in life. Stuck emotions lead to disorder. Our words must match what we have at heart. If we do not have this integrity, we pollute ourselves, living in the shadow of our true self.

Emotions are the driving force of psychological development from early childhood to adolescence. Then as young children learn names for feelings and emotions that they experience, teenagers are trying to sort out plaguing their contradictory feelings. One of them is committed to become an independent person, the other is concerned with the increasing separation from their parents. Everywhere we see signs that children, adolescents and adults trying to numb my feelings and escape from them in various ways: overeating, drugs, drugs, and alcohol to watch TV and computer addiction. When we stop feeling, we stop growing and become prone to indifference and selfishness, as an example of this could be bullying. Bully accept for his daily work to offend the weak, – little thinking of regret, shame or caring for others. Our hearts are designed for deep feelings, and not to become cold and callous.

Callous heart is a reaction and form of protection from the vulnerability of life in a world that is no longer safe, or too hurt emotionally and physically. When the attachment makes us vulnerable to injury, according to G. Neufeld, has to pay for that ability to play, and the brain chooses survival, not the ability to feel. When our feelings begin to disappear, the world becomes muted and the paint emotional life fade.

We can quietly slip into a world where feeling becomes a refuge, not as a result of conscious choice but out of necessity. Only through tenderness and nurturing affections we can save some of their muted world, inviting me to follow him and urging that the world was safe again. One of the most important tasks for parents is to keep the hearts of our children soft. Their ability to survive a whole range of emotions and to Express what they have inside, will be a driving force for growth and maturity throughout life.

Help children and Teens to share what is in their hearts,How can we keep the hearts of our children soft and allow their emotions to move freely? We must do more than just help them learn the names of feelings between us should be enough contact and proximity, which will allow the safe to Express vulnerable thoughts and feelings. Perhaps we are born with the ability to Express their feelings, but we also need someone whom we can reveal their secrets. To share secrets, we must first give someone your heart, to desire to be known and understood has created a desire to share what's inside. When we share our feelings, relationships deepened, and we feel at home under their care, feeling a strong sense of belonging.

As noted by Carl Jung: “We look with admiration on the great teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings... Warmth is the vital element for the growth of plants and the soul of the child”. Affection is what helps to isolates the fact that at the heart of a child, filling the space between us and created the relationship. They need to feel our generosity and invitation, along with the freedom to Express what is in their hearts without being limited by our visible reactions to this experience. Sometimes we find hard to cope with the emotions of the child which we find it hard to cope themselves. If we do not allow own tears and imperfections, it will be difficult to take the tears and emotions of a child. How do we convey to them that their emotions are not good or bad, if we deplore and are ashamed of their own?

Sometimes our reaction to emotions the child shows that we can't or don't want to listen to him. We can devalue their feelings by expressions like: “okay, go play” or “do Not scared to make a mistake, you learn from mistakes”. When we repress or deny their feelings, we do not create spaces where people can recognize, name and cope with their fears, desires and despair. Other answers that don't help solve the situation, are attempts to rationalize feelings through logic. “Don't bother what others say, their words shouldn't hurt.” “What do you mean I'm not buying anything? Why are you so ungrateful? Only yesterday I bought you...” Our feelings are not easy to explain, actually, we should consider their envy, sadness or sense of loss in the light of day to examine them, to find a way to shed tears over the fact that hurt inside us.

Other examples of useless answers is guidance on how children should handle a particular situation, when we are grasping for the opportunity to teach them a lesson. “If you cleaned your stuff, you would know where to find them when you need them”. How would it look with the teenager, if we forbade him to Express frustration or sadness that he is unable to find something – perhaps their emotions can teach them more than we could ever convey. And finally, sometimes we seek to protect children from some of the feelings that make up a usual part of life, for example, when they are not invited to a birthday party or they are faced with the loss of a beloved pet. We are trying to divert their eyes from the problem with promises of treasure, instead of helping them to find a name for what a treasure they have lost. So we avoid the tears that must be shed. If we don't let children to their vulnerable feelings and will not encourage their relationship with them, then who will do it?

To help children Express their feelings requires a lot of patience and a lot of time on our part. We may wish to know what's inside them, in many ways, ranging from the warmth of our presence to active listening and reflection of their experiences (for example: “You this morning is particularly irritable, you're probably thinking about the upcoming visit to the dentist and the hole you need to fill?”). It is not enough just to reflect what is in their hearts. In addition, we must convey to them that we can cope with their emotions. Some children experience very strong emotions because of the innate sensitivity that are hard to deal with adults. The child shared what's on his mind, he must feel that we can take it to any that he doesn't have to cower in our presence that it is too hard.

The soul and maturity ofRich and varied emotional life is what gives our existence complete. It is our self-expression, spontaneity, full involvement in the life and quality of relationships with other people. As said by albert Einstein: “There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if the miracle is all around”. The ability to Express in speech what is the soul, is at the root of the integrity and uniqueness of personality. When we don't appreciate what's inside, we can change, adapting to others, denigrating and polluting. We need to agree on the need for self-revelation to the world, where often there is no time, space or desire to find out what's inside us. The answer is not to broadcast themselves to the world indiscriminately, and to nourish and support vulnerable relationship in which we can share what is the soul, where we will see, hear and be loved for who we really are. In the absence of a relationship with ourselves will be difficult to enter into deep relationship with others, in which we will be able to truly give oneself to another person. If we can't find space for their own emotional experiences, how do we find within ourselves a place for other experiences? If in our heart there is no place for another person, we can't offer him a place to stay, shelters can not satisfy his need for belonging, significance, love, desire to be known.

We need to help children and teenagers to learn themselves, creating a space for expression, if they're excited, and leading them through this life's journey in unknown lands. When they learn the names of their emotional experiences, they will be able to understand them and to figure out what to do with frustration, envy and disappointment. When they have a relationship with their inner feelings, they will be able to enter into deep meaningful relationships with others, in which there is a place of mutual dependence, solidarity and support. To share yourself with someone, we need first to find one heart that feels, the voice that can speak, and the conviction that the richness of life comes from taking it to heart. In order to help children achieve this takes time, but this journey is worth it. published

Author: Deborah McNamara (Deborah MacNamara)

Translation Irina Was Odnevall

P. S. And remember, just changing your mind — together we change the world! ©



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