As time passes, we see our children transform from being kids to adults. They undergo various changes, some of which are not visible to the eye. While maturity is often attributed to a person's physical development, growth should also be manifested in how an individual is able to manage and understand their emotions. Emotional maturity is necessary for one to achieve contentment in life, and is pivotal in having meaningful interactions with the people around them.
There are many advantages in developing one's emotional maturity. For instance, an emotionally mature person is able to cope with difficult situations better as they utilize a calm and rational approach in dealing with problems. They are also aware of their own prejudices and biases, which enables them to respond to people in a sensitive manner. Knowing and accepting their flaws also makes them more open to learning, which gives more depth and substance to a person's life.
A misconception about emotional maturity is that it comes with age. No matter how young they may be, children can receive guidance and start their journey towards emotional maturity. Here are some ways to help them gain an insight on and control over their emotions:
- When your child does something wrong, tell them to ask for forgiveness. This will help them realize that they should be accountable for their own actions. Beyond saying "sorry", they should also know when and how to make amends, and identify key takeaways from the situation that will help them do better next time.
- Help your child get over past mistakes. Punishing themselves for what they did in the past or clinging to feelings of regret is counter-intuitive. As much as it is important to forgive others, it is also vital that they know when to forgive themselves, too. Tell them that there is always an opportunity to improve, and they can only take advantage of it by moving on and moving forward.
- Demonstrate kindness to others. Empathy is a great trait to model to your children. Having care and consideration for the feelings of those around you helps create and nurture genuine and lasting connections that would bring much joy and meaning to your life.
- Show that it's okay to ask for help. Needing assistance shouldn't be seen as a sign of weakness. On the contrary, it comes from a high level of awareness and care for one's self. We can't do everything on our own, and there should be no shame in asking for help when things get tough.
- Tell them to breathe and stay calm during tough situations. In the face of challenges, it's hard to overcome fear, anxiety, and other negative feelings. Keeping calm would help clear one's head and ease the search for solutions. If your children are too young to do this on their own, be with them and hold their hand to show support as they go through their personal ordeals.
There is no right time to learn. As early as now, help your child understand what it means to forgive others and themselves, be a beacon of light to others through kind actions, that asking for help takes courage, and taking a step back to figure things out. With practice, they will be wiser - in heart and in mind - far beyond their years.