Children are smarter than most people take them for and they are capable of being in touch with their emotions as long as they have the right guidance.
Take for example the relationship between Filipino-Canadian mom Jonisa Padernos and her son Aldie. The two of them were the talk of the town because of a thoughtful bedtime conversation they had where Aldie, despite his young age of four, displayed emotional intelligence by articulating his feelings towards his mom.
In their viral conversation, Aldie opened up about how he became upset at his mom's decision for not letting him go outside because of his behavior. Jonisa went on by validating her son's feelings, leading Aldie to eventually understand his emotions and admit his mistakes.
The video, which has garnered over 22 million views and over four million likes, has since warmed the hearts of the public, with many praising Jonisa for her parenting skills in trying to raise a fine young man such as Aldie.
In an interview with PhilSTAR L!fe, Jonisa shared that she was amazed at her son's maturity in that moment and how he was able to process his emotions without their talk turning into something negative.
"Although we always have those conversations every bedtime, I was amazed of how he expressed and answered me. Earlier that day he had a tough time so I thought of recording that coversation with him and there I was able to capture that video," she said.
But how did Aldie become so emotionally stable even at just four years old?
According to Jonisa, "I talk to him all the time, about everything and anything. I tell him all about my emotions and show him when I’m having a tough time too. I always ask him how he feels about anything and we talk about it."
She went on, "I actually just learned that while I navigated through motherhood. Aldie just responded better when I’m calm while explaining to him rather than being mad and scolding him. He listened more and absorb all the things I teach him when I explain it to him calmly."
One factor that influenced her to adopt this kind of parenting technique to her son is because she did not experience it for herself when she was a child.
"I did not have a voice and felt like my feelings were not valid, so I decided to do it differently when I became a mom. I wanted to make sure that my kids are heard and validated. Some days are still hard as we’re all still learning but there is progress for sure and so we’ll keep communicating," she said.
He listened more and absorb all the things I teach him when I explain it to him calmly.
Admittedly, there had been times when Aldie would have meltdowns, but during those moments, Jonisa merely reminds herself that he is just a child who is still learning how to go through all these emotions.
"I always remind myself that I’m here to validate his feelings and teach him how to express it in a better way. My emotions were also a challenge for me as I was not exposed to this parenting style, and whenever I get mad, I would apologize to him," she shared.
PACEs Connection, an online site that provides information on Positive and Adverse Childhood Experiences, highlighted that emotional communication between a parent and their child is important as it brings about a "sense of wellbeing in a child, who learns he can trust others to respect his needs."
The 32-year-old mom echoed the same sentiments, underscoring that having good communication with your child is essential in attaining a healthy relationship as it can "help them navigate through all their emotions, so they’ll know that it’s okay to feel those emotions and there is a way of expressing it rather than having a meltdown."
I did not have a voice and felt like my feelings were not valid, so I decided to do it differently when I became a mom. I wanted to make sure that my kids are heard and validated.
Jonisa advised that parents should give their children that space to be able to express their feelings.
"Listen and be patient when they’re trying to tell you something. Remember that most kids mirror their parents, so it’s important for us to also express to them how we feel so they’ll be encouraged to also do so," she emphasized.