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 writer with a master's degree in psychology. Her helpful, science-backed journalism and essays about mental health, mindfulness, and motherhood have appeared in The New York Times, WIRED, Romper, Elemental, and elsewhere. You can find the latest from Emily at www.emilypgerickson.com.

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