Scroll to end for topic playlists. Please pause playing video before swapping tabs as YouTube does not automatically stop the currently playing video. If you like my videos and want to hear more about emotional regulation and building healthy relationships with all emotions, please support me and the TFBB mission. You can do this (use the buttons in the site footer) by subscribing to my channel on Youtube, liking my Facebook page for parenting support, follow me on social media and check out my website to see what resources and information I have readily available for you. You can also contact me through my website or by emailing tacklethefeelings@gmail.com.
  • Core Emotions
  • Fear
  • Anxiety
  • Happiness
  • Sadness
  • Shame
  • Disgust
  • Anger
  • Child Abuse
  • The Inner Child
  • What is emotional regulation?
  • Commonly Asked Questions
  • Tips and Support
  • Parent Well-Being
  • Children Under 10
  • Babies and Toddlers
  • Spirituality and Emotions

Core Emotions

“All people, of all ages, races, cultures and sexes, have emotions. It is the thread that connects us to our humanity” – Paula Taylor – TFBB

TFBB agrees with the concept of ‘core’ or central emotions. These are a set of main emotions that we all have, no matter who we are. These emotions are fundamentally there to benefit us, even if it doesn’t feel that way.

Many theories will differ slightly as to what labels to give these core emotions. TFBB identifies the 6 core emotions to be:

  • Anger
  • Sadness
  • Fear
  • Shame
  • Disgust
  • Happiness

Under each of these emotions will lie what TFBB calls ‘associated emotions. Some theories will label these secondary emotions or feeling states. Basically, it is good to understand the core emotions behind various associated emotions because this will help you to understand how to manage the emotion and what is really going on for you or someone else (particularly children). For instance, jealousy sits under fear or embarrassment sits under shame. We can identify how each core emotion presents itself and realise that a bossy child is actually trying to gain control. Fear presents as a ‘lack of control’ and thus you can redirect how you see the bossy child. They are not being a ‘brat’ but rather they are coping with feelings of feeling insecure, out of control and fundamentally fear.

Often the behaviours we display are coping mechanisms to manage our difficult feelings. Our reactions are the same. We are often reacting to our own difficult feelings rather than maliciously trying to annoy/anger/frustrate people.

Think of core emotions like an onion core that is surrounded by many players. We have many different expressions of our emotions and feelings. We have complex emotions that tie into our experiences and it is never black and white. We can feel many emotions at the same time. Getting to the heart of what is really going on for us will cut out a number of problems many of us face due to misunderstandings and relationship conflict. Wouldn’t it be great to feel in control of yourself and your reactions?

Fear

“Where there is Fear, Love cannot exist” – Anonymous.

Fear is at the heart of so many of our problems. From stress, overwhelm and jealousy to insecurity, instability and avoidance, this emotion is no easy feat. Fear helps us to identify danger and threat and is a powerfully protective emotion when serving us. So often though, we develop irrational fears or fears that are based on our perceptions of what danger is or will be. We don’t understand the heart of our fears and lack of emotional safety and we struggle to see how this is likely caused by under-regulated fear in childhood. We react and feel out of control and often don’t know why.

Understanding fear, helping children manage their fears (all children get scared and feel insecure, they are dependent on others for survival) and using fear to help instead of hinder us can lead to a much happier, healthier life. The best part, when we release or face our fears, we allow space for love to come in. These are two polar opposite emotions and cannot exist simultaneously.

Anxiety

“Anxiety occurs when we experience an excessive amount of fear and worry. The world feels unsafe and out of control to us” – Paula Taylor, TFBB

When we think of Anxiety, we often think of the disorder. Anxiety is very misunderstood however, and most of us will experience this state of being from time to time. Some good examples are when we have to wait for results for something very stressful or when we are moving home. We can have good Anxiety too, such as the extreme nerves we feel when doing something adventurous or life changing. I am sure most people feel anxious on their wedding day or when hosting a party for a lot of people.

Anxiety is one of the most common things I see as a practitioner. It is also something I have experience with first hand. This label describes a feeling state where you are in overwhelm and feel very worried, stressed out or apprehensive. It is when you struggle to relax and calm down. Your thoughts are often racing and going around and around. Your body has a very physical reaction and you often feel an accelerated heart rate. You often get stomach issues or feel butterflies in the stomach. You can also feel a bit sick and nauseous. Your stress levels cause hormonal fluctuations and changes and your body reacts accordingly. It affects your eating, your sleep and your muscles get tense. Your skin can break out in various ways. You become run down if you are anxious for a period of time. Thus you often feel very drained and exhausted but unfortunately most people struggle to rest.

We also want to avoid situations a lot of the time when we feel anxious. Think of a sponge that is full of water. If the water is your stress, and your body is the sponge, when the sponge reaches saturation point, even the smallest drop of extra water will be too much. It is the same for our bodies. When we are under a lot of stress and overwhelm, we will reach a saturation point too. This is when we can’t seem to take much more. We become reactive and intolerant of the smallest things. We may say things we don’t mean, cry at the drop of a hat, get angry really quickly and a range of other things that can feel out of our control.

Understanding Anxiety and how you may be experiencing this is so important. It can alert you to the fact that you need to wring out some of that water from your sponge. There is nothing wrong with you; your body, mind and emotional system are all protecting you. The thing to do is to find ways to calm down and care for yourself. You need to do this before you do anything else. That is why mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, creative activities, music etc. are all so beneficial in times like these. They give your body the message that you are not in danger (which is what fear alerts us to) and it trains your body and nervous system into calming down and find grounding.

More and more children are experiencing Anxiety. Often the symptoms can look a lot like Autism Spectrum Disorder (A.S.D) and we often fail to recognize the difference. Seeing your child as having developmental concerns can increase your own Anxiety and prevents you from tackling the Anxiety symptoms – which can be managed through emotional regulation, increased connection to you through connection strategies and mindfulness techniques. TFBB is passionate about creating awareness around Anxiety, how to manage it and how to create emotional safety.

Happiness

“Happiness is not the absence of negative emotions, it is the acceptance of them” – Paula Taylor, TFBB

We all want to be happy. It is one of the most sought after states of being. We all differ in our ideas of what happiness actually is. This is because we all have different preferences and experiences and what makes one person happy will not necessarily make another person happy.

TFBB looks at happiness and joy in 2 ways. We can FEEL happy and we can BE happy. Being happy is an overall state of being whereas feeling happy is an emotional reaction, similarly to feeling sad, frustrated or jealous. For instance, when we do something that brings us joy, we often experience a feeling of happiness. This feeling can be excitement, a relaxed sense of peace and calm or something in between. It feels good! It feels right! It is EASY to feel happy and it creates energy inside you where you feel creative, motivated, inspired etc.

Being happy is a bit different. TFBB believes that the state of happiness is when our thoughts, emotions and behaviours all line up. We are congruent with all aspects of ourselves. Some call this ‘being in alignment’ with our true selves. We are not in resistance to any part of ourselves, however dark, difficult, embarrassing or weird. When we are happy, we are experiencing inner peace. We are honouring our needs and embracing our emotions. We understand that all experiences and feelings serve us, however painful and difficult to bare. We allow ourselves to be flawed and strive to see the lessons, learnings and gifts in these difficult times. To be happy is not to be in a constant feeling state of happiness and joy. It is about acceptance and understanding. Happiness is about inner peace.

Sadness

“Sadness is there to help us process loss, change and difficult experiences” – Paula Taylor, TFBB

So many of us feel repelled by this emotion, in ourselves but also in others. We struggle to be around someone who is feeling sad, down, flat and in particular, depressed. Have you ever stopped to think why?

Emotional pain is one of the toughest things to go through and it certainly isn’t easy to witness in people you care about. Feelings of helplessness creep in and we often feel a lot of guilt alongside our sadness. There is no clear reason as to why this happens as everyone is so different. The truth is though, we often try to help people with this emotion by cheering them up. This is especially true in parenting. We love the art of distraction. We hate seeing children upset. We feel guilty when someone is upset in our presence. Sadness likes to withdraw and will often force you to do so if you do not honour these needs (usually by giving you a nice dose of sickness or making you extremely tired and drained). You will see this a lot with grief, where people shut themselves away from the world for a period of time. This is normal. This is natural. And this is what will allow for these painful feelings to be released.

