I am always looking for ways to help us parents grow our compassion and empathy for our children (and see how effective it is for managing behaviors through co-regulation).
Today at Denver International Airport I got another one. We had a 6.5 hour delay for a flight and there were hundreds of other Southwest flights that were cancelled entirely.
People were upset. Like for REAL. You could tell we were minutes from physical violence.
People had been there for DAYS.
But no punches were thrown because this one incredible gate attendant gently parented the crowds with such incredible honesty, empathy and patience that I actually cried. It was beautiful.
And people felt heard and seen and it calmed their nervous systems despite the fact that things were still massively disappointing.
The grownups needed understanding and empathy to regulate their nervous systems, imagine how much more overwhelming it is to children who don't even have a fully developed prefrontal cortex to work with.
Accepting a child's emotions (or an adult's emotions) is not permissive of dangerous behavior. It's soothing and helps prevent eruption of behavioral responses.