If you have a good friend, especially one that has been around for a long time, that is a very special feeling and privilege. For some they may have a friend that they had from some of their schooling days – whether it is primary or college days. As the one saying goes “To have a good friend, you must be a good friend.” So we want our children to develop those sort of friendships that last a long time. In fact it is with those sort of friendships that middle and high school are going to be easier to
Depending on the age of the child, understanding the feelings of others may be difficult, if only due to developmental reasons. A five year old has one emotional ability and a 12 year old another. One thing though that does happen is that when they are angry no matter there age or training – they will be blinded to someone else’s feelings.
Developing this empathy will help them to understand that all of us have feelings and just as we react to how others treat us, we too can react to how others feel. Some children though who have had painful lives, may defend themselves by shutting down their sensitivity to others. Or they may use intimidation and fear as a part of their defense.
As I speak to children about different scenarios that they could see themselves in I continually hear the same one word answers, good, bad, mad. These are the labels that many children know and understand. So when asked about different situations they will use these as their answers many times. Yet we know that anger does not exist in a vacuum. There is always another emotion at work when there is an outburst. We recognize that in ourselves too.
We have all seen the child or the adult that sees others as the cause of their anger. Someone, or something provokes them, and their anger is the “reasonable response”, from their point of view. Its not their fault if they loss their temper because… This is a way of sidestepping the responsibility for their feelings and reactions and the damage that they may cause.
When it comes to solving the situation that faces us, we know that using our words in effective ways is key to calming down any of our responses. We have learned from others that expressing our feelings and why we feel that way to the other person is the first step. We will want to use “I” messages, no matter what age they are. None of us want to hear someone blame us for something or tell us don’t do this or that. It does not matter if we are a youngster or an adult. What touches us is when