OK, so that might not be actually true. As a child I did have feelings but they seemed kind of simple. I was either happy, sad or angry and I expressed these feelings by laughing or crying. I was very basic as a child and, if my memory serves me correctly (which it may not as it’s getting on a bit) all the children around me appeared to express their three feelings in the same way. I’m not saying this was ideal but that’s how it was in the olden days.
These days, at school, children are encourage to talk about their feelings and to understand them. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s massively important that children are encouraged to identify and acknowledge the wide variety of feelings and emotions they have in order to understand it and for good mental health. My only teeny tiny gripe is that Aoife must have missed the lesson on feelings where other people are allowed to have them!
Walking to school the other day it was about zero degrees and raining. You know the sideways rain? THAT rain.
“My bag is heavy. You carry it” “It’s not heavy, it’s empty. You carry it” “It keeps falling off” “It doesn’t” “It does, look” *Dramatic walk along making the bag drop off her shoulders accompanied by loud tutting* “RIGHT GIVE ME THE BAG NOW” *Gives me the bag* “You hurt my feelings Mummy” “How did I hurt your feelings?” “By getting cross with me” “I got cross with you because you were arguing with me and messing with your bag and we’re going to be late” “But you’re naughty for hurting my feelings” “Well you hurt my feelings Aoife by arguing with me all the time” “I didn’t hurt your feelings!” “You did, you made me sad” “But you made me sad first by making me carry my bag” “That’s not something to get sad about” “But it did, and you made me want to cry” “Well, you made me feel like crying” “NO, YOU CAN’T CRY MUMMY BECAUSE I SAID I WAS CRYING FIRST” “It’s not a competition Aoife!” “YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO CRY MUMMY BECAUSE I SAID I WAS” “OK” “You’re bad because you hurt my feelings first and made ME want to cry first.”