One of the hardest things about being a parent is dealing with those big emotions that young children have (I guess we all have them but learn to control). Whether it’s your child’s big emotions or another child’s big emotions that are affecting your child (the hardest!). I remember the first time I witnessed a slightly older child bullying Henry at the playground I kind of flipped out, I even scolded the other child sharply- okay, so not my best moment, I agree. It wasn’t even something big, I think they pushed him aside and said only big kids were allowed on the tall slide.
But I remember later thinking about it and wondering what Henry was feeling when the little bullying incident happened and regretting that I hadn’t talked about it with him about it in the moment-I was too focused on disciplining the other child.
While Christmas shopping I found a really cute journaling book that helps kids to talk about emotions and thoughts that we bought Henry to start at the new year. It’s called Q & A a Day for Kids: A Three-Year Journal and each day there’s a question you ask your child (some are funny, some are serious, some are imaginative), and the child, or yourself writes the their answer. I like to write exactly what Henry says at this age because he phrases things in such a cute way and I want to remember exactly how he talked.
I think because it’s so official (an ‘interview’ we call it) that Henry really loves it. I’m hoping that he also likes it because it makes him feel important, that his thoughts and feelings are significant enough to write down and record.
It’s also hilarious to read! Yesterday Henry and I read through his responses to the last two weeks of questions and he was laughing his head off. He didn’t even remember feeling like a tiger- being mad at me about ‘breaking the lego thing’, or when he was called a ‘poo poo head’ at school. He laughed at the ‘poo poo head’ line yesterday, yet at the time it was a very serious response. I love that it helps kids understand how momentary our emotions can be, that we may be so angry in one moment and then not remember at all, or even laugh about it the next day.
Do you have a journaling book like this that you’ve enjoyed doing with your kids? Maggie Mason once made a really sweet emotions book with pictures of her son feeling different things which I thought was such a great idea.
Or, back to the original issue, how do you help your kid deal with bullying and/or their emotional response to it?