17. Sharing emotions with other people is a gift—to them and to ourselves. Our emotions reveal a lot about us. Anger tells others what we believe is supposed to happen in the world. Loneliness tells others how we’re treating ourselves. Sharing hurt feelings leaves opens our heart. Offering love can be a risk. Because they come from deep within us, allowing others to know what emotions we’re having removes barriers and allows authentic and intimate relating. This makes them a gift—even anger shared directly is a gift! Be sure to thank your child for sharing his/her emotions with you; and remember to respect that trust.
18. When we stay connected to our emotions, we stay connected to our real, authentic selves. Emotions don’t lie. Whatever we’re feeling is a real reflection of who we are at that moment, including what we believe, what we value, what we’re perceiving, how we’re relating to others, and what we think of ourselves. This is why it is sometimes difficult to share emotions with others, because we feel very vulnerable to let others know who we really are. There is no gift greater than emotions. Be real with yours whenever you relate with your child.
19. Emotions are a part of creating. In The Isaiah Effect, Gregg Braden identifies the process that humans use to create what they want in life. Simply put, it involves 1) having a thought, 2) energizing that thought with an emotion, and 3) holding thought and emotion together in our mind until we have the feeling we believe we’ll have once we’ve created what we want. A football team has to really want to win, and an Olympic champion tells us he felt himself on the winner’s platform for several years before winning. We imagine (and feel) ourselves in relationships, specific jobs, having a family. Everything we humans create has emotion as part of the process. As a parent, helping your child to see the importance of emotions to his or her life is a vital part of teaching him or her how to be an effective, creative, human.
20. Emotions can be called “The Language of the Universe.” Understanding how emotions are part of all that we create allows us to get a glimpse of how the energy of emotion permeates everything, motivates everything, moves between us, and spreads throughout the universe. There is no stopping emotions! What we can do, however, is decide which emotions we want to help spread around. Anger, jealousy, fear, and guilt? Or, love, compassion, caring and kindness? Parents have the joyous opportunity, and responsibility, of guiding kids (earth’s newest citizens) to the emotions they believe will be most beneficial for the kids and for our world. Every emotion you model, teach, share or focus on as you’re raising your child(ren) is part of the decision about the particular emotions you, and they, will support and spread. Decide wisely!
Ilene Dillon, MSW, aka “The Emotional Pro,” is the founder of Raise Incredible Kids , where you can get a 10-page report, Incredible Ways to Communicate That Result in Incredible Kids! and register for a free Teleseminar, What It Takes To Raise an Emotionally Masterful Kid.