Teaching children how to be present with their sadness rather than ashamed is so important. Helping children understand that everybody feels sad and sadness is such a helpful emotion. It is like the ‘emotional glue’ of the core emotions. It helps us integrate our experiences and thus we remain in a sense of control. We don’t allow this emotion to fester and run us down. This is a gift to be shared. All sadness passes, the time frame will vary but it will pass. A healthy relationship with sadness means that we learn how to trust the process, soothe our needs and allow the feelings to be felt and released.

Shame

“Shame is where we believe there is something fundamentally wrong with us. Like we are lacking in some way or not good enough. Shame is the root of low self-esteem” – Paula Taylor – TFBB

Shame is a difficult emotion to identify and acknowledge in both ourselves and in other people. It differs from guilt where we feel we have DONE something wrong. Shame is when we believe that who we are is wrong or lacking in some way. We believe deep down that we are not good enough or not the same as everyone else.

We all have a certain amount of shame and shame has it’s benefit as do all the difficult emotions. We are all living together on this planet and are all unique and individual. Shame brings a form of cohesion and allows us to behave in ways that enable society to function together. We have what many of us call a ‘conscience’, helping us to navigate through society in a way that causes the least harm to those around us. We wear clothes, obey laws, follow instructions, assist one another and all those everyday things in order to function as a society or system. From small family systems right through to larger cultural, national or global systems. Shame keeps us in check basically. Many cultures and religions use shame to create social control because of how effective it is. We seem to have taken to using shame to control children too, which is something TFBB advocates against.

Too much shame can create a range of negative effects and impacts in our lives. When delving into this emotion and looking at trauma created around childhood shame, we can see a predominant presentation of low self-esteem and a lack of confidence. Shame feels empty and numb. Shame feels as if you don’t belong and have to hide parts of yourself in order to be accepted. Shame believes that love is conditional.

Unfortunately, shame likes to hide and the way certain people present with their low self-esteem can vary. You can see body image issues, anxiety, cautious behaviour, over reactions, lashing out, withdrawal, social problems. substance abuse, lack of emotional control, judgement of others, insecurity, extreme shyness and even narcissism (where people lose their sense of self and develop a grandiose self-perception) – and this is just to name a few.

Shame is seen in our relationships. Our relationship to ourselves as well as our relationships with others. We often try and get our needs met through other people, especially within our romantic relationships. People let us down and we struggle with expectations we place on other people. We feel shame for feeling the way we do and we tend to move into blame. The reason is often because shame is so difficult to bare. It is one of the hardest emotions to allow yourself to feel. Blame is always easier but there is no healing in blame.

There are many ways to avoid shame but the one I have found to be the most effective is centred around emotions. When we allow ourselves or other people to feel what we/they feel without judgement, we allow for authenticity. We create validation and give the message that there is NOTHING wrong with us. We make the distinction between behaviour, reactions and feelings. It is ok to feel what we feel. We don’t have to change our feelings. We don’t have to be happy and smile all the time. It’s ok if someone is not comfortable around our emotions. The journey to heal shame is the journey to find self-love and acceptance. This can only be done through loving and accepting ourselves first and this may require some healing of past trauma.

Disgust

“There are 2 faces to the core emotion disgust” – Paula Taylor, TFBB

Disgust is a fascinating emotion that most of us only have a surface level understanding of. The most commonly understood ‘face’ of disgust is the one that we feel when faced with something physically disgusting. This usually involves one of our 5 senses such as smell, taste, touch, sight and sound. Disgust gives us a ‘sick in our stomach’ feeling where we pull a distinctive face as we are repelled by what is disgusting us. Disgust is there to stop us from touching, tasting or going near something that may cause us harm in the form of illness. Most of us honour this emotion and trust our experiences and reactions.

