One downside I’ve discovered about teaching my Little to identify with her emotions at an early age is that now she questions things that make her feel a certain way. She also picks up on the emotions of others extraordinarily well for being three.
While we were in the car this afternoon running some errands she asked me about France and why everyone was sad. I’m not entirely sure where she heard about what happened in France, because we only have Internet news, and have been quite careful not to discuss it around her. She can either sense the air of anxiety, or heard someone else talking about it while we were out in public. She doesn’t even know what state we live in yet, there’s no other way she would know there was a place called France.
She phrased it exactly like this: “Mama, those people made a bad choice didn’t they? In France, they made everyone sad.” Completely out of the blue. I wasn’t even sure what exactly to say. I never expected to be having a conversation with my toddler about terrorism and international wars.
I replied with: “Yes, Baby. Some bad people made a very bad choice. Lots of people were hurt, and it made lots of people very sad. It made some people angry too.”
She pondered that for a moment and eventually said: “They shouldn’t have made that bad choice Mama. They need to make better choices that don’t make people sad or angry. It’s scary. I don’t like it.”
She has such a kind and innocent heart, my Little. She understands so much more than many other kids her age, but so much is still out of her realm of understanding. It’s difficult to know where to draw the line, and how to be honest with her while remaining age appropriate. Usually I ask her questions trying to gadge her level of comprehension, but then there are times she hits me with zingers like that and I don’t even know what to say.
Thankfully because she is just three, the moment passed and she was satisfied with my vague bumbling answer about choices, and how it was okay for her to feel scared. I’ve also noticed how she’s picked up this habit of apologizing for her feelings, which is not good at all. I don’t understand who’s been telling her how she feels is wrong because Hubs and I have always encouraged her to feel however she feels and to be able to safely express that to us. That just started here recently… I’m going to have to investigate a bit I think.
On top of all of these new emotions she’s discovered in the aftermath of the Fench tragedy, we still can’t get her sleep cycle regulated. She was doing pretty well there for a few days, but Sunday night she was back to square one. She seems to have inherited my Spidey Senses. She can sense things which have a profound impact on her. Which is where her emotional communication comes in beautifully. She still can’t communicate WHY her moods fluctuate, but she can communicate that she is sad, happy, angry, or scared which gives me a starting point to ask her questions and help her figure it out.
It kills me to watch her struggling, trying to tell me how she feels but lacking the capacity to do so. It’s part of growing up, she has to figure it out as she matures, I understand that much. She doesn’t though, and it frustrates her. She wants to know NOW, she wants to understand NOW. She is very much like her Mother in that regard lol. Always learning, always exploring, always questioning everything. It makes me proud, and at the same time a little sad. Pros and cons.