"Say You're Sorry"
How to raise an emotionally intelligent child.
Were you ever told this, after having an angry outburst as a child, crying on the floor?
Like that tiny little human body could possibly hold the voltage that surges through when anger comes to town in any way other than an outburst of energy?
As I hold the absolute privilege of supporting adults who are showing up to heal deeply from trauma I get to see patterns that emerge emotionally from our youth and how we were parented through our emotionally formative years to create certain long-standing loops that create a continual experience until the loop is finally healed through awareness and change.
One is the damage of demanding someone, especially a child apologize for acting through anger.
Anger like all emotions has a set entry and exit point when it comes through us and leaves (hopefully) so long as nothing stands in the way.
Teaching anger is 'bad or wrong' through forcing an apology is like putting a cork in the drain where anger is to exit the body and then locking the door to that drain and hiding the key.
Anger is one of the most toxic energies to keep stuck in the body and when it’s stuck it is often due to learning to fear anger for thinking it is not ok to be angry.
Guess what, its OK to be angry, at least in my humble opinion.
What's not ok is not knowing what to do with anger and punishing it.
When a child has to apologize for anger or rage, or any emotion really, and I say, ‘has to’ because we've all heard it the, "If you don’t apologize then..." lines, which ultimately doesn’t speak poorly to all parents, it speaks poorly to human EQ our developed emotional intelligence. A child, (and maybe that child was us) doesn't learn about anger and how it really works and affects people.
Shutting down this energy, children shut down their empathy and ability to deeply connect with others.
It’s no surprise that when adults begin to do emotional healing they begin to be more empathic.
To raise a future of real adults, not wounded children in adult bodies, who aren't carrying around trauma from their youth takes all of us, not just parents having EQ. I am sure it wasn't just our parents we heard, "Say you’re sorry" from!
Now, I'm not saying do nothing in these moments of witnessing a little one in an emotional storm.
Instead, our goal as people is to help the new humans learn how to feel without fear and with empathy.
Asking, "What are you feeling in your body right now?" While they lash out in anger...
Help them to connect to their body.
Then help them to identify when the emotion began, and how it started in their body.
Ask questions like, did your hands get warm? Did your belly grumble? Did your heartbeat begin to race? Are you hot, cold, tingly?
This way they learn how to recognize when emotional waves enter and to notice the signs of them in their body. It also helps them to somatically connect to their body and be present with their feelings and how different emotions create different sensations in the body.
Next help them to connect with whoever or whatever it was that was hurt, (maybe it was you) describing it in the same feeling tone, about what's happening in your body, what emotions come up for you.
Help them to recognize that all of life, all people, animals, plants, objects have feelings just like theirs.
You can say things like when you are experiencing (repeat back to them what they said they were experiencing in their bodies), I was experiencing...pain in my heart, nervousness in my chest, I got hot and anxious, my fists clenched, so on and so forth.
Be wise not to say, “It made me feel” because this can teach them that their emotions are bad and wrong if they feel their emotions are the cause of your pain.
Through this process over time, they will see that emotions not only impact them, they also affect everyone around them and everything will help them to develop their empathy as they will soon begin to feel what you’re feeling when they are in their emotional wave.
It will also help you as a caregiver, parent, teacher, or friend to become more empathic and emotionally aware of the children you’re engaged with, in the end everyone becomes more emotionally intelligent, empathic and aware.
Help them to talk through the end of the wave and keep them present to it until it ends and exits the body.
If scolded and told to go somewhere, like to a corner or a room alone, that anger stews and boils within. They won’t learn about how it exits. If this happens they won’t distinguish themselves as separate from anger, they identify as anger and since anger is bad, they are bad and a child who learns they are bad will grow to continue to hurt people or things, including most importantly constantly hurting themselves.
Self punishment for being bad usually manifests as traumas later in life.
Helping children understand what's happening in their body during these experiences not only helps them, it helps you to understand them and what they need for support.
You will be able to notice patterns that could potentially signal nutrient deficiencies which a lot of times boils down to minerals that are missing or energetic deficiencies that is often not spoken about that are just as essential as our cells are pure energy.
Energetic deficiencies can be discovered through Quantum Bioenergetic Feedback analysis that will not only support the restoration of energy will also give advice on potential plant essences, herbs, minerals, vitamins, amino acids, practices that are needed to help the body stabilize. Especially if this teaching of EQ is happening later, after 8 years old where patterns are already deeply developed and chances are the body already stunted in some way from the trauma of holding onto emotions.
The good news is, even people who are aged and matured can heal and restore their bodies, so there is no such thing as too late, especially not in youth.