Scenario Seventeen — By Anne Stonehouse AM and Oslo Davis.
If you are sad or worried and someone says something like, ‘Cheer up, there’s nothing to be worried about’, or ‘Snap out of it, you’re all right’, does that make you feel better? Usually we want someone to first acknowledge our feelings as legitimate, then maybe try to help us feel better. Sometimes adults show an amused or very casual reaction to a child’s anger or pain or sadness. Sometimes our knowledge and perspective tells us that the child’s fear is unreasonable or that there is nothing to worry about: Mum will come back at the end of the day; there is no monster in the drain of the bath. However, children’s fears are real to them, and reassuring them begins with respecting their feelings.