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10 Strategies to Manage Big Emotions in Children

Manage Big Emotions in Children


We’ve all be there. Your daughter screaming at the store because you won’t buy her a toy. Your son hitting someone on the playground because someone took his ball. Your child crying uncontrollably because you told them they can’t have another snack.

Little instances, (which are not so little by the way to them) which make your child’s emotions spiral out of control, leaving you puzzled, embarrassed and frustrated.

Although it seems extremely challenging, it is crucial for parents to take these instances as opportunities to teach their children how to effectively manage their emotions. When parents take out time to help them with this, the children have less stress, less behavioral issues, have longer attention spans and do better in school.

Here are some practical things you can do as a parent to help your child become emotionally skilled:

1. Teach them how to express their feelings.

It is a good idea to help your children understand that feeling these emotions is normal and there are acceptable ways to share these emotions.

2. Set a good example.

Children usually imitate their parents’ so it is essential to model appropriate emotional control in front of them. It is perfectly fine to be angry, but the way you handle is key.

3. Breathe.

Teaching them to pause and take a deep breath is a great way to diffuse some of that anger or frustration your child is feeling. The extra oxygen helps them calm down, relieve tension and helps to put them in a better state.

4. Plan ahead.

Kids are bound to feel these big feelings from time to time so, what if you planned how to handle the situation before it even happens? Parents can help their children by discussing what-ifs scenarios with them to teach them how to handle the situation before it arises. This way they will know exactly what to do or what not to do.

5. Feeling is different than doing.

Sometimes we want to punch a wall but, we know it isn’t right to do so. Many times, our feelings get so strong that we want to take a lot of inappropriate actions but, it is important to differentiate feelings and actions to your children. It is okay to feel but it may not be okay to act out on those feelings.

6. Positive ways to vent.

There are lots of healthy ways to calm down which include taking a time-out, coloring, going on a walk/run, taking a shower, talking to a family member or friend, even punching your pillow or doing a stomp dance.

7. Meditation.

A great way to inculcate calm and peaceful energy in your child is by teaching them how to meditate. This can include simple breathing exercises and poses to help your child relax even before they reach their melting point.

8. Go out in nature.

Children benefit from exercising because it reduces stress and releases endorphins in their bodies. To make it more beneficial, let them run and play outside for at least an hour a day and you’ll see a huge difference.

9. Encourage them.

This is a proactive approach to parenting so whenever you see your children managing their emotions well, make sure you acknowledge it and encourage that behaviour by saying something like “I really like the way you handled that situation, you must feel really proud of yourself.”

10. Help them label their feelings.

It is important to teach children to understand what they are feeling and the vocabulary to express those feelings to you. Introduce them to new words and help them share those big emotions.