How to teach children to manage their emotions?

 

It is always difficult to see a child crying, we want to console them, or just have them stop it! Trying to placate your child by asking “Don’t cry, it’s gonna be ok!” could be a mistake. It would actually be better for your child to fully express his emotions instead of avoiding them and being afraid of them. I am referring to emotional agility. Understanding and apprehending one’s emotions helps to better live with them. Moreover, a growing number of child psychologists advocate this method with children. I would like to suggest the following steps to implement next time your child is having an emotional tantrum.

Feel it, It’s OK!

Children often hear sentences like “don’t be sad,” “don’t be jealous,” and “don’t be angry,” as if they need to eliminate what is considered to be “bad emotions.” In doing so, your child avoids reality, situations where s/he must confront with strong feelings. This is where we enter the picture. We must convey that experiencing strong feelings are normal, and there is a way to deal with them.  The last thing we want our children is to be afraid of their emotions, instead of knowing how to cope with them. 

Labeling Emotions

Putting words on emotions is a critical and necessary step in the development of a child. For example, children in early childhood age ought to learn to differentiate stress from anger. Later, it is important to address more complex emotions, such as being excited and stressed at the same time.

Gaining Control Over Emotions

Even the most intense and painful emotions go away one day, this is the reason we must teach children about feelings and emotions. Sadness, frustration, and anger are real, but they do not last a lifetime, and you can see beyond these emotions. Our children should know that they will not necessarily feel the same for a similar situation. They may be anxious to go to a new place on the first time, but the second time will be just exciting and happy. The main thing, finally, is to speak openly and reassuringly so that the child learns little by little to apprehend even the most painful emotions.

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