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Old 05-13-2009, 09:12 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCyank View Post

But hey, that's me. I'm not a person driven by emotions. I don't like emotions to control me, I'd rather control them. I'll just add that by helping our kids realize the same (that emotions can be wrong and should be controlled/managed) that we have very little of the 'normal' teenage drama around this house. That's not to say we lack emotions, but we try to respond rather than react.
The hardest thing for someone who is not driven by emotions to do is to understand those that are and how to communicate effectively with them.

I say that from personal experience as I am not an emotional person in the least and my life's viewpoint was highly impacted by a seminar I attended many years ago. I now fully understand that even though I may not have those feelings that others do, that they are very definitely valid and their right to have. Even if I don't agree with their actions/reactions, they still have the right to the feelings that are underlying those actions/reactions.

My goal as a parent is to help my children understand those feelings and interpret them appropriately for the age and situation they are currently faced with. My goal is not to demean them by denying them the right to have valid feelings.

Think of it this way. You were somewhat angry/frustrated/upset with your friend since it made such an impact on your feelings about her and how she reacted. Should I tell you that you have no right to feel that way? Of course not. You saw the end result as the only point of reflection, that she overreacted. The thing is, she reacted based on the information she had at the time, true to her nature but contrary to yours. As that information changed so did her reactions. That difference in reaction doesn't negate her right to how it made her feel.

If you were in her situation and thought a bill had been paid and then found it wasn't, you would also have an emotional feeling in response even if only for a fleeting moment......maybe annoyance or frustration, fear or shame, anger or disappointment. The only difference is how you might 'react'. Just because your reaction would not likely be an outwardly emotional one does not discount the fact that you indeed had an emotion. Just like your friend.

Here's very generally what I learned from that seminar. There are 3 general stages to how we handle life. We have stages of Thinking, Deciding, and Feeling. Everyone does each stage, though not in the same order nor in the same intensity.

So, you have those who are Thinkers first and foremost the majority of the time. This means they make decisions after thinking and have feelings about it later, or they have feelings after thinking about it and then make a decision.

Then we have those who are Deciders first. They make decisions without thinking first and without having feelings about it. Those come next in either order.

Last we have Feelers who have their emotions before they think or make decisions.

Thinkers naturally get frustrated with those who think last.
Deciders naturally get frustrated with those who make decisions last.
Feelers naturally get frustrated with those who have emotions last.
Until they understand each other better.

Deciders don't like it when people can't make snap decisions, while feelers often consider others 'cold' and thinkers can't believe people jump to conclusions. It's all in the matter of the path they take.

Most kids begin life as Feelers and learn how to think and how to make decisions. It's up to us as parents to guide them in a way that helps them to become socially acceptable and yet still be true to who they are.

Where would the world be without the great 'Feelers' such as composers, musicians, artists, actors, and motivational speakers including clergy?

Oh and yes, they are valid and have every right.
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Old 05-13-2009, 09:26 AM
 
Location: Deep in the heart of Texas
1,917 posts, read 6,304,019 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCyank View Post
He's 6, he'll remember that he said his dad was annoying, twice. The conversation comes AFTER he spends some time alone (not being annoyed by anyone) and can put his words into better context and understand how hurtful they were.


Of course feelings can be inappropriate. You never heard of someone overreacting or being jealous for no good reason or someone who gets angry at the drop of a hat or ever heard of PMS and how it can send some women on an emotional roller coaster?

Here's an example, I spoke to a friend one day and she was frustrated and angry with her DH. She got a call from a utility company and he had neglected to pay the bill....one more thing she had to take care of herself that day when she was already overwhelmed. Why couldn't he be more responsible? How hard is it to pay the bill on time? Does she have to do everything? She was having some very strong feelings about him, anger, disappointment, resentment. Later she found out that he didn't pay the bill because she had collected the mail and stuffed it in her purse. That bill lay at the bottom of her bag, unpaid and when the phone call came she reacted with strong emotions blaming her DH and becoming angry with him. She was wrong, her emotions were wrong. She reacted based on bad information. If she had taken 10 minutes to call him and talk to him (instead of ranting to me) she would have figured it out.

