Supporting Ourselves to Listen to Feelings


When our children have big feelings to share, it is difficult for us to learn how to listen. Here are some ways to help you stay calm, loving and grounded so that they feel safe to express their emotions with us and know we are there with them, listening, supporting and loving them. 

We use words to give them the feeling of safety and connection. "I hear how upset you are sweetheart, and I am right here and listening". "I will stay with you until you feel better." "Tell me more". "Oh that sounds so hard for you". We get down to their level and make eye contact, touch them and use a loving tone of voice. And then we just listen. 

To keep ourselves feeling loving and empathic we can pause and deliberately focus on our thoughts, needs and feelings So we might take a breath and then remind ourselves that they are just letting out accumulated feelings, that they need our loving support so that they can feel better afterwards, that it is accumulated feelings that are causing them to behave like this, we look underneath the behaviour and not take it personally, we remind ourselves that the more of this we do, the less feelings will be there causing them to behave in ways we don't enjoy. 

We can also find small ways to meet our needs in the moment too - this again might be taking some breaths, putting our hand on our heart and giving ourselves compassion and appreciation, feeling the ground under our feet, supporting us, imagining a friend or LP or instructor standing with you, supporting and encouraging you. Maybe we bring a glass of water into the room with us, or some cushions or our favourite wrap so that we feel comfortable while we are listening. 

We can listen to and support our feelings whilst listening to our children - taking a moment to check in with ourselves - how are you feeling in the moment? Giving ourselves some loving listening  - "Wow this is so hard and I feel really hurt right now". It might also be reassuring our younger parts that we are safe, that you are there and listening to them too or imagining our younger parts receiving the words that you are offering your children. We can remind ourselves that we will send a message to our LP after the listening to offload or share in a Facebook group how tough it was listening to big feelings for 30 minutes. 

And we also offer ourselves lots of compassion for the times we just can't stay loving and listening or have to suppress their feelings or end up resorting to shouting and harshness. We remind ourselves that the feelings will come up another time when we do have capacity to listen and we remind ourselves that we can always rewind and reconnect and try again. We reach our for support and reassure ourselves that our kids will see that we will keep trying to support them more lovingly. 

Sending love and appreciation to you all for every time you are able to listen and support yourself and your children with loving support. 

Your parenting coach and mentor

About Joss Goulden

I am a trauma-informed Parenting Coach and a Level 2 Aware Parenting instructor, certified with the Aware Parenting Institute. I have been practising Aware Parenting for 17 years and am the mother of 2 children, aged 19 and 17.

I am also passionate about Homeschooling and Natural Learning. I have homeschooled my 2 children and I have been supporting families with Homeschooling and Natural Learning for many years.

Aware Parenting with Joss

I am so passionate about sharing this beautiful approach with parents. I believe that Aware Parenting is THE solution for so many of the challenges facing the world. - Joss Goulden, Aware Parenting Instructor
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