One of the things our children teach us is that they experience the same emotions as we do, including frustration and disappointment, only they do not yet know how to manage them, and so depend on us for this knowledge.
It takes effort to learn to master these emotions, as we very well know as adults - provided we are focused on doing so - and for a lot of us it takes considerable time, but the comforting thought is that with every little effort we are putting on the task, just like with every little effort and adjustment we are putting on our business, we are one step closer to feeling comfortable with these emotions and to know how to handle them when it is called for.
It is the same thing for our children. The more we allow them the opportunity to practice and the more we allow them the time to learn how to manage such challenging emotions, the higher chances they have of doing so and of doing it well.
It is one way of helping them develop resilience and learn self-sufficiency - as after all, we do want them to be able to be independent in adulthood and be able to stand on their own two adult feet.
To help you be in a position to give your children time and to give them the focus and guidance they need when the time comes, the first thing to focus on is staying calm.
It is much easier said than done especially in the heat of the moment, and there are coaching strategies to help you develop this if there is need, but perhaps by hearing that staying calm for one's child helps the child to also stay calm, might make things easier.
Children learn by observing and unconsciously copying parents, so modelling the behaviour you would like them to learn goes a very long way.
Also the earlier children can develop the ability to stay calm, the sooner they will be able to recognise the benefits of doing so and they will have higher chances of seeking it in adulthood - calm being an emotional state which supports good mental health.
It will also help you safeguard your relationship with your child from entering unhelpful dynamics such as them believing that by increasing their experience of frustration and/or disappointment, they can get you to do their bidding, or have much more of your attention because they haven't figured out another way of asking for it.
But perhaps equally as important, it will function as a reminder that they are also human, they also struggle with it, as we all do, at all ages, and that the sooner we can find a way to be comfortable with these feelings the better able we will be to deal with the circumstances which are triggering these feelings in them, and guide them through that, too.
If you are finding it challenging to stay calm while you communicate with your child and would like to benefit from professional support, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Constantina Stamou is a certified Life & Relationship Coach, has trained with the Robbins-Madanes coaching school and Strategic Intervention, is an NLP Master Practitioner, has attended Tony Robbins’ Business Mastery, and has a PhD in how we change the way we put sentences together as we grow older. Her work experience includes university tutoring, charity research, and entrepreneurship which has so far translated into the TNT Dance Salsa Club in London, her Reformer Pilates Studio at Kensington Olympia, London, and The Lantern.