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All Feelings Are Valid

All feelings are valid.
This seems like an obvious statement, but in our busy lives as parents, it's easy to forget to respect our children's feelings.
As we're a team of parents behind the Boba gear, we know how outbursts can seem out of control. Kids' emotions can be loud, messy, and hard to handle! You know what they say, "the wildest colts make the best horses".

Children are often trivialised in our society. "It's ok, you're fine", "Don't be a scaredy-cat", or a fast "No" with no consideration are common expressions that would not be used when talking to an adult.

We believe that too much of this can hurt a child's self-esteem, making him think his feelings are meaningless. Here are some general examples that we think parents get frustrated with often:

An infant cries for his mother to hold her...

Is this any different than an adult asking a loved one or friend for help?
We're strong believers that infants should be held by their parents almost all the time so that cuts out the question of when to pick them up. You can carry your baby from newborn in a Boba Wrap so she can be with you and you still have the freedom to move and use both hands. When a baby cries it MEANS something 100% of the time.

A two-year-old getting into everything can be hard for a parent...

BUT it is so important for his development to explore his world. We believe children need to explore. If all they hear is "No" or are stuck in their playpens, they aren't learning! Yes, it takes a lot of time to safely parent a child at this age but it's worth it!

A five-year-old is frustrated with a toy or friend and throws a fit...

This might not be pleasing to the eyes or ears, but giving the child a time out or ignoring him tells him his feelings are not OK. Feelings of frustration are a normal part of life. By not acknowledging a child's natural emotions he may end up feeling guilty for even having them.

"I have 5-year-old twin girls and believe me, they throw fits! When it's happening I always first remind myself that they are NOT trying to upset me! I remember all the huge things that are going on in their little lives: their bodies are growing, their lives are constantly changing, they just became big sisters, maybe they're hungry or tired (yes these last two are huge to a five-year-old). They just need love, help, and understanding."

A nine year old gets stuck on a video game level and is sad, mad or frustrated...

This may seem trivial to an adult but is really important to the child. Telling him it's "no big deal" implies that his feelings are wrong. Try and remember being a kid and thinking everything in your life was just as important as the things in your adult life now. The child feels the same about his video games or the stories that he writes and we want to show him that his interests are important to us too.

So, hold your baby when he wants you, help your two-year-old check everything out, play with your four-year-old and nine-year-old even if Candyland or Super Mario aren't your things.

LISTEN to them above everything else! When nothing else works, just be there with them and listen to whatever they want to tell you.

As parents, we can be advocates for our children in every way. We can take a step back from work, bills, cleaning, and all our "important" stuff. We can remember what it was like to be a child, and how it felt to be trivialised. We can tell them how important they are by showing them courtesy and respect and paying attention to all their emotions, even the ones we don't particularly like. It will mean the world to them, promise!

For more reading on this subject we suggest:
Guidance vs Discipline
Emotions are not Bad Behaviour 
Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves