Children and Emotions

Distractions: at what cost?

To follow up with my post about telling a crying child “you’re okay”, I wanted to think about distractions. This is when we say to a crying child “oh here are some blocks let’s build” or “look at the birds outside” when we really know they are not in the mind set to play. We so badly want a child who is crying to stop and to be happy; distractions can be very tempting and can stop the crying quickly but at what cost?  “Changing the subject like this can give toddlers the idea that there’s something wrong with feeling upset. Instead, we can better help children by talking about their feelings and offering comfort when it’s needed” (Van der Zande 12). Even though the times when children are crying, feeling upset or anger can be difficult, it’s important that we support children through these emotions. It is in these experiences that we build a stronger relationship with the child. “Distractions […] take away from important valuable experiences and interactions between you and the babies” (Kovach & Da Ros-Voseles 14). Do we really want to miss out on these valuable experiences?

 

Resources:

Kovach, Beverly, and Denise DaRos-Voseles. Being with babies: understanding and responding to the infants in your care. Lewsville: Gryphon House, 2008. Print.

Van der Zande, Irene. 1, 2, 3…The toddler years: a practical guide for parents & caregivers. 3rd ed. Santa Cruz, CA: Santa Cruz Toddler Care Center, 2011. Print.

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