Written by: Hope Torres
It was early in the morning and I was jumping onto the bus heading to work. My husband
had walked me to the bus stop after spending the morning together. As I turned and walk away
from him I was becoming more aware of the lump in my throat, it was an emotional morning for
me. I held back the tears that were emerging because I was entering the public bus and I didn't
want anyone to see my cry. I didn’t want anyone to see me being vulnerable.
That same morning when I arrived to work, there was a child a drop off who was playing
with his dad. As his father said goodbye and his body disappear from the frame of the window
the boy didn't hold back his tears like I did. He was in a safe and nurturing environment where
tears are always welcomed.
This is the different between myself and this boy. The power of feeling vulnerable and just
letting go and feeling. Feelings are important, feelings demand to be felt. I admire the educator
who comforted the boy because she gave room for his cry, I admired her for not trying to focus
the child’s attention on something else, for embracing his sadness and letting him feel. This
builds a sense of strength, a sense of confidence in the face of adversity and discomfort.
In so many occasions children are told to fight the sadness, overcome it, but when it comes
to the deep emotional process we need to allow it.
I appreciated the vulnerability that was being shown by this child and I admired him for
just letting go and letting his feelings be felt. Whereas I did not. I suppressed my feelings, I
fought the sadness because I was educated away from our awareness of our feelings. Depression
happens when we repress our emotions. The boy is lucky to have a strong relationship with
someone who has the techniques in terms of resilience. And I am lucky to be in an environment
as supporting and warming as the one I am in now.
As early childhood educators, it is important to have awareness; if I can’t feel my sadness,
the children won’t either. If we know sadness, we can lead a child with sadness, we can safely
guide children through it.
We have to let the emotions be felt in order to bounce back. It wasn’t until we went outside
when the boy was able to bounce back. He was supported and cared for a long period of time,
not once telling him to stop crying, not once saying you’re ok, not once ignoring him.
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