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Focus on the child’s feelings

April 19, 2012

Here’s a great idea…

In his book, Between Parent and Child, Haim Ginott says, “When a child comes home with a host of complaints about a friend or a teacher or about his life, it is best to respond to the feeling tone, instead of trying to ascertain facts or to verify incidents.” (p. 20)

 

In other words…

 

Our children’s distress can set off alarms for us. We wonder if they acted badly or were mistreated. We may immediately jump into the roles of protector and private investigator. But, when children are hurting, they need someone to listen and show compassion. This helps them manage their feelings. Once they feel peaceful, they may be able to solve their own problems.

 

Here’s how you can use this idea to have a better life…

The next time your child comes to you upset about something, try focusing on your child. Don’t let yourself be distracted by your own reaction or concerns. See if you can see the world through your child’s eyes. Try expressing what the child is feeling: “Were you embarrassed when your teacher got after you in front of the whole class?” When you show your child that his or her feelings are important to you, this makes the child feel more secure and better able to face the world.

To find out more…

about parenting, check out The Parenting Journey or See the World Through My Eyes programs at arfamilies.org, follow us at facebook.com/navigatinglife or contact your local county Extension agent. You can also read Between Parent and Child.

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