Parenting: The concept of sadness

We think that it is alright for Joy to see us struggle with our differences, although we choose not to argue about or contradict each other’s parenting methods in front of her. I feel it is necessary for her to see disagreements between us and how it works out in the end, because differences are a part of any relationship, the important thing is how it is handled.

Sometimes, I do get pretty upset and she would ask me “Mummy, 你很难过吗?” (“Mummy, are you very sad?”) or cup my face with her two little hands and tell me “Mummy, 不要哭好不好?” (“Mummy, don’t cry”).

Yes, so sweet of her. But when she tries to take care of us, it always breaks my heart and it breaks the hubby’s heart even harder, because he had hoped that she would not know sadness, until it is really necessary.

We had an argument in the morning, worked it out and took Joy out after. On the trip out, Joy met a stuffed toy and started asking him “你很难过吗?” (“are you very sad?”). It made the hubby tear right after that because he felt very sad that we have introduced the concept of sadness to Joy (whom, to him, should only experience happiness and be joyful, for as long as possible) and it seem to affect her quite a bit.

How much does a 2 year old really understand? I can’t say for sure but in parenting Joy, I’ve learnt not to underestimate how much she is aware of what’s happening around her and how sensitive she is.

In most situations, I feel that emotions are to be experienced when and if they happen and won’t bubble wrap Joy against them but if it affects her to an extent I’m uncomfortable with, I’ll be around to explain things, guide her and adjust her exposure to them, if that is possible / necessary.

Sometimes, I have the urge to ask others “Am I doing it right?” but I resist it mostly because how do we determine “right” and by whose yardstick? I’m still learning as a parent and to be honest, all I try to do is to (try to) imagine what goes on inside her and (try to) guide her in ways which I believe would be understood by her and benefit her. When I waver inside me on how I am parenting Joy, I take another look at what I’m doing to see if anything is wrong.

Is that right?

Be happy to hear, if you have views.


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One Reply to “Parenting: The concept of sadness”

  1. I think it is inevitable that a child learns the meaning of sadness. In fact, I feel that it should only be right for them to understand what it mean….. so that they will be able to express it. rather than throw tantrum fits. Parenting is a long hard road. It is a journey. Everybody is learning. Everybody thrives to be a good parent, I guess there is simply no right or wrong in parenting, We just do our best…..

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