- Mom! There’s anger that wants to come out... I think I need to wrestle!
- Sure, lets wrestle.
- You know, it’s funny mom, even if I’m not angry with YOU, it helps to wrestle you when I’m angry.
- Oh yeah? How does it help?
- It just feels better.
- I love to hear that it feels better for you after we wrestle. How does it feel in your body?
- Hm...I feel free!
- Wow! That’s such an amazing feeling, right?
- Yes! Like I let out all the old feelings so I can feel all new feelings now.
When children express anger it’s not because they want to hurt or disobey you, it’s simply because there’s anger that needs to move through their bodies.
Emotions are just energy in motion, energy that wants to move through our body to release blockages that are in the way of life energy moving freely through us.
Children need our help to move this energy in a way that does not hurt them or anyone around them, as they do not yet have the impulse control or capacity to do this by themselves.
Letting them move anger in connection with us is a beautiful way to welcome their natural expression, so they don’t have to hide or suppress it.
They will suppress their natural expression if we shame or punish them for it, telling them to be quiet or stop it. This leads to them shutting down parts of themselves that they don’t feel are welcomed.
Anger is part of children’s natural expression and underneath anger lies our power. So if we never get to express anger as children we will have a hard time accessing our power later in life. We need to be able access our power to set boundaries and express our needs, so that we don’t end up in dysfunctional relationships and dangerous situations in life.
Me and my daughter started practicing moving anger when she was 3 years old. I would invite her to wrestle through pretending to be an animal, when I noticed a build up of emotions starting to come out in a destructive way. Today she asks for a wrestle herself when she notices the build up in her body.
This playful wrestling is such a beautiful way to ease the charge between us and go into connection when there is a conflict. I often let her decide what animals we embody and then she gets to push against me and scream, to really access her power. After a while I let her defeat me, when I notice the charge has moved through.
When anger comes up in a child towards their caregiver, it’s often because they need to regain a sense of control. Imagine for a moment being a child and having that little control over your life and everything in it, it’s quite frustrating, right?
Giving your child the sense of control every now and then and even letting them playfully defeat you, is a way to ease their frustration. It’s also deepening your connection by you attuning to and meeting the need underneath the frustration, instead of shutting it down.
We will talk more about the message of different emotions and how you can support your child to love them through in the upcoming #somaticparenting online immersion that starts on Sunday —> link on my websites!
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