Sadness is a basic emotion just like joy, anger, or fear. Being sad fulfills an adaptive and necessary function for emotional balance. In fact, if we know how to handle it well, this emotion helps us overcome many of the problems that appear throughout life.
The function of sadness is to motivate us to ask for help in moments of pessimism or loneliness, and to reflect on the situation experienced and that pushes us towards a new personal integration in order to overcome this 'scenario'. The problem is that in the society we live in, sadness is an emotion that is frowned upon and that as soon as it appears it is tried to suppress creating serious consequences in those who suffer it; whether they are adults or even children. If it is not suppressing it, what we can do is help the child to combat sadness.
Sadness can manifest itself in children in a similar way as in adults without exception, other times this emotion can appear in a more subtle way. Either way, the child may experience sudden changes in behavior and parents have to be attentive to how the child acts.
The child may feel apathetic, down, cry about everything, he just wants to sleep, not want to eat, talk little when he is a child who likes to do it…. Or on the contrary, we can see that he is anxious, cannot sleep or sleeps poorly and overeats.
Children can feel sad due to various events such as: a move, a change of school, a long trip of one of the parents, the death of their pet, etc. Parents do not like to see their children sad, or go through these kinds of situations. Therefore, they try to avoid feeling this way instead of looking for an effective way to talk about sadness and be able to help them.
Other times, when it is not possible to prevent the child from feeling this way, parents tend to make other mistakes such as: downplaying the situation, scolding or punishing them.
Therefore, minimizing the importance of when children feel sad cannot help them, quite the contrary. What is achieved is to push children to silence, not to trust their parents and to 'walk away'.
Sadness is a human emotion and feeling, and as such, it is neither good nor bad. There are many, and diverse, situations that can lead children to feel sad. It is an inevitable situation and does not require medical consultation. However, there are cases of sadness that you have to pay a little more attention and intervene if it is the case.
- When the sadness that your child feels and that seemed momentary, extends too much.
- When the child usually cries at all hours and for anything.
- When the child complains that everything he does is wrong or wrong.
- When the child loses interest in playing even with other children.
- When the child becomes inappetent and refuses to eat because he is never hungry.
- When the child moves a lot in his bed at night, because he cannot fall asleep.
It is important for parents to help their children understand what you are feeling. That they learn to recognize the moods they suffer and know how to express them in words. For this, it is important that:
1 - Don't be afraid to admit sadness
Being sad is a state of mind like others. The child should be explained that despite being an emotion that we do not like, it is normal to feel this way and that we all suffer from this feeling at times when we lose something, feel alone or rejected.
2 - Parents do not hide their sadness
Children learn from the example and emotional expressions of their parents. Therefore, to help the child fight sadness, it is important that parents explain why they feel sad so that they have examples of experiences when they are the ones who feel this way.
3 - Help the child to identify his feelings
Children are often confused and express themselves aggressively by pushing or hitting. Sadness often goes hand in hand with anger and frustration. Parents should talk to children to help them identify this feeling, leaving room for them if they need it. Help them vent but teaching them to do it with respect.
4 - Listen
It is important that you feel heard and that you know that you have a space and time to explain how you feel.
5 - Teach not to hide your emotions
Whatever emotion the child feels is important and must be taught to express them.
6 - Use hugs
They help the child feel good in addition to reducing stress and increasing self-esteem.
7 - Make a list of the good things you have
It will help the child to see all the good things around him to combat his pessimism.
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