Acknowledging a child's feelings

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Acknowledging a child's feelings

If you go to pretty much any park in any city in our country, you will see the following scene. A child falls off the swing and the mother runs up to the child, the crying child, swoops him up, "You're okay, you're okay, you're okay," and the child is screaming. It's obviously not okay. So a much more nurturing way to respond is first of all wait and see if the child is going to need you. But if the child's really hurt and crying, yes, you go over. And then you acknowledge. "Yeah, I saw you fall off that swing. That must have really hurt." Or, "That was really scary." You're acknowledging what is so so that everything lines up. They're not feeling a feeling that you're denying. And what we do when we do this is that we help preserve their inner compass for what is true. If we're constantly talking them out of their real experience, we're leaving them really vulnerable for when they get into those teen years that's full of all kinds of times they're gonna have to use their inner compass for what is true for them.

View Marcy Axness, PhD's video on Acknowledging a child's feelings...


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Marcy Axness, PhD

Childhood Development Specialist

Marcy Axness, PhD, is an early development specialist, popular international speaker, and author of Parenting for Peace: Raising the Next Generation of Peacemakers. She is a top blogger at and a member of their expert panel. Featured in several documentary films as an expert in adoption, prenatal development and Waldorf education, Dr. Axness has a private practice coaching parents-in-progress. She considers as one of her most important credentials that she raised two peacemakers to share with the world -- Ian and Eve, both in their 20s. 

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