We live in a world where from a very young age, we are under the impression that being sad is not a good thing. In fact we are told to stop pouting and to not cry. I won’t lie, I have found myself to be one of those parents at many times, especially during those moments I am left to solo parent. Those moments when my husband is not around, that time where I was tired of the conflict, the pouting, and crying between the kids – I wasn’t graceful. What I didn’t realize at that time, is that instead of taking that moment to teach and explain why it is okay to feel that way, and how to cope with those feelings of sadness, anger or frustration – I was invalidating the way my children were currently feeling. #MomFail.
I beat myself up pretty bad coming to that realization, especially after watching the Disney movie Inside Out with my 3 and 9 year old.
I take the lead in both my personal and professional life on focusing on the positives and how we can encourage others, this doesn’t mean I don’t have my moments of sadness. Sadness goes way beyond the tears, I look back on what has come out of those moments, a smile and always a lesson. I want my children to do the same. I want them to understand that life comes with many forms of emotions. They are all okay to feel, and coming to the realization that perhaps sometimes these emotions may feel like they are spiraling out of control, is normal. I don’t want them to feel weak, I want them to be honest with how they feel. However if there is ever a moment where they can’t shake that sadness, it is always important to talk with someone who can help. We take mental health very serious in this house and would never dismiss something serious with it just being a normal feeling of sadness.
Why I Tell My Kids it’s Okay to Be Sad…
I have never painted a pretty picture of this world to my children. They know that this world was made for us and it is beautiful, we should embrace that. But they also know that not everything will come easy, you have to work hard and prepare yourself to go through many obstacles. That’s where those emotions come in.
I recently asked my son what has been the saddest moment of his life, his answer was when his great-grandparents passed away. I later asked him what happy moment he took away from those two sad moments, he responded with, “Knowing they are in Heaven with God.” The greatest lesson for him was knowing that it was okay to cry and feel sad. He didn’t feel the need to just be happy and pretend as if nothing had happened.
We can take those moments of sadness and remind ourselves that something positive will come out of it. You can grow, and from the sadness, really experience what true happiness is all about.
I challenge you to look back at a moment of sadness, can you find the smile after?