Kavya uses the work “scared” a lot of times. The usage has been declining slowly, but between the age of 1 to almost 3, she would say..”Dall gayi thi”, at least a couple of times during the day. She was scared of loud noise (still is, but it iss getting better now), of stranger (stranger anxiety), and pretty much everything that was new to her. Later I realized that she would use that word to even express her nervousness, her discomfort (like when taking bath, while we would pour water on her head during bath etc), or anything which made her uneasy. We would try to ease her out, but I have now seen that her stranger anxiety is slowly vanishing, and with better understanding of things, she is becoming more confident.
While dealing with her “darr” for so many things I realized, that it is very important for one to understand at a very young age- the different emotions and feelings. Unfortunately, my childhood was devoid of this understanding. It was at a very later stage that I learnt to name my emotions. I still struggle. But I realize that it is very important for a person to be able to know and be able to give names to his feelings and emotions. It’s so important for a better understanding of self. It’s the basic of knowing oneself- self-awareness 101. And it also gives a very comforting feeling, when you are able to give a name to what exactly you are feeling about anything/ at that moment. I am talking about general feelings which we go through at various stages/ times in our life, the slightly complex ones- like jealousy, guilt, great happiness, fear, feeling of superiority, inferiority, inadequacy…Like everyone I have felt all of them, but was poor at naming them. I did not even know that I was struggling to give my feelings a name. Very late in life when I interacted with people who knew their emotions and feelings quite well, did I realize that why some people are more sorted because of better self-understanding. It may sound trivial, but not being able to give a name to your feelings, can be sub consciously very frustrating. It creates ignorance about self, and that’s not a very good place to be in. Especially in adult life, when you go through a gamut of emotions, not being able to give a name to it makes you feel lost. It adds to confusion.
The next step is expression, which only comes once you have been successfully able to identify your feelings.
I cannot find out the exact reason why I was so slow in learning that, because in my mid-twenties, I realized that my sister who is younger to me, is fairly good at it. Anyway, I have used feelings and emotions interchangeably in this post- Wiki gives the following definitions- which sound similar to me:
Emotion: a strong feeling deriving from one’s circumstances, mood, or relationships with others.
Feeling: is the nominalization of the verb to feel. The word was first used in the English language to describe the physical sensation of touch through either experience or perception
Therefore, I want to ensure that I do whatever possible I can to help Kavya understand her feelings better. I certainly do not want her to be like me in this space. I want her to be able to correctly tell and name how she is feeling at any point. I also know that I can only assist her in this. And that I want to do to my best. I have already started talking to her about basic feelings like missing someone. Like we just came back from my parents place, and I know that she is missing her nana nani. So when she talks about them, I try to ask her if she is missing them. I remember once she wanted something badly, and instead of throwing a tantrum she started pulling my hair. This was some 6 months back. Since I could not use a word like frustration, though I clearly saw her frustrated at that moment (She was in a bad mood, so it was a combination of many feelings I guess); I asked her if she was upset and angry, why mama is saying no. I calmed her down in sometime and this lasted for just like 2 minutes, but I still tried talking to her on what she felt.
I am not sure if I am doing this correctly, or even if my analysis is all right. But I am certain, that I am trying to better something both for her as well as for me. And as I finish this post- I realize that this could be the post for both ‘E’ and ‘F’..:)