Everyone processes emotions differently. Some people may get angered or irritated more quickly than others. The same is true for children because they are tiny humans, too. Some parents do not always realize this when they reprimand their children for showing too much emotion.
It may not come as quickly to children to control their emotions in comparison to adults. Dealing with emotions is not a skill that can be acquired overnight. As parents and guardians of these young children, we need to actively teach them how to better handle their emotions. If you have been faced with this problem before, this blog post is for you!
Tips to Teaching Children How to Handle Intense Emotions
Many people do not know that the brain that processes emotions is still underdeveloped in children. This is why it may be difficult for them to tell the difference between one emotion and another. Here are some of the most effective steps to help them learn what is happening in their brains and process how they feel.
1 – Help Them Identify the Emotion
The first step is to help them identify which emotion they are dealing with. Is it anger, sadness, pain, or some other feeling?
2 – Differentiate Feelings vs. Behaviors
It pays to help them tell the difference between their feelings and the behavior that they display while feeling the emotion. Remind them that while they may not control what happened, they have complete control over how they react.
3 – Tell Them That Having Feelings Are Normal
Tell your child that having feelings is perfectly normal. It may be a good idea to share how you should have reacted in such situations.
Ways To Manage Intense Feelings
There are specific ways that will help children get used to dealing with big emotions. Below is a list of the best ways to manage emotions. (These work for adults, too!)
1 – Count Backwards
After a massive bout of anger or intense emotion, they can count backward until the intensity fades a little. Counting will get their minds off the situation and calm them down a bit before reacting.
2 – Take a Breath
Taking a deep breath before reacting is always an excellent way to process an emotion. Remind them that they need to be careful of what they do or say in response to a feeling.
3 – Do Mood-Boosting Activities
Have them do things that make them feel better, especially after a particularly stressful episode. Show them that life goes on and things will get better, mainly if they can deal with their emotions appropriately.
What Not to Do
There are also methods to avoid when trying to teach children how to manage their feelings. These ways often seem easier, but you should never do them. Examples of these would be telling your child to stop crying, offering them a reward for them they do stop crying, or giving too much attention to their behavior. Following the tips mentioned above will be your best bet in teaching your child about how to react to big emotions.
Take note that there are right and wrong ways to handle this situation. Keeping track of which techniques are beneficial and which aren’t will go a long way when teaching your children to manage their emotions.
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