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EMOTIONS, EMOTIONS, EMOTIONS - Why it's important that our young girls feel and manage them.......

Updated: Jun 17



As developed adults living adult lives, there are times we spiral out of emotional control and re-enter our younger selves which may range from tantrums and hysterics to isolation and overthinking. Both life and people throw things at us that we’re expected to deal with in whatever way feels right, but what happens when we don’t?

Have you ever screamed curse words at someone when offended? How about if you’ve ever been so fearful of crying in public, you waited until you got home to take it out on yourself in private? Perhaps there was a time you witnessed someone receive amazing news, but instead of congratulating them, you became resentful.

Let’s consider something else.


Maybe there was a time someone broke down in tears in front of you, and you tried to convince them to stop crying. Perhaps there was a time someone told you they were feeling one way, but you tried to convince them to feel something else because that made more sense to you. Or maybe there was a time you saw something funny, but because someone else did not, you became offended.

In those scenarios alone we covered fear, anger, jealousy, control, insecurity, sadness, love, humour, and joy. Now, I want you to imagine having the underdeveloped brain of a young, pre-hormonal girl who not only feels all those feelings (and probably more) but isn’t able to understand or articulate them. Or, when she does, they’re performed as…


  • Tantrums

  • Slamming doors

  • Stealing

  • Hiding things from you

  • Lying

  • Not eating/eating too much

  • Hysterical outbursts

  • Hysterical muteness

These reactions may sound simple and predictable, but there is a high possibility they’re only the surface. In understanding this, we’re building emotional awareness that’ll develop our emotional intelligence. And in having emotional intelligence, we’re not only learning how to understand and help manage our young girl's emotions, but our own.

Jamie Logie, journalist at Medium, says ‘Emotional awareness is about being more conscious of how you feel, and the feelings of others. It helps us address relationship problems with better insight, patience, and problem-solving. Emotional intelligence also helps you learn how to control your emotions instead of lashing out.’


With this, here’s what can happen if we don’t have emotional intelligence.

  • Physical health (risen blood pressure, weakened immune system, hormonal imbalance)

  • Mental health (overbearing thoughts/paranoia, easy access to depression or anxiety, loneliness and isolation because of depression and anxiety)

  • Performance (easily overwhelmed and unable to perform or complete tasks, unable to process internally so unable to function externally)

  • Social skills (unable to connect/interact with people, can blur discretion and discernment, lack of empathy which will turn people off & further isolate them)

These are only a few ways suppressing emotion can affect us and look how terrible they are!

OK. Where can I begin?

Well, now that we know the importance of being emotionally available and what happens when we aren’t, it will be easier to execute and be consistent with change because we’re aware of the bad side effects if we don’t.

So, here are some prompts you can challenge yourself with (as the adult), and things/activities you can do with her.


PROMPTS for you


This can be in the form of journaling, discussing with friends, reciting to yourself in the mirror—whatever it takes for you to get stuck in.

  • What is an emotion I often feel?

  • What is an emotion I rarely feel?

  • When in public, do I usually show/tell my true feelings? Yes – why? No – why?

  • When in public, do I create a persona/another version of myself? Yes – who is this person? Why do I step into that character? What stops me from showing my true self? No – why?

  • When in private, do I allow myself to feel my real feelings? No – what is stopping me from doing this? Am I afraid to see that part of myself? Am I ashamed of that part of myself? Yes – why?


TASKS for you & her

These are things you can also take into your own hands and do in any way that best suits you. It’s you and your young girl. There’s no pressure as long as you’re trying!


MOOD REGULATOR CHART


What do I do?

Grab a piece of paper/whiteboard/journal, and draw up a table with the days of the week, the time periods (AM/PM), and have your young girl check in everyday with her feels. You can make it fun by buying smiley face stickers or badges, or you can keep it simple and have her draw the face with a marker.

At the end of the day, check in with her about the emotions she’s felt that day. If you don’t have time to do this every day, maybe put a little note section at the bottom of each day where she can jot down a few words about why she is feeling that emotion. <– this also provides her with independence and a level of agency over her feelings and expression, creating healthy self-esteem.


Why am I doing it?

This activity will get her into the behaviour of acknowledging how she feels and why she feels this way. By using emojis, princess stickers, Marvel badges or whatever she loves will provide a sense of familiarity, making her want to get involved because she’s literally part-taking in something she enjoys.


THE MIRROR GAME


What do I do?

Find a mirror, two pieces of paper, a pen, and a bowl. Find a quiet place for you and your young girl to sit with no technology if possible. Keep one paper for a scoreboard, and the other to tear into pieces. Write down as many emotions as you can think of on the torn pieces of paper, fold them so the writing is hidden, and put them into a bowl. Give the bowl a shake, grab your mirror, scoreboard, and let the game begin.

If you pull the emotion, your young girl must create that emotion in her reflection. If you guess it right, she gets a point. If you guess it wrong, you get a point.

If she pulls the emotion, you must create that emotion in your reflection. If she gets it wrong, you get a point. If she gets it right, she gets a point.


Why am I doing it?

It may sound unfair that your young girl will most likely beat you at this game because of the nature of how points are gained, but it isn’t without reason. This game gives your young girl positive reinforcement while enhancing her self-awareness. (She’s studying herself as she creates versions of herself in the mirror lol)


Should your young girl successfully act out the emotion, it shows she both understands that emotion and knows how to perform it. If she doesn’t know what an emotion is or how to perform it, this reveals what you guys may need to work on bringing awareness to, making this is a different kind of win. Think: Why doesn’t she know what this emotion means? Has she been shielded from it? Has she only seen unacceptable/misplaced versions of it? Extra points if she can give examples of where that emotion is and isn't acceptable.



P.s. This game could also reveal whether she’s a little too good at slipping in and out of various emotions hinting at Oscar’s and Academy Awards in her future!


Thank you for taking the time to read my words! I hope they were helpful to you in some way! If you enjoyed this post, feel free to let Danielle know in the comment section. If you would like to request my creative writing services, feel free to contact me directly!

 



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