Codependency tells us that other people’s feelings are our responsibility.
We need others to feel okay so we can feel okay. As you can imagine, this makes it tough for us to allow full emotional expression in others.
When our emotional state is dependent on the emotions of those around us, it can be difficult to:
⚡ Set boundaries: We might notice ourselves thinking things like “I know you'll throw a fit if I try and go to the bathroom by myself so I just won't.”
⚡ Hear someone else’s feelings without getting defensive: We might notice ourselves saying things like "I worked really hard to make this day fun for you and all you've been doing is whining and complaining.” As we remember other’s feelings don’t define our value, we can hear disappointment without getting defensive.
⚡ Allow others to feel the way they feel: "It's okay, sweetie, it's no big deal! We can rebuild your fort even bigger this time. Don't cry!" As we learn to hold space for others feelings without taking them on ourselves, we can allow kids to feel how they feel.
Freeing kids from a codependent mindset means they will be able to:
🌈 Set boundaries: "I can tell my friend I don’t like being sprayed with the squirtgun, even though I know they'll say they're mad at me for not playing."
🌈 Hear someone else’s feelings without getting defensive: "Khaled said he felt sad when his picture was ruined. It can be an accident AND he can still feel sad. I will say sorry.”
🌈 Allow others to feel the way they feel: "I tried to get Daniela to go down the slide with me but she said she was too nervous, so I went down on my own."
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