To my emotional child,

I want you to know that I too have big feelings about little things. I know what it’s like to cry about things that other people don’t think matter. It’s really hard to not understand why you’re so upset, or why tears are streaming down your face. I know that it hurts you when mummy gets cross, you get scared, someone gets hurt, or you try and fail. I want you to know that it’s ok.

I remember when I was little and was crying uncontrollably. I remember what it was like when my parents told me “stop being a sook”, “stop crying”. They were so upset with me for crying. I remember feeling so confused because I couldn’t control it. I felt so alone because no one understood. It was hard – I never wanted anyone to be cross with me.
I’ve said those things to you, and I’ve been frustrated by your emotional outbursts. I want to tell you I’m sorry for saying that to you. I love you, my emotional child.

I see now, I understand. It’s difficult to be that parent with the very emotional child. It’s clear to me now. My parents found it just as hard as I do. I now see how confusing it is to see your child cry for seemingly no reason, and to have instinctive reactions that contradict what your child needs. I remember what it was like to be you so I need to change my reactions.

You need to know that it’s ok to have huge feelings and it’s ok to express them. I am a safe person for you and our house is a safe place. You can express yourself however you need to when you’re with me.

You’ve often said “I can’t stop because my tummy’s making me cry.” I understand that when you cry your whole body feels sad and you don’t know how to calm yourself. It’s ok, you can bury yourself in my arms until you feel better. I love you, my emotional child.

I also get upset and frustrated very easily so I might not always react the way I should right away. I’m going to learn to cope with that – I will stop and think. I will talk to you, hold you, comfort you and help you regain that beautiful smile of yours. We can do this together. I will try as hard as I possibly can to respect your emotions and try to help you deal with them. I know it’s hard to stop crying when you’re very upset. We will find a way to deal with it together.

You need to hear me say thank you. Thank you for caring about the big and little things. Thank you for having compassion and empathy for others. I love that you think and feel deeply, and that you share it with me. Thank you for being just as you are. Please don’t ever feel like your feelings don’t matter – they do. I will always want you to share them with me.

I love you, my small child with big feelings.

Love, your mummy xx

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