That's what I mean when I say there is a difference between responding and reacting. People who are emotionally driven often react rather than respond. Sometimes those reactions will be wrong because the emotions behind them are wrong. Emotions can be wrong but they can also be controlled/managed to some extent (and should be). Children should be taught to evaluate/manage their feelings instead of reacting to each one.


Back to OP, so his son was annoyed. Maybe rightfully so but maybe he was just impatient or didn't like what his dad was telling him....that doesn't mean the dad was being annoying and that his feelings are right. Yes, we may feel annoyed with someone but if the real problem is that we are in a hurry or being impatient then being annoyed would be the wrong emotion in that situation. It would be much better to accept the fact that we are being impatient...slow down, take some time to process and consider the intent of the other person. Chances are you will come to realize that feeling annoyed is not the appropriate feeling to have with the circumstance.

But hey, that's me. I'm not a person driven by emotions. I don't like emotions to control me, I'd rather control them. I'll just add that by helping our kids realize the same (that emotions can be wrong and should be controlled/managed) that we have very little of the 'normal' teenage drama around this house. That's not to say we lack emotions, but we try to respond rather than react.
Excellent post. Let it slide this time but next time correct him on the spot in a loving gentle manner. I have a 6 yr old boy that does not like to share. We are working on it. He is the baby of the family. Also, you mentioned that he has an older sister. Sibling rivalry. Spend more time with him. Have a dad and son day....do fun things together. This has worked wonders for my older children and my older son has never forgotten those special times with dad. It will be ok.
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Old 05-13-2009, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Twin Cities
3,570 posts, read 7,776,403 times
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As I said before, thank you for the insightful responses. I've only been a dad for ten years and have a lifetime of learning ahead of me. Thank you to all!

I picked up my little guy from school yesterday and when we got home we sat in the car to talk. I turned around so he could see me and asked if he remembered what he said that morning. He did. I told him how that hurt my feelings. He looked down, and then away from me. I could tell he immediately felt bad.

I asked him if he knew what "annoyed" meant. He said no. He is a very intelligent young man who is almost to a 3rd grade level of reading and 1st to 2nd grade math so I'm pretty sure he kinda knows what it means, but probably not completely.

I told him I wasn't mad at him but I was hurt and wanted him to know it's okay to be annoyed but there's a better way to share his feelings. After he knew I wasn't mad he seemed to feel a bit better. This morning I was trying to get breakfast going and I said or did something and he said, "dad, could you stop saying that please?" I stopped, looked at him and said, "buddy, I'm so proud of you for sharing how your feeling. Thank you for saying it the way you did. Good job!".

So, because of what everyone shared it really helped me turn this situation around. Now if I can help my daughter understand that she doesn't have to say "I'm sorry" everytime her mom and I correct her, we'll be two steps ahead!
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Old 05-13-2009, 10:54 AM
 
3,084 posts, read 6,464,939 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoosier View Post
As I said before, thank you for the insightful responses. I've only been a dad for ten years and have a lifetime of learning ahead of me. Thank you to all!

I picked up my little guy from school yesterday and when we got home we sat in the car to talk. I turned around so he could see me and asked if he remembered what he said that morning. He did. I told him how that hurt my feelings. He looked down, and then away from me. I could tell he immediately felt bad.

I asked him if he knew what "annoyed" meant. He said no. He is a very intelligent young man who is almost to a 3rd grade level of reading and 1st to 2nd grade math so I'm pretty sure he kinda knows what it means, but probably not completely.

