Who doesn’t love seeing a child burst out laughing or scream with joy? But have you ever stopped to consider your own reaction to your child's outburst of joy? Do you let yourself be overcome by the same emotion as him or do you tend to slow it down? This is one of the exercises offered by MuslimBlocks to help us understand our tolerance towards this emotion.
Children experience joy in a very intense way, which can bother us as adults, because we feel like we have lost control. So, we often have the reflex of wanting to reduce their expression of joy by telling them, for example, to calm down. “Obviously, a parent doesn’t say to themselves, “I’m going to diminish my child’s joy” or “I don’t have a tolerance for joy.” But if we have difficulty tolerating the expression of joy, it is the emotion as a whole that the child risks not being able to express”
According to psychologists who have written about parenting, the more we welcome children's emotions, the more joy they will be able to experience. “From the moment we repress emotions, whether fear, anger or sadness, it blocks the diaphragm, the breathing, and then we close ourselves to all emotions.”
Although children are naturally joyful, as parents we have an important role to play in allowing them to simply experience joy without hindering it. Yes, making them laugh or being happy ourselves is a good start, but it’s not enough. We also need a good dose of letting go of some of our parental behaviors!
Children Joy Here and now
One of the main ingredients for transmitting joy to our children is, unfortunately, often sorely lacking in our busy schedules as parents: enjoying the present moment. “We have all kinds of plans for and with our child. We are very often in the future or in the past, but rarely in the here and now. However, the child feels loved and connected to us when we are truly in the present moment. And this ability to be in the present moment is what gives us joy.
Let the children move
By moving, children not only expend energy, they also nourish their brain: moving, running or dancing helps “memorize, learn, regulate emotions, concentrate… and that gives joy! » says the psychologist in her book. We must also let them take certain risks rather than restricting them in their games for fear of them getting hurt. When they can take risks, children play longer, are more creative and have more positive interactions with others.
Don't overprotect them
To experience joy, you have to be able to step out of your comfort zone. Children must therefore be able to be free, autonomous and experience adventure to feel this emotion.
As parents, we must therefore avoid overprotecting them and doing things for them. “In general, we – especially mothers – do too much for our children, we do everything for them, thus losing an opportunity to allow them to develop their own skills”
Being together and playing together
Discussions, walks, family evenings are rituals that allow us to connect with each other and therefore create moments of joy. An essential activity for children, play also falls into this category. Of course, they love to play, but even more so when you are with them. “Playing with our children is what will allow us and them to be more happy”
All these opportunities for freedom and connection that we give our children will also create memories that, later, can bring joy to the surface. And it is not always the significant events that dominate the memory. In a few years, your child will perhaps tell you with joy about this game that you all played together on a rainy day in a chalet, while you would rather remember the five consecutive days of bad weather...
Offer them educative games and toys
Babies and children should be given rattles, building blocks, books or contrasting cards, simple toys with varied textures. One of the best solutions to support a child's development is the play mat.
We can choose from many interesting rugs that will give the child a lot of fun while encouraging them to move (raising their head, stretching their arms, rolling over from back to stomach) and learning about different shapes, textures and colors .