“I don't want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.”
Throughout the last couple of months, we have experienced more bonks and bruises than usual, and with these came a plethora of strong feelings. Emotions are felt and expressed before and after incidents. Frustration leads to a bonk, which leads to Sadness and Embarrassment, which leads to Concern, which leads to Understanding, which leads to Love. We see this on a daily basis and I watch in wonder as a cycle of emotions can quickly be seen and experienced and then forgotten. As I watch, I wonder, "What if Bob could say to Sally 'I'm frustrated,' before hitting her with a stick." I think, "What if Sally understood before the bonk what Bob was trying to say?"
This to me is a huge part of what we do at Tumbleweed. We encourage children to feel. We revel in children expressing what they need, when they feel. We empower children by giving them the opportunity to feel angry, upset, happy, frustrated, embarrassed, afraid and never judge those feelings. These are the emotions that make each of us who we are and if we cannot fully feel them and learn to understand them from birth, how are we to become emotionally capable and intelligent individuals?
There is nothing greater than watching Bob say, "I'm frustrated that I can't have that bowl," and in another instance Sally say, "I can tell you're frustrated, but I'm still using this bowl." Labeling emotions. Understanding emotions. Being there and being empathic. Feeling. Being free to feel and being validated for that feeling. Really, there is nothing greater.