The second ‘face’ of disgust is not as easy to define or trust. This is what some theorists call ‘moral disgust’. This is when we feel disgust for things that are learned rather than inherent to us. Moral disgust is often responsible for our use of stereotypes and judgements. We are taught what is right and wrong as children and will often feel a sense of disgust if we are exposed to something we deem morally disgusting. Some common examples of this would be rape, child or animal abuse, violence and destruction to the planet. Other examples which may be more harmful to our society may include racism, sexism, homophobia and other social stereotypes.

Disgust is not an easy emotion to regulate if not properly understood. To understand disgust is to understand the 2 faces this emotion holds and how you and your family experience it. Regulation of disgust requires you to teach children (or yourselves) tolerance, empathy, respect for difference and compassion. Helping children to understand that you do not have to agree with something to strive for understanding and maintain respect. This is a valuable life lesson for us all. Learning how to recognize this emotion can be extremely helpful in identifying what you are feeling and gain insight into your own preferences and experiences.

Under-regulated disgust can present similarly to shame in that we may develop a self belief that we are in fact fundamentally disgusting or harmful to others. Teaching children how to trust their own judgements and to see everyone as worthy and equal will help them to learn tolerance and compassion. We learn first through our primary relationships and then as we grow, we turn these lessons inward. If we are not taught how to respect difference, we will not learn how to respect our own difference. Disgust is a great teacher in this if managed correctly.

Anger

“Anger helps us to honour, respect and enforce our own personal boundaries” – Paula Taylor, TFBB

Anger is not an easy emotion to be around in other people, even if the anger is not directed at you. It is a powerful emotion and it is designed to help us defend and protect ourselves and maintain our personal boundaries.
Boundaries are like rules we set ourselves in order to stay safe, comfortable and protected. Physical boundaries can be things like the fence around our homes, clothes we wear to cover ourselves, our personal space etc. Our emotional boundaries or inner boundaries are harder to identify consciously but we have many of them. They can range from how we are spoken to, how people react towards us, how much we like to share with others, what level of connection we have with people and many more. We define and learn our boundaries predominantly in childhood because this is when we are learning what is acceptable and what isn’t in our lives based on culture, values, personality and temperament, beliefs and experiences.

Healthy anger or adaptive anger is there to alert us that someone or something has violated or crossed our personal boundary. This emotion is designed to help us protect and maintain these boundaries. We are always learning and growing and thus our boundaries often evolve and change too. When we were little we may have been happy to be held by lots of people but as we grow up, we may not enjoy being touched by other people we don’t really know. Our experiences help us to define and redefine what is good for us and this is how we find out what works forus and what makes us feel safe and comfortable. Anger is a vital emotion and should never be demonised and dismissed.

Anger, due to its powerful nature, is often used as a coping mechanism to other more painful or difficult emotions. Depression and anger often coincide for example. Young children who are actually feeling insecure will often act out or lash out in what looks like aggression. Anger then becomes a barrier for healing instead of a tool to cope. Many people are punished as children for this emotion and there are many of us who have formed unhealthy relationships with this vital core emotion. Too much or not enough. Blame becomes all too common and people stop taking accountability for themselves as it becomes easier to believe something is happening ‘to’ us rather than looking at how we have contributed to the violation of our boundaries. Healthy anger is able to be processed and this usually happens when we reinstate the boundary that has been violated. Clinging on to anger for years is not healthy, it has become a coping mechanism. Learning the difference may just be the biggest gift you can give yourself.

Child Abuse

“Emotional neglect is one of the least understood or well-known forms of abuse and can be very difficult to identify. Other forms of abuse occur when something is done TO you. Emotional neglect is the absence of something being done for you. It is about a failure to meet emotional needs” – Paula Taylor, TFBB.

TFBB focusses predominantly on the prevention of Childhood Emotional Neglect. All forms of abuse have emotional neglect but not all emotional neglect can be termed abuse. This is because emotional neglect, or the failure to meet the emotional needs of children, is not always intentional. In fact, it seldom is. Many of us, if not all of us, have had some degree of childhood emotional neglect. This is because it is impossible to meet all the emotional needs of a child. It is also because many parents and caregivers have their own struggles with certain emotions. Some families honour certain emotions but dismiss or punish others. Anger is a good example of this. Sadness too.

