Recently, I've notice my son seems afraid of negative emotions; he would begin to cry and quickly escalate because of disliking the feeling of crying and sadness. Sometimes crying makes him feel panicked, like he can't calm down or catch his breath. I felt a little concerned about this; I wondered how I could encourage him to feel more comfortable in his emotions.
The "natural learning" part of me trusted that eventually he would would this out for himself; but still my mind was racing for ideas.
Not many days later, he did work it out for himself! He really wanted a particular toy, "right now." To be clear, the answer was "not today", not "no". And a perhaps useless explanation was offered to him.
He felt sadness, disappointment and frustration.
I thought "Okay, here we go again...." not the most helpful thought, but there it was anyways.....
He sat his self down on the floor, at the bottom of the stairs, crying.
Looking a little alone and dejected.
I joined him, on the floor trying to be as sad as I could muster, "I'm so sad too, so I'm going to sit and sulk with you."
He looked skeptical. "Why are you so sad, mom?"
me- "I'm so sad because I want a new, bigger kitchen."
Oak- "Oh, I'm sad about my toy. And we never get juice anymore, only water."
Me- "and also I'm sad because we crashed our van, and I hurt my foot."
Oak- "Oh and also I'm so so so sad because...."
And there it was, a back-and-forth of all the reasons we could think of for feeling sad.
Eventually, the reasons got sillier and sillier... "I'm so sad because I want to have a bigger bum.... AND louder farts!"
Oakley was ready to move on from sadness. Somewhere in this game he dubbed it the "Party of Sadness"... and later told me it was SO AWESOME!!
He proposed that maybe one day we have a Party of Madness..... so we'll see how that goes...