Emotional Time Bomb: Why Hiding Emotions is not a Great Idea?

When children fail to cope with their emotions, it is parents’ responsibility to help them overcome the issue. They have to listen, explain what the feeling is and help the child express it. However, often adults allow their children to show only positive emotions. Today we will talk about the things parents sometimes paying insufficient attention to.

It is a proven fact that positive thinking helps cope with anxiety and stress better. Yet it may become a devastating if we try to suppress our true emotions in order to stay positive or force other people to do so.

When bad things happen to us, we cannot just turn off our emotions, as they are relevant reactions of our body. Emotions have not only a psychological component but also a physiological one.

For instance, anger is one of those emotions that has a strong physiological component. If someone pushes us sharply or makes a loud sound, the body releases adrenaline, and that is what makes us feel anger. We cannot control the emergence of our emotions, but we have control over the form in which we express them.

Therefore, teaching children to stay positive despite everything and not feel any different emotions is like teaching them not to feel hungry: it is simply unrealistic.

We all deal with unpleasant situations in different ways, but it is important to know the full range of emotions that arise. Then, when we comprehend the problem, we can try to look at it from different angles. It is a kind of speaking and acting from experience. Although, this can only work in certain situations. If it does not work for your child and only causes more tension, you do not need to look for any positive aspects in the negative situation. Sadness, anger and other emotions that are called ‘negative’ are actually quite positive, because they exist to help us go through different life situations.

Feeling joy, amazement, and comfort is wonderful. But what may happen if we forbid the child to feel and show disgust, anger, sadness, or fear?

● At the very least, there is a risk of burying any children's emotions. Kids who are prohibited to grieve often grow up to be adults who cannot cry and cannot even rejoice.

● Prohibition of negative emotions instills self-doubt. Whether you forbid your little ones to feel angry, they will feel it anyway. However, in this case the child will think that it is wrong and that his/her emotions have no weight and are not justified. Each time your child will doubt their decisions.

● Emotions that are forbidden today will always find their way out tomorrow. Feelings do not disappear without a trace. They get hidden deep inside and for a very, very long time affect all the spheres of our lives. Suppressed feelings can manifest as psychosomatic illnesses, develop into emotional hypersensitivity, or cause depression.

● Apart from that, this way you also hide your child's creative tendencies. Creativity can manifest only in an atmosphere of emotional freedom. Expressing yourself without fear of punishment or condemnation is the only way to be yourself.

Often ‘negative’ emotions get forbidden by those parents who consider them a manifestation of weakness. But you should remember that only strong people are free to talk about their fears and sorrows. I wish you all the freedom of feelings and freedom of their manifestation!

With love, Elizabeth Cole