How many of us feel the compulsion to cheer someone up when they feel sad? This is one of the most common things I see when working with families. The intentions are actually very loving. We tend to go straight into reassurance with children before acknowledging and validating how they are feeling. We correct children and tell them that they shouldn’t feel scared or have no right to feel angry etc. We have our own reactions to certain emotions and find them difficult. We get so caught up in the behaviours we often miss the reasons behind these behaviours and fob them off as naughty or defiant without truly understanding what is going on for the child.

Emotional abuse is different to neglect. You see this in the form of putting the child down, depleting confidence, dismissing or ignoring children, withdrawing affection as a punishment, manipulating children and other more active methods to control and belittle.

Physical, verbal and sexual abuse also occur far too regularly in many families. It is a big debate as to whether physical punishment can be labelled abuse. This can be in the form of spanking. TFBB advocates strongly against physical punishment because of the emotional damage it can do to a child. It teaches a child that love is conditional. They trust you as a parent and this relationship, the Attachment relationship, is vital for healthy development. Children learn how to value, love and trust themselves through your love, trust and valuing of them. When you use fear based parenting such as physical punishment, you become the source of fear. The child is shamed and learns that they are ‘bad’. It takes a lot to correct this and repair this relationship. The damage is not caused in the relationship between parent and child as much as it is caused in the child’s relationship to themselves and their self-esteem. This can have small to large impacts in the child’s life later on, depending on other factors and experiences present in the child’s life.

Child Abuse is an epidemic and it is a cycle. In order to stop these cycles and prevent things like Childhood Emotional Neglect, we must have the courage to learn new ways of parenting. Emotional regulation offers a very effective method of managing behaviours, increasing self-esteem, increasing the Attachment relationships between parents and children and promoting long term mental health benefits. The research supports this. TFBB aims to teach all parents how to do this and create awareness around these alternative ways to parenting. It is about creating healthier coping mechanisms in both adults (parents) and children.

The Inner Child

“We all have an inner child. This is the part of us that holds our freedom of spirit, creativity, joyfulness, playful side and innocence. It is also the part of us that holds our trauma. In order to access our joy, we must first work through and accept our trauma” – Paula Taylor, TFBB

There is a part of us that many term the ‘Inner Child’. This part of us is viewed in many different ways and is often given the sense of an actual child. It can be felt when you are playing or being creative. It can be felt when you are having fun and feeling free and easy. It can be felt when you are in the present and displaying innocence and light heartedness.

Many of us don’t realise that much of the time, when we are struggling with reactions we don’t understand, relationships, overwhelming emotions and triggers of any nature, this is also when our Inner Child is out in full force. Our Inner Child is also wounded. We all have trauma because we all spent the first part of our lives dependent on someone for survival. It is impossible to have all our needs met. Our caregivers are human and we are too. We didn’t have a voice and we weren’t able to ask for what we needed using language. The more our needs were neglected, the more trauma we will have. Some of us suffered abuse. Some of us had medical issues. Some of us were in foster care or had no parents. Some of us were punished regularly for things that we couldn’t help or control.

When we are triggered, it is like a switch goes off in our brains where our memories get opened to how we felt at this difficult time in the past. Often the memories are in feeling states and we don’t have clear memories of actual events. We lose perspective because the child in us starts to fight for survival and does not know how to rationalise what is going on effectively. We become reactive or behave in ways that seem out of proportion to what is actually happening in the present. We may avoid things or instigate conflict and arguments. We may feel so hurt that we can’t let it go. We may struggle to trust or forgive. The list goes on.

When we are so caught up in all of these difficult triggers and reactions, we have no space for joy and happiness. It can feel like we don’t know how to access this side of ourselves. We may have creative blocks and struggle to see the beauty around us. We may feel negative and have no idea how to be a ‘positive person’. We may become overwhelmed with certain emotions such as fear or anger.

