Take This Seriously

They’re scared there’s something under their bed or in their closet. They tell you they don’t want to go to school today. They tell you they feel depressed. They tell you that they think somebody hates them. They tell you that they hate playing this sport or practicing that instrument.

You care of course, but you also know that monsters don’t exist. You know that going to school is important. You know that life is full of phases and ups and downs and that most of the time, pushing through it is about all it takes. And you’re not wrong…

But what you’re doing is not taking their emotions seriously. You’re papering over. You’re arguing. You’re pushing them and it aside. We talked recently about taking kids seriously and to do that you have to stop doing this. Because it isn’t fair.

You can say to your kids instead, “Look, I get that you’re scared to get on this airplane and that’s ok. I’m not scared because I’ve done this a million times. I’ve done the research. I know it’s safe. You can feel scared, just know that I’m not and I’ve got you.” You can actually listen to the reasons they think their teacher is being unfair–who knows, they may have a point. You can help them find a sport they like better so they’re not quitting (which is what you’re worried about). You can help them find their lane (which is really what you want). You can let them tell you–as we’ve talked about–how the decisions you’ve made have hurt and frustrated them. You don’t need to argue, you can just apologize and accept that to them, it is true.

Our kids’ emotions are their emotions. We have to respect that. We can take them seriously. Just as we expect our spouse to take, as we wished our parents and teachers took, ours seriously.

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