Big emotions are hard to deal with, whether you’re the one feeling them or on the other side trying to help someone get through them. And when it comes to emotional maturity, well, I know plenty of adults (myself included) that haven’t always been able to handle their big emotions. So, why do we expect our children to?
In a TikTok viral video posted by TikToker @menzennial, the mom of one points out this very same thing.
The video shows just how confusing and damaging it can be to our children when we expect them to handle their emotions like, well, adults. Especially when it’s largely accepted by psychologists and mom coaches that emotional maturity isn’t gained by the silent treatment or leaving your child to their tears without direction or comfort.
The short clip starts with a sobbing and clearly distressed @menzennial saying, “I can’t believe after 35 years, they would cheat on me.”
Then she says, “Nothing will ever be okay again.”
The video switches from @menzennial to showing someone slamming a door, thus leaving her all alone.
The video ends with the picture of the closed door and an overhead voice sternly says, “You can come out when you’re finished crying.”
And like other TikTok explainer videos there’s text at the top to point viewer’s attention to. This one reads, “if we treated adults the way we treat children.”
When emotions are running high, it can be really difficult to push through them and articulate your feelings. “Age is just a number” is a great explainer for many things and I believe this is one of them. Which just means that no matter what age you are, you need comfort when you’re dealing with high emotions!
If I had a loved one come to me crying, talking through their tears and telling me that their partner cheated on them, well, I wouldn’t slam the door in their face and tell them to calm down first. I think anyone would agree that that kind of reaction is not OK. And this TikTok perfectly captures that. Because if we wouldn’t treat adults this way, then why would we treat children this way?
At such a tender young age, children don’t have the necessary tools to calm themselves down, especially if their big emotional outbursts are responded to by being left alone. But, when we are more thoughtful about caring for their emotions our kids can also learn to recognize their emotions and handle them in healthier ways.
It’s not enough to just recognize their behavior and chalk it up to acting out, hence the door slamming in the video and leaving a child all alone to deal with their emotions. Rather, if we can be more considerate about their big feelings, get to the root cause of what’s causing their high emotions, then maybe our children can grow up as thoughtful and emotionally intelligent.
And, if the comments are anything to go by then her viewers certainly agree also!
“I think about this a lot 😭😭 we expect so much emotional maturity from children…”
“You honestly have no idea of the impact you’ve had on my parenting. You’re awesome”
“thank you for making this. I was just trying to explain this to my husband last night, this will help x”
“If emotions are sooooo hard for us adults… imagine for a kid!!”
Check out her other explainer videos where she gives other scenarios about adults going through high emotions and being treated like children.