TFBB believes that the reason for this is because the Inner Child hold both these opposite states of being. The joy sits with the trauma. To shut yourself off from the difficult emotions and experiences indirectly shuts you off from your true joy and happiness too. To be happy and access the child in you consciously, it requires an acceptance of the darker parts of yourself. It requires gentleness and understanding. Many of us see emotions and vulnerability as weak. Allowing your emotions to come up and to sit with them is arguably one of the most courageous things a person can do. To walk in vulnerability with enough self-trust that you can manage the exposure of this to other people is incredibly brave. TFBB believes that the more we, as a society, can learn to do this, the healthier the world will become. This is where the true healing lies. This is where true happiness lies. It is about acceptance and authenticity. It is about embracing your Inner Child.

Emotional Regulation

“Every Emotion is important and serves to benefit us” – Paula Taylor, TFBB

Emotional regulation is a reasonably new concept in parenting although people have been doing it naturally for years. It can also be viewed as managing emotions. Research now shows us that emotional regulation is an extremely important part of parenting as it involves teaching children to identify and understand their own emotions. When we develop healthy relationships to ALL our emotions, we experience better mental health and feel better equipped to handle the challenges that come our way.

Emotional regulation involves being able to identify, process and release our emotions as they arise rather than dismissing, avoiding or projecting them (onto others). When we are able to work with our emotions, we gain the benefits that these emotions were designed to give us. We also avoid the development of unhealthy coping mechanisms which often become problematic in our lives later on.

When it comes to parenting, children do not have the brain development to think about what they are feeling. They are unable to give it a name such as ‘afraid’ or ‘angry’. They feel it in their body and react to these feelings instinctively. The role of the parent or primary caregiver is to help them understand what they are feeling and show them how to manage or cope with whatever they are experiencing. This is the same for all of the emotions, you are never expected to change how someone feels, especially not children. It can be very difficult to accept that your child feels angry or sad or afraid. It can also be tempting to correct the child when ‘you’ feel there are no justified reasons for the emotion.

Emotional regulation is about validation. Teaching the child that it is ok to feel the way they feel and you will accept and love them through it. This displays unconditional love and teaches the child that they can trust themselves and how they feel. This will build up their self-esteem and confidence in the world. It will also enable them to value and love themselves through your love and guiding presence. Having a healthy relationship with emotions will be the best gift you can give your children.

Commonly Asked Questions

“To learn something new requires a willingness to be a student rather than an expert” – Paula Taylor, TFBB

Chances are, if you are asking it, someone else has also been questioning it. Never feel ashamed of your questions, no matter how silly they may seem. Life is full of information and we are constantly showered with differences of opinions, new ideas, fresh perspectives and change.

Being vulnerable is courageous in this day and age. We often need to feel less alone in our questioning and strive to feel a sense of normality, especially in parenting. For this reason, it is wonderful to put together some common questions around all things emotions so that we can all learn together in a safe and non-judgemental way. If you have questions, ask them, you may just be helping someone else too.

Tips and Support

“We all need a little help from time to time. Asking for help takes courage and is not a weakness” – Paula Taylor, TFBB

TFBB teaches you a new way of parenting and re-parenting (healing your own past trauma) that involves a focus on Emotional Regulation. This is basically around managing emotions and finding emotional safety and regaining control.

We can gain support in a number of ways. I often offer a number of practical strategies, especially in my parenting support, that guide you and will hopefully make things a little easier. These strategies have all been tried and tested and many families have seen a lot of success.

Other support involves empowerment through education and awareness. Half our battles are there through a lack of understanding and knowledge. We don’t know why we do the things we do and react in the ways we do half the time. When you understand emotions, you can understand yourself and other people so much better. It creates compassion and empathy. It also paves the way for solutions to be formed and created.

There is no shame in asking for help. Many of us, myself included, struggle quite a bit with this. Society has not made this easy for us, particularly in Western cultures. I see this in all cultures though, often in different ways. We are bound by expectations and obligations and often struggle with our own fears and shame. We feel as if we ‘should’ be doing something a certain way or we ‘should’ be coping better than we are etc. The truth is though, we all have areas of struggle and areas where we don’t feel competent. We are not supposed to have all the answers and know how to manage every situation. We are always learning and it is important to learn how to accept help and embrace things with an openness to learning and a curious mind.

