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  • Huwag I-invalidate Ang Feelings: Expert Advice Listening To Kids Disheartened Over Elections

    “Hindi naman sinasabi dapat i-baby, pero may better ways than judging them.”
    by Ronna Capili Bonifacio .
Huwag I-invalidate Ang Feelings: Expert Advice Listening To Kids Disheartened Over Elections
PHOTO BY /SHUTTERSTOCK
  • It all started with an anonymous mom posting on Smart Parenting Village about her daughter who tearfully asked if she could join a rally.

    Some parents of young adults and teenagers have shared online that their children are disheartened over the unofficial tally results of the 2022 Presidential Elections. 

    The results show that Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. and Mayor Sara Duterte won the presidential and vice-presidential seats respectively.

    “Umiiyak ang anak ko”, “Paano ko ba tutulungan?” Parents of dejected young voters and teenagers who wished they were of voting age have been sharing on social media.

    Listen to your kids, take it easy on the lessons

    While some parents replied that it’s a teaching moment to remind children that not everything we want in life materializes or that’s what a democracy is, many parents were even quicker to remind that a child who expresses sadness is not looking for a lesson.

    An anonymous user shared in the Facebook group that she remembers when she was young, she would hide her feelings from her parents, even her best friend, for fear of being judged.

    RELATED: Paano Tuturuan Ang Anak Ng Tama At Mali? Bianca Gonzalez Sadly Asks About Parenting In The Age of Technology and Disinformation

    The user points out that labeling kids “fragile” because of their emotions may just drive them away. 

    “Mas pipillin ko yung anak kong mulat, may pakialam sa iba, marunong mag-salita. Higit sa lahat, hindi itatago sa akin ang nararamdaman nila kasi alam nila na masasabihan nila ako at hindi sila i-jujudge.”

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    She adds that parents can teach kids to be tough and strong without invalidating feelings. “Hindi naman sinasabi dapat i-baby, pero may better ways than judging them.”

    What is emotional invalidation?

    Very Well Mind defines emotional invalidation as “when a person’s emotional experiences are rejected, ignored, or judged.”

    Example statements include: 

    • What’s the big deal?
    • You’re too sensitive.
    • You should feel lucky!
    • Don’t be so weak.
    • I don’t want to hear it.

    Emotional invalidation can lead to problems with a sense of identity, difficulty managing emotions, and poor mental health.

    RELATED: Mom Guilt Is A Valid Emotion: It Doesn't Necessarily Mean You Have Postpartum Depression

    How to help your disheartened child

    Mary Grace Serranilla-Orquiza, PhD, RPsy, a licensed psychologist and president of GrayMatters Psychological and Consultancy, Inc. and mother of two kids also shared six points to help parents help their disheartened children.

    1. Respect your children’s feelings.

    “Kung tayong mga matatanda ay apektado ng eleksyon, lalo na ang mga bata. Wag natin sabihin ‘wag kang paapekto’, ‘hindi ka dapat nakakaramdam ng ganiyan,’ ‘nag-iinarte ka lang’, o ‘mag move on ka na lang’.

    “In doing so we are sending them the message na hindi mahalaga o mali ang nararamdaman nila. They might learn to suppress difficult emotions in the future, and won’t learn to handle them.

    2. Listen with no judgment and be their safe space.

    “Importante mailabas nila ang saloobin dahil parte ito ng pag-proproseo nila sa mga nangyari. Madalas nga, you don’t have to say anything.

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    "Just being there and listening to them send the message that you are their safe space and they can share anything with you, na mapagkakatiwalaan ka nila to be there for them during difficult times.

    RELATED: 7 Expert Ways to Get Your Tween or Teen to Really Talk to You 

    3. Normalize how they feel.

    The different range of emotions such as sadness, fear, angry, or hurt, is part of being human. 

    “Walang masama or nakakahiya sa pagkakaroon ng ganitong emotions, at kahit ang mga matatandang katulad natin ay maari ding makaranas ng ganito.

    4. Name their emotions.

    “Let them know that what they are feeling may be part of grief. Na kahit mahirap at masakit  siya pagdaanan, there is room for healing.

    “Grief comes in many forms, pwedeng matinding lungkot, galit, in denial, bargaing, at pagtanggap. Tell them also that how they are feeling right now is not permanent and may change either in kind or intensity in the future.

    5. Extend compassion and comfort.

    “Give them what they need right now na makakapagpagaan sa nararamdaman nila. As long as hindi makakapanakit sa kanila or so ibang tao.

    Dr. Orquiza includes suggestions such as deactivating from social media or snoozing people. “Malaking tulong din ang pagdarasal at pagsama-sama ng pamilya.

    RELATED: It's Okay Not To Be Okay: How To Teach Boys To Be Comfortable With Their Emotions

    6. Pangalagaan ang iyong sarili.

    “Hindi natin matutulungan ang ating mga anak kung tayo mismo ay hindi okay at hindi maka-cope ng maayos sa mga pangyayari.

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    “Give yourself a break,” says Dr. Orquiza.

    Parents weigh in: Support your kids

    Ellen Mercado Pumaren says the opportunity for parents here is for closeness. “It could be a magic moment, an opportunity where the parents can be her best friend in this time of grief; a great time to influence our children more of the values we want to instill in them.”

    Another mom reminds parents that perhaps the last thing parents would want to happen is for their child to feel emotionally unsupported at home.

    RELATED: 9 Non-Verbal Ways That Tell Your Child You're Listening

    “Sana naman wag sa loob ng bahay maramdaman ng mga bata na walang nakakaunawa sa kanila,” says Divine Grace Enriquez-Datoc

    Allow your kids to grieve, “They fought a fight with a heart and hope for the country. They stood up for something na pinananiniwalaan nilang tama.” 

    Liz Lab says a child’s sadness about the elections can be seen as a parenting win. “Her fighting for what she knows is right means napalaki niyo po siya nang maayos.”

    What other parents are reading

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