Should Children Be Allowed To Express Themselves And Not Get Told Off??

Written whilst on holiday six weeks ago.

As I write I am sitting in the viewing area of the pool at Butlins, Minehead. I can’t swim today as I am pacing. I need to pull back to enable me to continue to be out and about with my family for the rest of the day. I’ve been vlogging throughout our time here, which has caused deep muscle pain in my right hand. It’s very painful to write and my handwriting is a mess!

I decided a few days ago to add a section on observations and personal experiences. I have many situations to share, which others may find interesting to read.

Anyway, this is the first post of this type. The following happened on the first evening of our holiday in September.

I left the supermarket in the Skyline to wait outside whilst Chris paid. A family were near the entrance of the shop. The Mum was kneeling down in front of a young child in a buggy. Next to her was a girl of five or six and a slightly older man, who I assumed was the children’s granddad. The man was spinning the girl around with his hands on her shoulders . My first thought was how lovely that extended family were spending time together on holiday and how kind of the man to be interacting with the girl. The girl soon started crying, not surprisingly, I thought at the end of a busy day. She must have been very tired after travelling, plus the excitement of going on holiday. The man stopped spinning her around.

I was surprised when he started again. This time his hands were visibly pulling her shoulders backwards to the point that it looked uncomfortable, if not painful. She asked him nicely to stop, but he ignored her. He carried on spinning her, whilst she continued to ask him to stop, because she didn’t like it. I was astonished by what happened next.

The girl was told off by her Mum, as she said the girl’s name in a very sharp tone. The girl continued to express how she was feeling. After a little while of this the man walked her away to one of the pillars. He turned her around to face it, telling her to stay there. I was so angry I walked away. I could not believe what I  had seen.

Why was I angry!? Clearly the child was not respecting her elders by carrying on misbehaving after having already been spoken to by her Mum. Children should respect their elders above all else. Is this correct?

No!

  • Respect should be earned. How will children learn to respect others when they themselves are not shown any. Children learn much more by observing the behaviour of adults, than being told how to behave by them.
  • Children should NEVER EVER be told off for expressing how they feel about something. How will they maintain security and self-esteem if they are told off each time they express their feelings? They need to learn it is okay to cry. It is alright to feel differently to others about anything. None of us know what our children’s challenges will be through their life. It is so important to teach them to become grounded and balanced as children, by being able to speak about their feelings. This will help them process feelings and emotions as adults and help them to move through them, towards a better place in themselves. A child is not naughty by having different values (and beliefs) from their parents. It would be helpful for parents to encourage self-expression, even if this challenges themselves.

I have always thanked my children for expressing their feelings. I hope it will give them the confidence about doing so and make it easier for them the next time.  Then maybe by the time they are adults it will be second nature. Ultimately I would like them to take full responsibility for how they feel without blaming others. For example Taylor Swifts song ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ No, no no! Nobody makes us do anything. We do everything we do because we choose to do it.  Just by allowing our children to express how they feel now is a big leap forward in them taking responsibility for their feelings and actions through their lives.

(This post is my own opinion).

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