Parent Well-Being

“It is not indulgent to take time out for yourself and honour your own needs as a parent, it is imperative for healthy parenting” – Paula Taylor, TFBB

Parents, especially mothers, are notorious at self-sacrificing. I see parents running themselves to the bone, pushing through exhaustion, stress and just about everything under the sun instead of looking after their own needs. Somewhere along the line we have set the bar really high for parents. We feel like bad people for wanting to have a life outside of our kids or for spending money or time on ourselves.

I see parents reach the point of stress and overwhelm where they start to become reactive and can’t control their emotions and expressions of them. They feel short fused and angry or resentful. Relationship conflict between couples starts to increase. And annoyingly, the children’s behaviours start to worsen too. It can feel like a never ending cycle of doom with no light at the end of the tunnel.

Looking after yourself as a parent is not an indulgence. It is vital for healthy parenting. You want to model this behaviour to your children. No-one, not even kids, wants to feel that you are resentful of them or unhappy because of them. No-one wants to feel like they are a burden. No-one wants to feel like they are someone’s entire world because this places so much pressure on a person, especially a child. Your reactivity is coming from a place of overwhelm and if you don’t create physical distance, you will start to emotionally distance from your kids and others around you. Children can sense this and it creates Anxiety in them. Their natural reaction is to seek out this connection with you in any way they can. Unfortunately, children don’t have the best ways of doing this because they do not have the tools to make sense of what is going on. They will often seek out negative attention through acting out or they will become clingy and dependent on you. They may regress and start acting younger than they are. They may demand a lot more of your time and no matter how much time you spend with them, they just seem to want more and more from you.

It is in these times that you need to stop and take some respite in whatever way you can. It is time to take care of your own well-being. The more you push on, the worse it will get. You do not need to increase the time you spend with your child, you need to find a way to be consistent and present with them. You will be unable to do this if you are too overwhelmed and stressed out or exhausted. It is not always possible to take time out so in these moments, it is good to understand what is going on and cut yourself some slack. Take the pressure off yourself and pat yourself on the back. You are always doing the best you can. Find small ways to reward yourself and care for yourself. Listen to some good music, eat good food, read something uplifting, do a small meditation before bed or get creative in some way. Ask for support where you can; we all need a helping hand from time to time. Make use of information that is available to you and learn some new parenting strategies to help you. You are not a machine, you are human and you are great! Parenting is one of the hardest jobs in the world, it is normal to struggle with it.

Children Under 10 Years Old

“Childhood is the time when you are learning through play and making mistakes. Children require guidance as you help them find their own independence” – Paula Taylor, TFBB

We learn so much in our early years and the first decade of life is where so many developmental milestones take place. The first 5 years see us learning all the basic functions such as walking, talking, eating and learning how to use our body. We learn through our primary caregivers, normally our parents, about the world and how to be in it. As we start heading past 5 years old, you will see our thinking (cognitions) start to develop more and more. We start to break free of things we are being told and start to have the ability to think for ourselves and find our own ways of doing things.

Children under 10 years of need a lot of love, guidance, stimulation and support. They will make a lot of mistakes and push boundaries. They will mirror the adults closest to them and they will start to develop relationships outside of the family. Your role as a parent will constantly need to be adapted and you will grow with your child. The goal is to help them learn independence whilst still being dependent on you.

Children under 10 years old need structure, guidance and consistency. They need a parent more than a friend as the world can be a scary place and they are still learning how to be in it. Children often have large emotions that they struggle to make sense of and this can be very overwhelming for them. We are often quick to label behaviours as attention seeking or naughty but this is seldom the case. It is about needs and requiring these primary emotional needs to be met by you. Emotional regulation is incredibly important in this phase of childhood.

