10 tips for emotional maturity when raising kids
The scene is typical: in the aisles of a market, a child starts to cry, scream and kick, demanding that the parents buy a certain product. Adults unsuccessfully try to calm the child. Everyone around starts watching with judging eyes. At this point, pressured to stop the issue, the parents end up yelling at the child, reacting aggressively or simply end up giving.
But after all, how do you know the right thing to do or say in cases like this? How to have the emotional maturity to say no to your child and deal with other crises related to child behavior?
For psychologist and pedagogue Tania Queiroz, author of the book Immature Parents, Depressed and Insecure Children (in a literal translation), emotional maturity is not something that necessarily grows with chronological age: we do not become emotionally mature when we get older. Emotional maturity is usually learned and not instinctive – and this is one of the main difficulties pointed out by adults who have the task of raising a child.
“We can only overcome bad behavior if we are aware that it originates in us and then in children and young people, so we first need to know them, accept them, love them, and then transform them. Some children think that bad behavior is capable of putting them in the spotlight, of becoming the center of their parents' attention”, warns Tania.
The expert also reinforces that children reflect the attitudes of their parents, learning from what we do and not from what we say. “Each father and mother has exactly the lifestyle they provide for their children. Children react according to what they see and are taught through the examples of their guardians”.
Tania points out among the characteristics of parents that she qualifies as emotionally mature is the ability to know how to say no, know how to forgive, not complain all the time, have empathy, not punish or punish when they are at the height of their emotions. “Knowing and managing one's emotions, owning up to one's own mistakes and the consequences of one's own choices, and understanding the emotional state of one's children are skills that can be developed and worked on. Mature parents use wisdom to captivate, instruct and face their children's emotional difficulties”, she reinforces.
To help parents develop the necessary maturity to deal with the challenges of raising children, Tania Queiroz lists ten practical pieces of advice:
- Develop self-esteem and self-awareness
Parents need to understand themselves, emotions and feelings to get to their children's emotions and feelings. They need to become emotionally aware, that is, be able to recognize and identify their own positive and negative emotions
- Develop self-control
Parents with emotional maturity manage the situation, they are instructed to go through the phases of success and the phases of failure with hope for better days. And they take advantage of these lessons to teach their children that life is not a bed of roses.
- Learning to deal with feelings of anger, fear and sadness
Emotional maturity is characterized by self-mastery, which means keeping emotions under control, solving problems calmly, courageously and wisely, making decisions, having positive attitudes, being resilient and grateful. Examine yourself and try to detect whether there is immaturity in your behavior so that you can change it with the effort of your will.
- Learn from mistakes and accept that you are not perfect.
Nothing teaches more than example and we already know that, your children need to see in you a real parent, of flesh and blood, who is exposed to disappointments and mistakes. They will be able to see the way you act in this stage of life and follow your footsteps
- Recognize and appreciate personal achievements
When parents have a growth mindset and believe that any child or teen can grow and improve through dedication and effort, they are more committed to their child's development and to their own. They notice improvements in their children's performance and welcome their criticism.
- Do not dramatize life
To establish a deep emotional relationship with your children, it is important that they talk to you about what they are feeling, why they are feeling it, where that negative feeling came from, the sadness, the frustration, when it all started, without getting angry, without punishing them if they express themselves negatively or even angrily. Listen to your children, be their friend, avoid judgement, diminishment and intimidation
- Develop optimistic thoughts
Mature parents learn, evolve and teach their children that happiness is the fruit of the will and is related to the way of being in the world, managing one's emotions, using personal, emotional and social skills, optimism, responsibility with destiny itself, committing to build a happier life.
- Act more and complain less
Mature parents teach that there are situations in which it is necessary to get out of the position of rigidity, that being right is not always a virtue, that giving in is praiseworthy, that soft words ward off anger.
- Develop empathy
Often, children express emotions indirectly, with aggression and bad behavior. The role of mature parents is to acknowledge these feelings without hitting or punishing their children, but with understanding and love. Contrary to what they say, this is not intentional. Therefore, understanding signs and reading behaviors is important.
- Learn to deal with losses and frustrations
Do emotionally mature people experience pain? Yes, but when they suffer a loss, they allow themselves to fully feel the sadness and emptiness that this loss represents. They are honest with themselves about their feelings. This honesty allows you to move forward, to overcome your pain.
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