害怕的權利 The right to be afraid
My son F is an observing child. He is not timid, but he is afraid of conflicts, children with fast movements, or places that make him uncomfortable. When F was very little and felt scared, he cried differently; And as F grew, he chose to run away when he felt fearful. Now his language skills are gradually becoming more robust; he will tell adults: This makes me uncomfortable; And if he can not escape from the uncomfortable points, he will cover his ears or protect his eyes.
For a long time, I feel that I am doing an excellent job to help my children deal with emotions. Last week, I took F to a creative painting class. Some small episodes made me reflect: did I do an excellent job? or even did I pass?
On Sunday, my friend and I arranged a "creative drawing lesson" for our children. I like this style of painting, and children can create freely within certain boundaries. In the beginning, F was pleased because there were his good friends, and the theme of the painting was "marine creatures." F likes all activities related to animals the most. For the first one hour, his performance was reasonably stable. After the first hour, the teacher introduced a "paint balloon session" (Note: Balloon filled with paint and needed to be cut, letting the paint splash on the canvas. For safety reasons, children are required to wear eye protection glasses during the session.), I did not anticipate that F's emotions would come out. I didn't expect that F would start to show fear because of the sound of cutting the balloon and bursting, and I did not intervene in time, and this fear caused other resistance. I walked to him, put my arms around him, and asked: "Are you afraid of sound?" He said yes, and then he said, "I want to go home." I explained to him that everyone is still drawing and the class is not over yet, so let's hold on to it for a little longer, shall we? He didn't refuse, but he didn't answer either, but he continued participating in ending the course.
I overlooked some other factors: the painting class is scheduled at 5 pm and lasts longer than I expected (almost two and half hours), and F's usually goes to bed around 7:30 in the evening; he was exhausted. He didn't wear enough clothes that day, his hands and body were very cold. His whole state is not good. He was also very sensitive to loud sounds, which triggered his emotional resistance.
After the course, I hurriedly took him home, ate, and took a quick shower to take off the paints. And then he went straight to bed. That night, he fell asleep quickly, and we didn't have time to sort out what happened that day. It's just that I didn't expect that night; his emotions were reflected in his dreams. He kept having nightmares and kept shouting. "I want to go home, and I don't want to paint anymore."
At that moment, I realized that I did not help him sort out his emotions, did not let him express his fear and anxiety, and this emotion ends up causing lousy sleep. At night, when I lay in bed and reflected, I can do better:
When he has the "fear" emotion, I should take it more seriously and intervene earlier. In addition to holding him, I can try to explain the sound to him and even play a "covering ears" game to distract him.
Give him two choices, allowing him to stay away from the stimulation point but complete the course.
If the condition is awful, take him away from the scene.
Before going to bed at night, we should still try our best to sort out the emotions.
Finally, try not to schedule any new activities before bed routine.
The next morning, we sat and had breakfast together. I knew that I need to help F sort out what happened yesterday and his emotions.
I asked F: About the painting class yesterday, were you happy or scared?
He replied: "Afraid."
Me: "Would you share with me; what were you afraid of yesterday?"
F: "I'm afraid of the sound of balloon piercing; I'm afraid of wearing glasses."
Me: "Oh, the sound of the balloon bursting and the feeling of wearing glasses make you feel uncomfortable. And you can't leave the scene, so you're scared, right?"
Me: "I see. Thank you for sharing. Fear is a normal emotion. It is your feeling. When you were afraid yesterday, you tried to cover your ears with your hands. I saw it. You did a good job of trying to protect yourself. And you are trying to make me aware. I was trying to hug you and help you not to be afraid. But it seems to be of no use to you. Sorry, I will try to do better next time."
F: "Hmm, ok."
Me: "Did you find any happy moments during the painting class yesterday?"
F: "Play with G. We choose the marine creatures together, and then we help them bathe, wash, and brush. It's fun."
Me: "It's great. Although you were afraid, you could still find some fun in this activity. Do you still want to join such a painting class next time?"
F: "Yes, and with G!"
Since that conversation, F has never had any nightmares related to painting, and when talking about painting class, he only mentioned happy scenes.
Everyone has the right to be happy, sad, and afraid. Throughout our lives, we will always deal with these emotions continuously. If we can allow sad and scared feelings, learn to handle our emotions, and find positive spots from those "negatively labeled" emotions, living a happy life may not be difficult to achieve.