Babies and Toddlers

“So much happens in our first 5 years of life, this time can shape us in ways that can define how we see the world and who we are in it. That is why they call these the ‘formative years’” – Paula Taylor, TFBB

The first 5 years of a child’s life are called the formative years. This is the age group that TFBB focusses on in parenting due to this. It is possibly the hardest time to parent as babies and toddlers are so dependent on their parents or primary caregivers. They are brand new to the world and have to be taught just about everything.

From birth, babies operate from their brain stem which is the part of the brain that is instinctual. It is around physical needs and survival. The limbic system or the emotional system is the next part of the brain to develop and this is the predominant system in the early years. The ‘thinking’ part of the brain only develops later on and we often expect children to be able to rationalise and make sense of things when they developmentally are unable to. It is due to this focus on the emotional system that TFBB advocates strongly for emotional regulation strategies to be implemented in the formative years.

Young children have all the same emotions as us but have no way of making sense of them, managing them or processing them on their own. They need guidance. It is through this guidance that we all learn how to manage our emotions in life. Often we struggle with certain emotions because we have not been taught how to deal with them. We are not taught what to ‘do’ when we feel difficult emotions such as sadness, fear or anger. We feel overwhelmed by our own feelings and reactions and lack the tools to gain control of ourselves at times. By teaching young children how to have a healthy relationship to emotions, we are setting them up for a healthy relationship with themselves later on in life. We are giving them tools to cope with any challenge life may throw their way, and there will be challenges.

No parent is perfect and cannot meet every emotional need a child has. It is important to understand that emotional regulation only needs to be done 30% of the time to make a HUGE difference in a child’s life and well-being. It is a way of parenting that offers an alternative to fear based parenting and punishment. If you understand the ages and stages, brain development and emotional needs your little one has, you will be far better equipped in how to help them through this, manage behaviour and create stability and security in the home. The trick lies in understanding your own emotional regulation and how you manage your emotions. It is not easy to explore this side of yourself and it always takes courage to explore new ways of doing things.

TFBB believes that implementing emotional regulation in the early years of childhood is the key to tackling many issues we are faced with today, particularly around mental health. These first 5 years can define a person and developing a healthy relationship to ALL emotions is vital for building the inner resources to cope with everyday life, relationships and challenges.

If you like my video’s and want to hear more about emotional regulation and building healthy relationships with all emotions, please support me and the TFBB mission. You can do this by subscribing to my channel on Youtube, liking my Facebook page for parenting support, follow me on social media and check out my website to see what resources and information I have readily available for you. You can also contact me through my website or by emailing tacklethefeelings@gmail.com.

Spirituality and Emotions

“Emotions are an integral part of our being and make up the ‘spirit’ component in the ‘mind, body, spirit’ triangle. Spirituality is unique to every individual, whether you follow an organised religion or not.” – Paula Taylor, TFBB

TFBB believes that spirituality is fundamentally down to the relationship we have to ourselves and the meaning we ascribe to our experiences and perceptions in this world. In order to be in alignment with our true life purpose and inner truth, we need to develop healthy relationships to ALL our emotions, good, bad and plain old difficult to bare.

A large part of spirituality means getting in touch with your darker sides and shadows and embracing all these parts that make up YOU. It is about healing, learning, growing and expanding into the greatest version of yourself that you can possibly be. It is about being conscious and awake to yourself, others and the world. It is about finding your own truth and honouring that. Honouring your needs, especially your emotional needs, and learning how to be there for yourself.

Being spiritual can be magical and ‘out there’ if that is what suits you. It can also be grounding, mindful and very practical. Spirituality is a personal journey and there are no right or wrong ways in terms of how we define this within our own lives. TFBB aims to bring emotions into spirituality and focus on that relationship to ourselves in relation to finding inner peace and authenticity. All things weird and wonderful are encouraged, there is no judgement here.

If you like my video’s and want to hear more about emotional regulation and building healthy relationships with all emotions, please support me and the TFBB mission. You can do this by subscribing to my channel on Youtube, liking my Facebook page for parenting support, follow me on social media and check out my website to see what resources and information I have readily available for you. You can also contact me through my website or by emailing tacklethefeelings@gmail.com.