Emotion, Mental State, State of Awareness
This is about BEING with your child. Being WITH your child. Being with YOUR child. If I emphasize all the words at once, the emphasis goes away again. Very much, though about how the parent is being, and that the being should match the child's being, for a moment. BE with your child's being.
Can you control your own emotions? Not entirely.
Can you affect your own emotions? Absolutely.
My article on boredom talks about boredom being an emotion. But that doesn't mean that the child needs the mom to say, "Oh, are you bored?" The kid just SAID "bored."
If a mother knows that a child is sad, afraid, elated, ashamed, or any other emotion that SHOWS in voice and posture or tears or wiggly jumpiness or eye avoidance, then the mother should be a mother and not a teacher and not a therapist. Be with the child physically, and emotionally, to some extent. The mom doesn't need to become afraid or ashamed, but slow down to that speed of heartbeat and response and provide touch, or blanket, or soothing sound (coo, word, music, hum, depending on the child's age and needs—it's a child you know, so do something good).
If the child is excited or panicky, don't stay in the recliner with your eyes closed and slowy say, "I hear you saying you're freaking out." GET UP and be alert and attentive, and figure out what the happy or frightening stimulus is and do something appropriate.
Sandra, I thought of your "Negativity" page on your unschooling site when I came across this on my feed this morning....
That's artsy! It unrolls itself to darkness, and the rolls itself back up to light!