How do I help my child when she is feeling sad and low?

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Its amazing how quickly we run to rescue our child, whether it be a physical injury or an emotional trauma. Any mother who sees her child crying after he/she has fallen or hurt himself/herself finds her own eyes well up in tears. As a mother when my children have been bruised or hurt I have felt my heart skip a beat and I have felt their pain.

This is the bond that we are blessed to share with our child of unconditional love and where every parent has only one wish – may my child never get hurt. However, when it comes to your child’s emotional lows your own helplessness intensifies even more. Because on many occasions your child cannot express clearly what is hurting him or he does not want to share it with you. Whatever be the case parents tend to rush into trying to make their child ‘forget’ the sadness and ‘be happy.’

A mother recently wrote to me sharing her complete helplessness in not being able to help her child when her child was feeling sad and low.

1) Feeling sad, disappointed, unhappy, hurt, low, down are all NORMAL emotions. It is absolutely OK if your child feels any of these emotions.

2) Just like the sun comes up and we enjoy the daylight…then when it goes down and we are in darkness we look forward to the daylight. Allow yourchild to experience the ‘darkness’ so that he is able to enjoy the light.Darkness is normal, your child will get through this to emerge in the light.

3) Just the way your child learned to walk by experiencing little bumps along the way; all the negative experiences in life will teach him/her ways to face the challenges of life. These little struggles in your child‘s life will helphim to build resilience skills.

Your child will learn strategies from the times of disappointment, hurt or sadness to become well equipped to face similar situations. He/she is growing as person when he/she comes through a challenging time.

4) As parents continue to maintain a sense of normalcy around routine like homework, meals, going out etc. even when your child is feeling sad orlow. Firstly it will help him to focus on things that need to be done and secondly it will also teach him to focus on the positives around him instead offeeling sorry about himself.

5) Continue to be the happy parent that you are without getting sucked into your child‘s emotional ‘down.’ Be a supportive and caring parent providing moral support and a listening ear while managing your own emotions. Yourchild looks to you for how he must manage his emotions.

WARNING: In case your child is exhibiting a long period of feeling low or sadthen I would suggest you contact a professional like me who deals specifically with pre-teens, teens and parents.