You and your teenage daughter just got into an argument because you told her she needed to wait before you ordered her a new brow pencil from Bowler Esthetics. It’s been incredibly challenging to understand or offer support for your teen, and you feel like there’s more you can do. She seems to be emotionally all over the place lately.
That’s why we’re offering 4 ways to be a more emotionally supportive parent.
Importance of Emotional Support
Emotional support is incredibly important to provide to your children for a variety of reasons. It helps them to foster self-awareness, compassion, and confidence. It also helps them to be able to cope with life events that come up such as loss, negative feelings, and relationships. One of the biggest impacts of emotional support on children, though, is that it allows them to accept themselves and their feelings. This will greatly impact their childhood until the end of their life.
Offer a Safe Space
Providing your children a safe space to open up with their thoughts and feelings is a great way to offer emotional support. You need your children to trust you in order to express their deepest fears and wishes with you. By offering a safe space for your kids, you encourage them to be completely transparent with you, so that you can offer any emotional assistance you can.
Practice Compassionate Listening
In order to be an emotionally supportive parent, you have to master the art of compassionate listening. This means that you hear your children and you listen to absorb what they’re telling you – not simply listening to respond. When you compassionately listen to your children, they feel more accepted and understood which is crucial to helping them feel comfortable with their feelings – even the negative ones.
Learn to Understand Their Perspective
When it comes to being emotionally supportive, it’s paramount that you’re able to step into their shoes. This is a practice of empathy, which helps you to greater understand what they’re going through. Without understanding your child’s perspective, you aren’t able to provide the help or guidance that they need most. Learning to understand their perspective also helps you to get a deeper understanding of who your child is.
Encourage Them to Express Their Feelings
Mental health disorders are incredibly prevalent among children, teenagers, and adults. In fact, data shows that “behavioral health disorders are now the number one cause of disability worldwide, surpassing all other illnesses.” One of the main causes of mental issues is that people aren’t able to regulate their feelings. This is why it’s crucial that you always encourage your children to express their feelings. Even if they don’t feel comfortable conveying everything to you, you can always suggest a journal or another method that brings awareness and acceptance to how they feel.
Having strong emotional support is incredibly important to a child’s development and growth. It can be challenging to offer support to your child, but it’s vital that you take all the steps that you can in order to be there for them. If you find that your child is still struggling, it’s always a good idea to have them consult with a mental health professional. If you feel you’re ready for the responsibility of raising a child, you may consider working with a child adoption agency.