It’s so tempting to try and hide any negative feelings or experiences we’re having from our daughters – we don’t want them to worry, and we want to be tough, and we so badly want to be as strong and perfect as possible for them!! But, let’s be honest, they can usually tell when something’s up, and not knowing makes them worry MORE. Also, when we don’t share any negative experiences or feelings we’re having, we don’t model how to handle and express them. This is a huge missed opportunity! So this is what we want to talk about today.
Why you should share your hard things with your daughter
- They worry more when we don’t share but they can sense it
- It models for her that it’s healthy and good to share all emotions in a healthy way
- It gives her the chance to show and feel compassion
- It helps creates trust and helps engender confidence – both in herself and in your relationship
How to share your hard things without adding worry to your daughter
- You don’t need to share details (in fact, there are some details you shouldn’t share!)
- Instead, share what you are feeling
How to let your daughter help you (in a healthy way)
- 3 Simple Steps
- 1. Talk with her about how you need her help when you’re struggling (do this ahead of time). Ask if she’s willing.
- Give her specific, reasonable ways to help you.
- Thank her – even if she didn’t do things perfectly. Thank her even for her willingness. Do not be critical
- Tell her you want to be there for her too.
- John Lamie, Should You Hide Your Negative Emotions from Your Children?, The Conversation, https://theconversation.com/should-you-hide-negative-emotions-from-children-104710
- Bonnie M. Le and Emily A. Impett, The Costs of Suppressing Negative Emotions and Amplifying Positive Emotions During Parental Caregiving, Sage Journal, https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/0146167216629122
- Carl E. Pickhardt, Ph D, Communicating About Emotion Between Adolescent and Parents, Psychology Today, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/surviving-your-childs-adolescence/201705/communicating-about-emotion-between-parent-and