A lot of raising kids involves dealing with their emotions. And this can be exhausting !
Kids have feelings and their emotions can go up and down in the blink of an eye. Emotions can be scary and when they are bigger than the child that is experiencing them, they can become overwhelming. Understanding their emotions and how to cope with them can help build confidence and healthy communication skills in children.So before you pull out all your hair or drink all the wine in the house here are 4 ways to help your kids deal with their emotions.
Talk it out
Many times kids do not know how to put into words what they are feeling. So they resort to temper tantrums, yelling, isolating , crying or shutting down all together. The way to change this is to start conversing and giving their feelings names. I usually allow my son a few minutes of space, then I will get on his eye level and speak in a calm tone. Asking ” why are you angry , what made you mad, what caused you to feel nervous “? Giving them names will help them learn what the emotion is that their feeling. Being able to identify their emotions will be empowering for your child and build communication skills.
Cope It Out
Now that you have identified and given their emotions names, now its time to teach how to cope with them. For example if they are angry teach them to take deep breaths, listen to music and dance it out, write in a journal or draw. If you are having trouble finding a way for your child to cope, have them make a list of things that makes them happy or they like to do . Than use this as a guide on how they should cope.
Want to learn more coping strategies and activities? Check out these activity books here.
Love It Out
Your child is yelling, stomping their feet, maybe throwing toys. They are testing your patience to no end. When your child displays this behavior it can be hard to want to be around them or love on them at this time. It’s important kids know that having feelings is not wrong and actually quite normal. It’s ok to cry, to be mad, angry or sad. But for them to understand how they react and deal with it is the important part. Validate their feelings but also address their behavior by stating ” I understand your angry and that’s ok … it’s not ok to throw things at someone”. Then offer the alternative coping skills you had them make a list of.
Walk it out
The easiest way to teach our kids healthy ways to deal with their feelings is to model the behavior. Be vocal when you are feeling something. For example ” I’m feeling anxious right now so I’m going to meditate for 10 minutes” or ” I’m angry right now so I’m going for a walk”. Show them that adults have the same feelings they do and that you have healthy ways of coping with your emotions.
Giving your child a safe space to talk and learn about their feelings will help raise a healthy and happy person !