Professor Sam Wass, child psychologist, interviewed by The Mirror, returned to a sentence that all parents say to their children and which should however be better avoided.
Raising a child does not happen overnight. It’s a long process made up of trial and error, small victories and disappointments. Childhood and then adolescence are complex periods that each parent approaches according to their own principles of education and their experience. One thing is certain, we all make mistakes, and while some are harmless, others can have an impact on the future development of children.
Professor Sam Wass is a child psychologist, interviewed by The Mirror, he explained how certain parental behavior turned out to be totally counterproductive. The specialist says the worst thing you can do is tell your toddler not to feel his emotions, whether it’s sadness, anger or something else. A serious mistake according to Sam Wass.
Why You Shouldn’t Inhibit Your Child’s Emotions
He explains : “Inhibiting emotions doesn’t work, neither on adults nor on children, you can’t just tell someone to cancel an emotion.” Children’s brains are not yet mature enough to handle this information.
For example, it’s his first start of kindergarten, you drag your child to school. He is stressed, reluctant to dress, even cries. On the way, you say to him in a playful way: “it’s going to be ok, you’re going to have a good time, don’t be afraid”.“This is exactly what should not be done,” insists the specialist. As parents, we are tempted by this path, minimizing the events to reassure our child and it comes from a good feeling. “It’s nothing, you don’t hurt, it’s a tiny cut”, “all the children go to school alone, you only have to cross one street, stop stressing”.
The expert continues by detailing what is the right attitude to adopt. Instead of brushing his emotion aside, “instead, you should try to describe it and explain to your child in their own words that it’s completely natural to feel that way.” This contributes to the construction “of a metacognitive consciousness, the child becomes aware of what he feels”. Above all, he will feel like he is understood, and this will help him calm down, so you can then shift his attention to something else.