Holding Space for Big Feelings


00:00:00    Alyssa

You're listening to Voices of Your Village. This is episode 157. Today, we're diving into what it looks like to hold space for those big feelings. We've been getting questions about this: what do you mean by holding space, Alyssa? How do I actually do that? In today's episode we're going to dive into just that. I'm going to give you an outline of what it means to hold space for somebody's feelings and what it doesn't look like but before we dive in have you signed up for a webinar yet? We had our first webinar on Tuesday and our next one is tonight! Then we have a webinar coming next week on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday, where we're diving into self-regulation with kiddos. How do we support them in calming their nervous system? What does this look like to support them ahead of time? What does it look like in the moment? We're going to dive into practical tips and strategies. So that you can leave setup for success. Head on over to seedwebinar.com to sign up for your time slot. I put them in at different times and different days because I know we have a global village and I want you all to be able to show up live so that you can ask your questions. And since I value your time, and I'm so grateful for those of you who choose to spend your time hanging out live with me if you show up live, I have a free download for you. You can snag our "Calm Down Corner" printables. If you show up live it'll be on the webinar for you or "Calm Down Corner"  printables to support you in creating a calming space for kiddos when they are experiencing those big emotions. So head on over to seedwebinar.com to sign up today to come join us live for a webinar on navigating this jazz with kids: seedwebinar.com. Alright, let's Dive in!


00:02:05    Alyssa

Welcome to Voices of Your Village a place where parents caregivers teachers and experts come to support one and other on this wild ride of raising tiny humans. We combined decades of experience with the latest research to create the modern parenting village. Let's dive into honest conversation about real parenting challenges so it doesn't have to be this hard. I'm your host, sleep consultant, child development specialist and passionate feminist Alyssa Blast Campbell. 


00:02:43    Alyssa

Y'all, our village grew so much in 2020. We went from about 5,000 folks to 50,000 folks in a year and as this village grew I kept wanting a space where we could all hang out where you could ask your questions and I could support you and the systems that we had in place just weren't sustainable as our village grew, I could only get to so many DMS a day. We created The Village membership as my dream space where we get to guide you on this journey where you have a place where you can ask our team questions and we can guide you where you can ask our team questions and we can support you in real time. I wanted not only for you to have access to our tiny humans big emotions and re-parenting courses, but I wanted to be able to walk alongside you in implementing them. What does it look like in the day-to-day to be doing this work? I wanted a spot where you could bring a partner or a co-parent and dive into these conversations and where we could continue to pour more resources and bonus workshops and webinars and pour into you so that you feel equipped day in and day out to navigate this journey. You don't have to do it alone. It takes a village. Come on over and join our village membership at the lowest price. It'll be just 34$ a month or 349$ for the year to save over one month's worth of membership and get access to your very own emotion processing bundle box currently out of stock and only available for our annual members. I really wanted to make sure it was affordable for you, so we are giving you access to both the Tiny Humans Big Emotions and re-parenting courses as well as so many tools and resources, a weekly Q&A session a place to find an accountability partner and empathy buddy on this journey, another parent or caregiver who's walking alongside you here who you can connect with and access to challenges and webinars that are going to be exclusive for the Village members. It takes a village to raise these kids and we've got your back head on over to seedandsew.org/membership to sign up today before the membership access runs out. We are closing membership access on Thursday, February 4th, so head on over right now to get access to this. It's seedandsew.org/membership. I love getting to do this work with you to raise emotionally intelligent humans and show up as the people we want to show up as.


