Teach Your Ninja About Feelings – Don’t Tell Them
Good afternoon everybody. I wanted to talk to you today about communication and how you speak with, and to, your ninja. I have noticed the last couple of weeks that a lot of times, parents tell their kids what (and how) to feel, and they are missing a major step in the process.
Just think about the last time you were sad, upset or angry, and somebody looked at you and said,
“Don’t be mad”.
It didn’t really do anything It didn’t help at all. What you want to start thinking about is how to bridge that gap. We don’t want our ninja to feel upset, we don’t want them to feel angry, we don’t want them to feel sad. But let’s help them get to that stage of being able to do that on their own. For example, if your ninja is scared about school starting up in about three or four weeks. Maybe your ninja is a little bit nervous or stressed out about attending school this year. Instead of saying, “Well, don’t be scared.” and just sending them off to school. How about changing the question?
“Why are you scared? What are you nervous about? What are you upset about? What are you angry about?”
Open up a dialogue with your ninja. Have a conversation with them to figure out and get to the base, or the root of what is bothering them. Once you know that, now you are able to start figuring out and working on how to solve that problem.
“What is it about school that you are nervous about?”
“I’m afraid that I’m not going make friends this year.”
“Okay, well, let’s work on some drills or some skills that we can develop in order so that you do make friends.”
Now what you have done is you have given them the tools to be successful. Instead of just telling them that they shouldn’t feel that way. The other aspect is, whenever you tell somebody not to feel that way, what you are saying is, you are wrong for feeling like that. And feelings are feelings. We are never wrong for feeling any way that we feel. That is how we feel. If you do something, and it makes me upset. It makes me upset. If it makes me angry, it makes me angry. So let’s deal with the emotion and work with our ninjas on how to get through it so that they are better able to handle them as they grow older.
As an adult, how many adults do you see that still have meltdowns or temper tantrums? My mom was volunteers at Royal Oak Beaumont Hospital. She was telling me a story a couple weeks ago that she accidentally cut somebody off for a parking spot and the guy literally got out of the car and started screaming at my mother. My mom is 77 years old. It was a mistake. But people are just so short fused and too quick tempered, They don’t know how to deal with these emotions because nobody has helped them. So let’s make sure we help out our ninjas so they don’t become people like that.
By the way, if I would have been there, there would have been a real lesson taking place. We don’t want to have those type of situations and issues. Give your ninja the tool:
don’t tell them how to feel.
Don’t tell them that their feelings are wrong, either directly or indirectly by what you say. Instead, let’s work through it. Why do you feel that way? And let’s see if we can solve it.
Hopefully that helped out. As always, if you found this useful, please feel free to share it with other groups and other parents.