Today is officially the last day of Mental Health Awareness month. Last week, I talked all about 5 different types of moms and dad who need mental health counseling and why. Today, I want to chat about why real moms should encourage kids to express their feelings.
The idea for this post came about after I went to Mom 2.0. Dove was the main sponsor. I had the opportunity to learn more about their new line, Baby Dove. This year Dove celebrates it’s 60th anniversary and launched Baby Dove and their #RealMoms campaign.
The message of the campaign is that “there are no perfect moms, only real ones.” Baby Dove had an activity station where us moms could write down how we are real moms. I really struggled with coming up with something because there were a lot of things that I could write but then the “perfect” thing popped into my mind. What I wrote on the board that day was “#RealMoms encourage kids to express their feelings.”
As you all know, Tristan passed away a little over a month ago. It has been rough getting used to our new normal and learning our grieving styles isn’t easy. The crazy thing is that we all have different grieving styles and needs. Tatiana tends to bottle things up because she has panic attacks when she talks about her little brother. The night terrors were real the first couple of weeks. Although we have moved past them for the most part, they still come back from time to time. We encourage Tatiana to write about her brother since talking about it doesn’t always work for her. We bought her a special journal where she can write all about her brother. When she’s ready to talk or cry or scream about it, we’re there. We take her feelings any way they come and encourage her to let it all out.
What I love about Baby Dove’s #RealMoms campaign is that us moms can be open and honest about what makes us real. What makes me real is that I encourage kids to express their feelings. Not just my kids but all kids. As a kid, we weren’t taught to talk about our feelings. Most of the time our feelings weren’t even acknowledged. For generations, this is how it has been in our families but we are choosing to break the cycle by talking about our feelings with Tatiana. We can’t expect her to open up without opening up first right?
It’s so important to me that we teach kids to be open and honest about their feelings. We should teach them how to grieve and to cope with whatever is going on in their lives. The more we teach them healthy ways to cope with things like stress and grief, the better their mental health will be.
What are some ways you encourage kids to express their feelings?