In order to teach our kiddos to process emotions, we first have to allow the emotion by holding space for it. When we outlined the five phases of emotion processing for the CEP method, collaborative emotion processing method, that I co-created and researched across the US, the first phase was allowing yourself to feel. It sounds so much easier than it is. When a child starts to express an emotion when they have a spike of adrenaline or cortisol throughout their body and it fires that amygdala that feelings part of their brain, you will mirror those neurons. So, you will mirror the adrenaline or cortisol. Your body will do the same thing and so it can be hard to hold space for their feelings because first you have to be aware of your physiological reaction in order to self-regulate and bring the calm. So let's look at what this looks like. Step one is to accept their feelings without solving the problem. This is the kicker; so often we know how to solve the problem. "Oh, you wanted the blue cup instead of the red one, here you go", because we could make it stop. But we have opportunities to practice this all day long with kiddos and it's okay if you don't get it right 100% of the time or maybe you don't have time to do it all the time. That's okay. It's not about perfection. But if we consistently skip over these what seemed like smaller opportunities to practice like "you got the orange cup instead of the red one" or "somebody bumped into your tower and it got knocked down", then we're helping kiddos build a toolbox for what to do when it feels bigger or when we're in public or when they get bigger. These are all foundational tools. So, step one is accepting their feelings without solving the problem. Step two is to give them time on their timeline, not yours. So often folks are like, "okay, but how long should they cry for? How long should they feel for?" Man, It would be so nice if this was on a specific timeline. Sometimes it's two minutes, sometimes it's 20 minutes. Just like for us as adults. Sometimes you might feel frustrated or angry or sad or disappointed or embarrassed and maybe it lasts for a couple minutes or sometimes you're feeling it for a while, but it's okay. We want to allow and accept these feelings on their timeline so that we're not adding judgment to the timeline. There isn't a script for feelings. They don't all follow a specific timeline and coping process. The next is to make sure you keep their body safe without punishing them for feeling out of control. So if they're hitting, they're kicking, they're body is out of control, we want to support them and keeping them safe without punishing them for a neurological response, for a physiological response. We're diving deep into this in our self-regulation webinar for kiddos, right now we have our next one is tonight and then we have three more next week Sunday, Monday and Wednesday. If you're interested they're totally free. You can sign up. We dive a real deep into this in our membership program our Village Membership where you get access to our Tiny Humans Big Emotions class and we look at what the difference between self-reg and self-control are and how to support a child's nervous system, but one key thing here is that we are keeping their body safe when their body is out of control when they're no longer in control of their body. The next is active listening to connect rather than explain. How often are you listening to something or someone and you're just formulating your response? If that's the case, you're not listening. To listen  means to really take in what they're saying. Often when we're listening there's a pause before we respond because we're processing what they're saying so that we can respond with intention. We're actively listening to what they're saying. Maybe what they're saying feels like it's not a big deal to you. Pay attention to what narratives come up when you're actively listening judgment-free. Those narratives are going to come from your social programming from your childhood experiences. Maybe when you shared as a kid about how you were so disappointed or so frustrated that you couldn't get your shoe to tie, maybe you learned that that wasn't a big deal or you were told that that emotion was not worth sharing. Now, that narrative might come up for you. So just pay attention to what comes up for you as you are actively listening to what your child's sharing and maintain your regulation. You get to model how to calm your body. Remember you're going to mirror their neurons and it's not child's job to get calm for you, it's your job to get calm for them. It's the doozy about being an adult. We're responsible for our regulation so that we can co-regulate with them. We talked about this last week in our adult self-reg challenge and we're going deep into it into the Village membership. We talk about it in our re-parenting work and are ready parenting class and we're going to be guiding you through what this looks like in the membership how to do this in real-time; how to rewrite some narratives that might come up for you and build awareness around them. It might not feel fair that you are the one who has to get calm and they are the one that gets to have the tantrum because maybe when you were a kid that wasn't the case, maybe no one held space for you. And so now holding space for someone else for a child can bring up a lot from your own childhood. You might find yourself yearning for someone to hold space for you. If you want to dive deeper into this work come on over to seedandsew.org/membership. We are guiding you through how to do the re-parenting work to show up for your inner child narratives and to give that inner child maybe what you didn't have as a kid, what nobody gave you, so that you can show up for your child with this now. This is how intergenerational healing works so that we don't continue to pass things on to future generations that are no longer serving us. So in holding space, let's recap. You will accept their feelings without solving the problem; give them time on their timeline, not yours; keep their body safe without punishing them for feeling out of control; actively listen to connect rather than explain and maintain your regulation modeling how to calm your body. Every human needs one person they can break down to whose feelings they don't feel responsible for. You get to be that person for your child. It's such a powerful relationship and it can be a game changer for their life. You don't have to navigate this alone. Come on over and we'll walk alongside you in this journey head over to seedandsew.org/membership while the membership is open so that you can get guided support as you navigate this. If you haven't yet signed up for one of our webinars, I'm offering them at different times to try and serve y'all with an opportunity to come on live. We're talking about self-regulation in kids; head to seedwebinar.com to come join us. All right folks, you've got this and we've got you on this journey. Here's to holding space for those big emotions and doin' this work in real time. Thanks for raising emotionally intelligent humans. It's the greatest gift I think we can give the world. 


00:14:25    Alyssa

Thanks for tuning in to Voices of Your Village check out the show notes for this episode and all past episodes at voicesofyourvillage.com. Did you know that we have a special community for all of you to be a part of so that we can all gather together to raise emotionally intelligent humans? Head on over to Facebook, search Seed and Sew: Voices of Your Village and dive into that Facebook group. We cannot wait to hang out with you and collaborate on raising these tiny humans. If you're digging this podcast, head on over to Apple podcast, scroll down click those stars and leave a review. It really fills my heart to hear from all of you. 


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