There is always that child in the family that is expected to make more wise decisions than the other children. The one that is supposed to stop the other children from making mistakes and to explain why they did this and that.
Sometimes as parents, we forget that he/she is not yet an adult hence their functioning will not be at adult level. Yes they are more mature than the other children but they also have limitations in term of cognitive functioning or thinking like an adult would.
When parents give such an expectation to one of their children in this case the eldest child, the child grows up having a lot of anxiety challenges and always feeling like they are not enough, they grow up with shame of not meeting the parents expectations. As a result they become perfectionist to cover up for the shame while being a perfectionist has a challenge of its own.
Punishing the child leads to him or her being cheeky like lying it wasn’t him and it makes them feel only loved when they do the right thing which brings up children who are always looking for validation because their self-esteem is low.
Additionally, it also affects how they grow to manage their emotions as they do not grow up having a safe space to express themselves and to even calmly learn from their mistakes. Children manage their emotions based on how they see their parents manage their emotions. They are always watching and learning. If a parent has trouble controlling his or her emotions the children will also have trouble controlling them as they grow up. If you show your emotions in a controlled way they will have a higher chance of doing so too.
Purpose of emotions
Additionally, sometimes as parents we focus so much on the emotions our children are having than on the cause of the emotions. It’s important to focus on the cause as emotions are a way our minds tell us when someone or thing crosses our boundaries.
How do you help your child to manage emotions?
One way to help our children to learn to manage their emotions is to help them talk about them so that together you can find the cause of the emotions and solution. Especially for older children.
For younger children who can’t be able to communicate how they are feeling and why, best is to be calm as a parent first, then let the child’s emotions pass and then ask them using a creative way maybe drawing to show how they were feeling then proceed from there.
How to tell if it is a genuine emotion or defiance
It is important to first note that every human behaviour serves a need. Regardless or how healthy or unhealthy or good or bad the behaviour is. Therefore, it is more beneficial to acknowledge the emotion the child is having rather than consider it as defiance. After acknowledging it, it’s wise to follow up on the cause of the behaviour find out which needs it serves. Sometimes, it can be hard to find out which need the behaviour serves hence why it is important to engage a professional.
Psyche-Interventions does engage in child, teen and youth counseling and psychotherapy. Contact us through 0708146415 and seek for further support.