One of the most important parts of parenting is helping your children to learn how to handle their emotions. Children who learn about different emotions from an early age will find it easier to control their feelings and face challenges. Furthermore, studies have found that children with higher levels of emotional intelligence are less likely to suffer with mental health issues.
I have collaborated with an independent school in Oxfordshire to share some useful advice on how to help your child manage their emotions…
Children develop empathy by experiencing it from others. As parents, we can’t always change a bad situation; however, the key to calming your child’s emotional outburst is simply acknowledging their feelings. Let your child know that you understand how they are feeling. You can also help your child to recognise these feelings by putting a name to their emotions. For example, “I know you are disappointed that you can’t go to the park” or “I can see you are angry that your sister broke your toy”. Labelling their feelings is a useful step in learning how to manage emotions.
Allow your child to express their emotions
It is really important to allow your child to express their emotions. Try not to get frustrated or tell your child that they are ‘being silly’ when they are upset or scared. This will give them the message that their feelings are shameful and unacceptable. Instead, encourage your child to talk about how they are feeling and teach them that all feelings are part of being human. This will help your child to accept, resolve and move on.
Help your child to problem-solve
Another big part of helping your child manage their emotions is teaching them how to problem solve. After you have talked about their feelings, the next step is encouraging them to think about how they can fix the issue or learn from it. If your child makes a mistake, discuss what they could have done differently and how they can fix their mistake. Try to guide your child instead of giving them the solutions. This will give your child the ability to solve problems effectively on their own.