I told him I wasn't mad at him but I was hurt and wanted him to know it's okay to be annoyed but there's a better way to share his feelings. After he knew I wasn't mad he seemed to feel a bit better. This morning I was trying to get breakfast going and I said or did something and he said, "dad, could you stop saying that please?" I stopped, looked at him and said, "buddy, I'm so proud of you for sharing how your feeling. Thank you for saying it the way you did. Good job!".

So, because of what everyone shared it really helped me turn this situation around. Now if I can help my daughter understand that she doesn't have to say "I'm sorry" everytime her mom and I correct her, we'll be two steps ahead!
Well done!
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:07 AM
 
2,005 posts, read 5,122,446 times
Reputation: 1447
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoosier View Post
As I said before, thank you for the insightful responses. I've only been a dad for ten years and have a lifetime of learning ahead of me. Thank you to all!

I picked up my little guy from school yesterday and when we got home we sat in the car to talk. I turned around so he could see me and asked if he remembered what he said that morning. He did. I told him how that hurt my feelings. He looked down, and then away from me. I could tell he immediately felt bad.

I asked him if he knew what "annoyed" meant. He said no. He is a very intelligent young man who is almost to a 3rd grade level of reading and 1st to 2nd grade math so I'm pretty sure he kinda knows what it means, but probably not completely.

I told him I wasn't mad at him but I was hurt and wanted him to know it's okay to be annoyed but there's a better way to share his feelings. After he knew I wasn't mad he seemed to feel a bit better. This morning I was trying to get breakfast going and I said or did something and he said, "dad, could you stop saying that please?" I stopped, looked at him and said, "buddy, I'm so proud of you for sharing how your feeling. Thank you for saying it the way you did. Good job!".

So, because of what everyone shared it really helped me turn this situation around. Now if I can help my daughter understand that she doesn't have to say "I'm sorry" everytime her mom and I correct her, we'll be two steps ahead!
Very appropriate. Good job. It's important, especially for little boys, to be able to express their feelings. He's only 6, he'll get to the point of responding in an appropriate way, it's your job to lead him there. Good behavior doesn't just come out of the sky, it needs to be modeled, taught, and praised.
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Old 05-13-2009, 11:58 AM
 
Location: Land of 10000 Lakes +
5,554 posts, read 5,867,138 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCyank View Post
He's 6, he'll remember that he said his dad was annoying, twice. The conversation comes AFTER he spends some time alone (not being annoyed by anyone) and can put his words into better context and understand how hurtful they were.


Of course feelings can be inappropriate. You never heard of someone overreacting or being jealous for no good reason or someone who gets angry at the drop of a hat or ever heard of PMS and how it can send some women on an emotional roller coaster?

Here's an example, I spoke to a friend one day and she was frustrated and angry with her DH. She got a call from a utility company and he had neglected to pay the bill....one more thing she had to take care of herself that day when she was already overwhelmed. Why couldn't he be more responsible? How hard is it to pay the bill on time? Does she have to do everything? She was having some very strong feelings about him, anger, disappointment, resentment. Later she found out that he didn't pay the bill because she had collected the mail and stuffed it in her purse. That bill lay at the bottom of her bag, unpaid and when the phone call came she reacted with strong emotions blaming her DH and becoming angry with him. She was wrong, her emotions were wrong. She reacted based on bad information. If she had taken 10 minutes to call him and talk to him (instead of ranting to me) she would have figured it out.

That's what I mean when I say there is a difference between responding and reacting. People who are emotionally driven often react rather than respond. Sometimes those reactions will be wrong because the emotions behind them are wrong. Emotions can be wrong but they can also be controlled/managed to some extent (and should be). Children should be taught to evaluate/manage their feelings instead of reacting to each one.


Back to OP, so his son was annoyed. Maybe rightfully so but maybe he was just impatient or didn't like what his dad was telling him....that doesn't mean the dad was being annoying and that his feelings are right. Yes, we may feel annoyed with someone but if the real problem is that we are in a hurry or being impatient then being annoyed would be the wrong emotion in that situation. It would be much better to accept the fact that we are being impatient...slow down, take some time to process and consider the intent of the other person. Chances are you will come to realize that feeling annoyed is not the appropriate feeling to have with the circumstance.

