Feelings are tunnels

Kids have big feelings. A lot. I feel like I should have a lot of skills for dealing with them since I trained as a therapist in grad school. And maybe I do. I can name feelings. I can employ calm down techniques. I can help problem solve. I can distract if need be. What I’m not as good at? Really sitting with the difficult feelings. I do not like that part.⁣

But here’s the thing. I know there has to be a time and place to express difficult feelings, or they will cause even greater difficulty. And what more appropriate place when you’re 3 years old than at home with your mom?

I can know this and also recognize it is hard for me to be that safe space all the time. But, I’m working on getting more comfortable with it. And with moving through my own difficult feelings. Because it’s important work, for my kids and for me. ⁣

(BTW one of the things I liked best about @enagoski’s book Come As You Are is how it weaves new research with wisdom I forgot I knew, and I thank her for reminding me of this metaphor.)⁣

feelings are tunnels

Published by Emily P.G. Erickson

Emily P.G. Erickson is a freelance writer specializing in mental health and parenting. She has written for popular digital publications, including Everyday Health, Health, The New York Times, Parents, Romper, WIRED, and more. Emily is a professional member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA) and the Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ). Previously, Emily researched PTSD for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and earned a master's in psychology. You can find the latest from Emily at www.emilypgerickson.com.

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