How to be an Emotionally available parent

Parents, listen up!

Becoming emotionally available is a daily opportunity you give to yourself from you open your eyes to the close of your day.

Emotional availability refers to the ability of a person to share feelings with another person. In order for this to happen, you need to be in touch with your her own emotions and able to define them. An emotionally available person has good working knowledge of their own feelings and they can identify when they feel angry, afraid, hurt, sad, happy, or content.

If you read my last post on emotional availability and you think it was talking about you, then the next few steps are just what you need to begin trying every chance you get in your day.

A touch is often worth more than a word.

For parents:

1. Spend at least 20 minutes per day sitting with your child as they play.

2. Do not ask too many questions or try to get them to do their playing “right” (this disrupts the child’s attention).

3. Do listen intently when you child speaks to you. Repeat what the child says if you want to clarify.

4. Allow them to explore – remember they are learning, as long as they do not hurt themselves too badly- skinned knees are definitely allowed.

5. Speak directly to your child and maintain appropriate eye contact. Listen in the same way without butting in or dismissing them.

6. Encourage exploration and learning through making mistakes. Lay off the urge to say ” I TOLD YOU SO”. That is not helpful.

7. Re-assure them by letting them know their repeated attempts in all forms of learning are necessary in order to master anything, calmly (no point adding to their frustration by being a crazy screaming pain in the butt).

8. If you are getting frustrated, realize your emotion FIRST (homework trouble, tantrums, sibling fights) leave the room, calm down then go back. You may need to do this a lot in the beginning. Realize you are only adding to pressure when you get angry, but give yourself space to get angry outside of the presence of your children. Why: you need to be helpful not reactive.

9. Use distraction or humor to change your mood and the mood of the child or children. An impromptu pillow fight, race around the house or slapstick comedy goes a looong way.. trust me.

10. Realize when you are not able to manage due to your own emotional  state – when you are hungry, tired, sad, upset or annoyed it makes your ability to attend emotionally extremely difficult. Take a break, ask a friend or spouse or grandmother to watch them for a few moments or minutes or two hours, what ever you need to change the emotion you feel.

11. Remember that human touch is the most powerful tool we have and its free! Babies die if they are not touched enough or at all in their early lives. A hug, a caress, silent hand holding does a lot more sometimes than any word.
Try these first… more anon.

Sometimes we are all each other have in that moment that you can never get back! Spend more time in harmony. Be open.

p.s i found a beautiful story that illustrates the power of touch… life giving!



3 thoughts on “How to be an Emotionally available parent

  1. I wonder if you have other pieces that deal with adults, moving pass the hurt, pain, shame, and failure in ones lives

    • Hi Jessica,
      Thank you for reading my blog! I have some pieces on shame and moving on that I’m considering posting. Your reminder has helped me to get back to them. Look out for them soon. Take good care of yourself.
      One love.

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