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It’s ok to show emotions

Everyone gets sad, it’s just a part of life in this broken world. So often, we find ourselves trying to protect our children from the pain of the world around us. Sometimes we go to another room to cry or take a walk leaving our kids to wonder what is happening. Kids can sense our emotions more than we realize and we need to honor and respect those. We want to help create emotional safety so they are able to express their feelings and not learn that they should hide from it.

Maybe I am seeing this as very relevant these days because my daughter is getting older, but I feel that allowing emotions at an earlier age is healthy and beneficial. This will help teach them how to channel these feelings and be able to talk about them without feeling like it should be hidden.

I made this observation late last year when we lost a friend of the family. I was trying to be stoic and let my daughter know what happened, but the emotions came flowing out and I was a teary mess with a kid looking at me with sincere concern. It was at this point that it hit me; kids need to see their parents cry and be in their sadness, so they have a role model of how to process the hurts. After I collected myself, and I got a giant hug, I found myself wanting to apologize for crying but it was a genuine moment of grief. She saw that I was able to release the tears, take a deep breathe, talk it out and pray for all those that were hurting over the loss of our friend.

When you see your child in sadness, know that they have these emotions that they aren’t sure how to process. Let yourself be in that moment with them and help them talk through their hurts. This not only builds trust but also a healthy way to work through their emotions.

Next time you find yourself in need of working through your own emotions, let your kids know that you are feeling down but you will be ok. Everyone has tears of sadness from time to time, even Jesus wept. Knowing that we should be taking our cues from the Bible, if He can weep, then we should be able to, as well.

Jennifer Norton
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