Google+ Authentic Parenting: Peaceful Parenting in the Light of Big Emotions

Friday, April 26, 2013

Peaceful Parenting in the Light of Big Emotions

Welcome to the April 2013 Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival: Peaceful Parenting Applied This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival hosted by Authentic Parenting and Living Peacefully with Children. We hope you enjoy this month's posts and consider joining us next month when we share about Peaceful Parenting Applied.


  It can be hard to remain cool in the light of strong emotions as a parent. Especially the ones we perceive
Dealing with strong emotions in your child
as negative. Anger, grief, pain, fear, sadness... Most of us have been quickly 'corrected' when we were younger and showed any of those emotions, and it is hard to refrain from doing so when we are faced with them in our child.

Yet there are a couple of good reasons not to 'correct' emotions, even when they are overwhelming.

  • Processing their emotions will cause less stress in the long run
  • All emotions are part of life, and should be allowed to run their course (allowing emotion doesn't mean acting upon them though)
  • Children need to learn they are the ones controlling their emotions, not anyone else, and they can only learn that by teaching themselves to gain control
  • At a young age, children aren't capable to control their emotions yet, so expecting them to do so sets both of us up for a lot of frustration

What to do instead?

  • Show empathy, but don't get sucked into the vortex
  • Step out if you can't handle it any more, take a moment to breathe and come back when you've regained your composure. If you have a second caregiver available, discuss this with them and make sure the other can step in when you're getting overwhelmed.
  • Talk it through with your child after the emotional outburst is done. Make sure your child knows that these emotions are normal and natural and it's ok to let them run their course, but that it's not ok to lash out. Talk about emotions as a natural part of conversation.
  • Protect your child. Some children can get violent towards themselves or others when they feel emotionally overwhelmed. You are the one to protect them and to hand them different solutions to handle their feelings.


Have you blogged about this topic? Come back tomorrow and link up your post on the Peaceful Parenting Applied linky

Image: rolands lakis


APBC - Authentic Parenting  Visit Living Peacefully with Children and Authentic Parenting to find out how you can participate in next month's Authentic Parenting Blog Carnival, when we discuss self-love!   Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:  
Do you have blog posts about peaceful parenting or are you looking for some tips? This month, Authentic Parenting and Living Peacefully with Children are hosting an Authentic Parenting: Peaceful Parenting Applied link up! Check it out and help build a resource for parents striving to parent more peacefully.



  1. Hey Laura,

    Thank you so much for this post! I am wondering if the video games, TV, tablets, etc - contribute to that emotional behavior?

    What do you think?

    Maybe not, but I am just wondering. With the fast pace, and not being patient.

    I am going to employ these techniques.

    1. This is an interesting question, Lisa. I can't just give one answer to it.
      I think that screens and digital stuff don't necessarily create strong emotions. I do think that in some cases screens can chip in on the time families need to connect and that in that case emotions are magnified, because kids are not getting their needs met.
      Often, this occurs in situations where kids are schooled or in daycare, the 'free' time gets filled with screens and there's no time left for family connection and nurturing.

  2. Great tips! I think we have become such a reactive society that it is often difficult for people to recognize the difference between allowing emotions and acting on them.

    1. that's a very interesting remark, Mandy. I think most people are indeed scared of 'negative' emotions because mostly they are acted out not just allowed.

    2. Oooh, this is really interesting. This makes so much sense to me though - people acting out anger, hurt, frustration, and in the process hurting others... instead of just allowing, processing, letting go and THEN acting.

    3. Oooh, this is really interesting. This makes so much sense to me though - people acting out anger, hurt, frustration, and in the process hurting others... instead of just allowing, processing, letting go and THEN acting.

    4. oooh, this is such an interesting idea. That most people act out their anger, frustration, or other emotion and in the process hurt others, instead of allowing, processing, releasing and *then* acting.

  3. I like the tip of talking through it afterwards and not trying to do it in the moment. This is very different than how my husband and I were raised. I think the point of allowing emotions versus acting on them is an important distinction to keep in mind to guide as we try to parent gently!

  4. I love this post! It's so simple but gets right to the heart of the matter. I especially loved your second bullet about why it's important to allow emotions, "All emotions are part of life, and should be allowed to run their course (allowing emotion doesn't mean acting upon them though)" This is actually something that I've been dealing with for myself completely separate from my children or role as mother. I've recently realized that I try to "fight" my "bad" feelings - mostly sadness (often brought on by tiredness) instead of just allowing myself to feel what I am in the moment. It's been so helpful to tell myself, "It's ok to be _________ (whatever I'm feeling)" I have almost immediate relief and can release the feeling! Crazy.

    My experience with my daughter - she sometimes needs space. But sometimes I "gave" her space only because I was uncomfortable. Now I'm trying hard to offer her my presence and a hug if she wants it. I also mentioned over on Mandy's blog that sometimes I have to "fake" my sympathy, but that it usually works - it helps her and then the real sympathy starts flowing.

  5. Thanks for the reminder, it's hard to remember in the moment sometimes. Because my own emotions were 'corrected' when i was younger, it is my normal tendency to jump in and try to 'correct'.

  6. very interesting post! thanks for creating awareness and information you provide.

  7. These are great practical tips! I definitely utilize the "mama time-out" on a regular basis. I find that even modeling that kind of self-care when I'm not feeling able to respond calmly or compassionately is beneficial for my son to see: he now takes breaks when he's getting frustrated, too!

    1. I've been seeing the same thing in my daughter. When she's feeling overwhelmed or out of it, she'll just stick to herself for a while and come back recharged.

  8. I find that it helps both my sons and I if I say a quick reminder at the beginning of an episode that it's ok to have those feelings. We also try to put a name to them. Something like, "It looks like you're feeling angry. Is that right? It is ok to be angry, it's just not ok to hit." Then, when everything is calm again, we process what happened.


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