Girls are often called “emotional” and the word is unfortunately spoken in a negative sense. “You’re so emotional,” we used to be told when tearing up about something as young girls (or even older girls).

 

But there’s nothing wrong with being emotional. In fact, high emotional intelligence has been identified as one of the characteristics that play a significant role in the development of great leaders.

 

Instead of thinking of “being emotional” as a negative attribute then, we should instead help our girls cultivate their great emotional power. We should help them grow into sensitive but stable adults who know how to express and acknowledge their own feelings and those of others.

Help Her Express the Feeling

The first step to helping your girl develop emotionally is to help her express her feelings. Not just in negative situations, but also positive ones.

 

Is she feeling happy or excited? Frustrated or angry? Disappointed or upset? The differences between the various feelings can be crucial to understanding the range of emotions we can feel and will help your girl understand the differences among various situations. Excitement is not necessarily happiness. And feeling frustrated doesn’t mean she should also get angry.

 

Confirm Her Feelings

When she tells how she feels, don’t dismiss her. Don’t say “that’s a silly thing to be upset over.”

 

Confirm and acknowledge her feeling. Say instead “I understand you’re upset that your sister took your marker.  Shouting at her is not nice. Why don’t you tell her how you feel instead?”

 

When you confirm her feelings in this way, you let her know that what she feels is not wrong, but the way she expressed it may not have been the best. Help your girl understand, for example, feeling upset doesn’t mean she has to shout; it just means she has to express that feeling so it can be resolved.

 

Help Her Recognize the Cause

In discussing her feelings—especially negative ones—always make sure you lead her to discover and recognize the cause. If she’s upset because her sister took her marker, you can guide her to realize that maybe it’s because she hasn’t finished her picture yet and tell her sister to ask before she takes something.

 

Understanding what created the feeling will help your girl start linking cause and effect and help her avoid repeating situations that result in negative feelings when possible.

 

Strong Girls Are Emotional Powerful Girls

Not in the traditional meaning of the word “emotional” perhaps. But emotions are not something negative. And we need to help our girls and the women of tomorrow understand that.

 

Emotions can be a powerful and positive force in a girl’s life.

 

When your girl learns to express what she feels accurately and calmly, when she understands that the feeling itself is not “wrong” but the reaction to it may have not been the best, and when she can recognize the cause behind her feelings, then she can take control of her life and become emotionally powerful.

 

How Do You Support Your Girl Emotionally?

Do you have any favorite rituals or practices for talking about feelings with your daughter?

 

How do you deal with hurt feelings?

 

Give us your best tips for emotionally powerful girls in the comments!

 

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