Transitions & Acknowledging Feelings

September 10, 2018, Shirley Blake

Like all humans, I have feelings. Haha, that sounds funny but since becoming a mom, feelings have become more powerful. This may be due to the steadfast love for my children and the deep care for them. In a family, positive or negative feelings of an individual affect others. Some people naturally get nervous with change or newness while others love change and handle it well. Going back-to-school brings out many feelings, and sometimes it is negative feelings if you had unpleasant past experiences.

As a child, I enjoyed going to school. I love learning! I am the third-born child in my family, so I grew up watching my siblings go to school. When my time came, I was ready! Last year, my son entered a new school, and with the combination of his personality and being the first-born, he was nervous. This year, however, Karson is very excited! He enjoys going to school to see his friends, and a smile and a good morning greeting from his teacher certainly helps reduce any nerves. I am thankful for the luxury to be able to walk my child in per his request. I will happily walk him in as long as he asks me too.

I think Karson was partly nervous the first time because I was also nervous. As a parent, we have a very important role in “setting the tone.” Babies recognize emotions as little as three months of age! It’s amazing and powerful, so our parent vibes have a solid impact on our children. If I am away from my children and about to see them, I think about intentionally greeting them in a positive way with eye contact, a smile, and a hug. I have been more mindful of the mood and energy I give off to my children. I continuously give myself pep talks, and they definitely help to set a good tone with my children. If your child is nervous, it is good to ask them why they are feeling that way, and see if there is any way you can help. Validating feelings is essential for healthy social-emotional development, and it starts early.

When I feel sad, Karson seems curious about my feelings. I definitely talk about my feelings, and I let him know it’s okay to be sad sometimes. I explain that feelings sometimes take time to process, and it is good to practice thinking of happy and good thoughts. In the past, I would often dismiss or not think about feelings because it was “easier.” I do not consider that healthy. My son Karson and his curiosity as to why I do certain things have certainly influenced me to think about my feelings more in-depth. He is not afraid to ask me any questions. Because he asks me questions, I have the opportunity to learn how to think about my feelings, which helps me show Karson how to respectfully talk about feelings and problem-solve.

Mom-guilt is a frequent feeling I have. There was a recent time when I got my days mixed up and caused childcare drop-off for Samuel to be delayed. This put school drop-off for Karson a little passed schedule too. After suggesting to Karson that it may be easier to drop him off in front of the school instead of walk him into his classroom due to lost time, he started to worry. He thought he was going to get a tardy slip and be in trouble. I assured him that it was due to my confusion, and I would walk him in and explain the situation to his teacher, if necessary. With understanding and honesty, he felt that I respected his feelings, and he was forgiving in return.

In reality, we are just human, and it is not realistic to be 100% happy 24/7. Wouldn’t that be awesome, maybe? I am not perfect, and I gracefully own it. There are some things that we cannot change or that are out of our control, but there are also things that we can work on. I try to be conscious of my attitude, that I have the power to remind myself that I am trying my best, and to be very thankful for the good things in my life. Remember, as a kid, I loved to learn and was open to new ideas and information. I try to remind myself of those things and stay true to who I am.

I invite you to contribute your thoughts and feelings by commenting on my Facebook blog post.