I sat in the reception area of a school waiting to read my book-in-progress to three classes of 8-year-olds.
I watched these cute, tiny beings interact with one another with great interest; despite being only knee-high to a grasshopper, you could see the whispers of the emotions going on inside them, which may one day become a part of their adult self, either a force for good or a source of pain.
Just as we teach our children how to use matches safely or how to cross roads, I am a strong believer in teaching them how to manage their emotions. These emotions are equivalent to the engine of our destiny – destructive relationships, chronic illnesses, unfulfilled lives – and plays such a huge tole in choices we make, paths we take and beliefs we hold dear.
So it was a productive day at the school, I really believe, to get a group of 8-year-olds talking about the things that anger or frighten or hurt them, and to make them recognise that there is no shame in feeling those “negative” feelings. They are natural!
And if grown women were told too that the broken little girls within them are safe to come out and be comforted, there would be less pain all around.
If you shine light on anger, resentment and hurt, and work through those blocks with compassion and kindness, they cease to be troublesome. And then you are free to move on to a better place where all the Angry Monsters sleep contentedly (as I told these delightful 8-year-olds whom I read to).
SYLLABUS FOR HEALTHY EMOTIONAL GROWTH: THE 5 STAGES
- Teach children to be aware of their emotions.
- Teach children to be aware of others’ emotions.
- From 2, cultivate empathy.
- Develop strategies to cope with emotional upsets.
- Moat of all, assure children that emotions are natural.
The book-to-be’s website: www.ViggosWorld.me