I’ve mentioned before that music is a big part of my / our lives. I really struggle to sit in silence, and music helps my concentration when I’m trying to work. It’s also something that has quite a big impact on my emotions, and I can easily change my mood based on the songs I’m listening to.
This week, Adele released her new album, and I thought I’d give it a listen. Straight away, one song jumped out at me, to the point where I was genuinely wiping away tears (yeah, men cry too you know)
Firstly, since becoming parents, Ashleigh and I have always tried to be very open and honest with Grayson about emotions, mental health, and generally talking about how he feels, not just physically, but mentally. We all know the importance of managing your mental health, and both myself and Ash will be the first to admit that these are lessons we never learned during our younger years.
Adele – My Little Love
It’s no secret that Adele has had a rough few years, ultimately ending in a divorce – something that, as parents, we all know can have real implications on both ours, and our children’s mental wellbeing. We spoke about the “difficult questions kids ask” over on Dadvengers Dadchats a couple of weeks ago, and this follows on from that.
This song, “My Little Love” contains sound bites of Adele talking to her son, Angelo, and that’s where it really got to me.
I often talk to Grayson about how I’m feeling (and I know Ashleigh does, too). Sometimes I don’t want to play, or I’m not laughing as much as I normally do – and during those times, I’ll make sure that I say to him that I’m not feeling very happy, and that it’s not his fault. He often asks why, and I try to be as honest with him as possible.
Recently, he’s been quite unwell, so I’ll explain to him that I’m worried about him, but reassure him that he’ll be ok. We’re moving house, so I’ll explain to him that it makes me feel quite anxious, or, most importantly, sometimes there isn’t even a reason, and I’ll make sure he knows that it’s ok not to feel 100% all of the time, without a reason.
Mummy’s been having a lot of big feelings recently.
Just like, mummy, I’m, I’m, the feeling that I have, like, hm;
I feel a bit confusedAdele
Hearing Adele talk to her son so openly is incredibly powerful – you can sense the absolute raw emotion in her tones – trying to explain those feelings to a child who probably doesn’t quite understand. It’s such an important step to take with kids – helping them process the emotions they are feeling.
We all know that talking is a core part of understanding, and hopefully healing our mental health. I often hear parents saying “oh my child doesn’t need to know about that” or “I try to hide when I’m upset” – but I’m not sure that’s a healthy stance to take. Yes there are some things that children don’t need to know about and a young age – but being open and honest about feelings and emotions is an important life lesson, and more importantly, learning the coping mechanisms required to process those emotions is crucial.
I’m having a bad day, I’m having a very anxious day. I feel very paranoid, I feel very stressedAdele
Now lots of people will be cynical and assume that Adele has made this track for attention (for want of a better word) – but I honestly don’t think she has. I think it comes from a mother who wants her child to be able to understand what’s happening in life. To share the tears, the heartbreak, the upset, and to help him understand that no matter what’s happened between her and his dad, that they both still love him and will be there for him. But more importantly, she’s highlighting just how important it is to have these conversations with our children. To explain how we’re feeling, shed a tear and get it out there.
As parents, we’re all learning new things every day. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that being open and honest with your kids is of paramount importance with regards to mental wellbeing. I know that as Grayson gets older, there will more conversations around feelings and emotions; when family members pass, or something in the world happens. What I hope is that as parents, we’re on the right page, and we’re preparing him to be able to handle and process his emotions in the best possible way.
And it sounds like Adele is doing exactly the same thing – for which I have the upmost respect.
I could talk for hours on this, in fact, we did on the Dadchats – so pop over and watch that and see how other parents are handling similar situations. And check out our other posts here for similar parenting and mental health posts.