a little time.” I took a deep breath, whispered to her that I
would be waiting on a couch toward the end of the line, and
extended an invitation to please come see me after she made it
through the line. This small amount of time and space allowed
each of us to slightly settle our strong immediate emotional
responses to the situation.
Though this incident might seem small and relatively
insignificant from an adult viewpoint, it mattered greatly to my
daughter. It is always a challenge to stand by and respond in
healthy ways when our children face varying shades of
adversity. Some of us have a “go to” of dismissing or
disapproving of the feelings involved in such events and
somehow communicate to our children a “get over it, this is
not a big deal, you will be fine” message. Others of us tend to
want to shield and protect our children from such strong
feelings and tend to rush in and save our children from any and
all discomfort. To help our kids move toward healthy ways of
dealing with strong emotions requires something in the middle.
This was a great opportunity for me to step into the role of an
emotion coach. “Tell me how you feel. I understand that
feeling and have felt that way as well. Let’s figure out together
healthy ways to express your emotions and deal with the
On that Sunday when my sweet girl joined me on the
couch, I did my best to be a coach. I shared her disappointment
and celebrated that she stayed in line and purchased the
altruistic five cans of food for someone who is hungry despite
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