But hey, that's me. I'm not a person driven by emotions. I don't like emotions to control me, I'd rather control them. I'll just add that by helping our kids realize the same (that emotions can be wrong and should be controlled/managed) that we have very little of the 'normal' teenage drama around this house. That's not to say we lack emotions, but we try to respond rather than react.
Some behavior needs to be addressed immediately especially with the younger the child.

Feelings come and feelings go but they are all meaningful to the person and shouldn't be made light of. Some people need someone to point out a different perspective in order to change a feeling. But we all have feelings - good and bad - and I say the reaction can be inappropriate or appropriate but a feeling (not necessarily a situation that may be misinterpreted) is true and can't be denied.

On the other side of the coin, I've known people who did not heed their feelings which caused huge problems in their lives. Didn't pay attention to the warnings they were feeling. So I stand by my case that feelings are there and very real - it's what you do with them that matters. We're humans, not zombies. We feel, and we are not always going to feel in a desirable way. I would not want a child to suppress his feelings.

You probably said it better than I, hypocore.

Hoosier, you ended the day perfectly!

Last edited by Aylalou; 05-13-2009 at 12:15 PM..
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Old 05-13-2009, 12:54 PM
 
Location: Right where I want to be.
4,507 posts, read 7,824,676 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aylalou View Post
I would not want a child to suppress his feelings.
Who said that? Not I, not anyone here. I said children can be taught to evaluate and then manage their feelings, learning to respond appropriately rather than reacting. I didn't say suppress. I didn't even suggest it in any way.

Just because you feel angry doesn't mean you have anything to be angry about. Just because you feel betrayed doesn't mean you have been betrayed. Just because you feel lonely doesn't mean you are alone. Just because you feel annoyed doesn't mean the other person is annoying. Just because you feel ignored doesn't mean you are being ignored....and so on. What's the problem with taking a few minutes for self evaluation before launching off on an emotional jaunt that may have no basis in reality?

You know, most people laugh when they see someone fall down. They laugh before they even know if the person is hurt or not. It seems to be instinctual somehow. This emotional response is hard to manage on a basic level but after having a moment to evaluate the situation we form a more appropriate response, empathy and concern ( "Are you alright?") and often guilt for finding the incident amusing in the first place. Your first emotional reaction is not always the most appropriate and if you take a moment to evaluate it you might come up with something else that is appropriate. However, if you just assume all of your emotions are true and right....well, I've known some people like that and they were a mess most of the time. It seems to me it would be like the difference between floating in the ocean on a boat with no motor and one that has a working motor. Both feel and experience the waves but one is tossed about with little control or ability to affect their course.

Of course we all let our emotions get the best of us sometimes, but trying to say that every emotional whim is 'true' is just absurdity. Of course it's not.
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Old 05-13-2009, 02:42 PM
 
Location: Land of 10000 Lakes +
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You can keep saying "of course" but that doesn't make it right. You can say "absurdity" but that does not make you right. Every emotion one feels is a true emotion (and valid as others have posted here) and appropriate unto them - maybe not to the situation but appropriate to the person and to say differently is to insult humanity but even worse - not to understand. So continue to repeat what you've already attempted to state without success ad infinitum. I've said my peace and rest my case and my reps validate my "emotions"
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Old 05-13-2009, 03:52 PM
pll
 
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All children are different. As hard as it seems, you must not compare them. I would let your son know that what he said to you was unkind. Speak from the heart. One good thing about having a child like this is you will never be in the dark about what he is feeling. Sometimes the children that hold things in are the hardest to raise because a parent never knows what that child is thinking...good or bad.
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Old 05-13-2009, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Deep in the heart of Texas
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Aww what a good dad! Good for you.
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