Most emotional reactions at any age are normal – whether it’s crying, fear, or even laughter. However, some kids need a little bit more attention and care when they exhibit excessive or over-the-top reactions. Helping your child learn and manage these emotions is a valuable gift from any parent. Here are some things you can do.
- Help them find the words
Children can feel a storm of emotions all at once – whether it’s from a paper cut or from a fight with their friends. This is a confusing time for them. Help your kid untangle these emotions by talking about the incident, their feelings, and their reactions. This helps your child reflect on the incident and develop reasoning skills for the future.
- Find common triggers
Children can easily be set-off by certain triggers without even recognizing them or understanding why they got set off. Whether it’s a missed movie or decreased phone time – your child may end up throwing large tantrums over for small incidents regularly. As a parent, if you notice any such patterns of behavior, it is important for you to talk to your child about identifying such triggers by themselves. This brings us to our next point.
- Develop healthy coping strategies
Whether it’s taking a few calming breaths, turning to a coloring book, or even just counting to 10 – teach your child to give themselves a moment to calm down before reacting. It is important to teach your child about alternative and reasonable behaviors in light of a triggering moment. This can help them control their reactions, making their lives easier in the long term.
- Understanding different perspectives
Often, a child cannot understand the reasoning behind someone’s words and reactions. They may end up misconstruing the other person’s intentions or emotions by viewing the world in simple black or white. Teach your child about how everyone comes from a different background and the importance of empathy.
- Logical Reasoning
A child may rebel against the bubble they grow up as they may not always understand the importance of certain rules and limitations (such as limiting screen time). It is important to factually explain the reasoning behind any rules and help them understand why it is going to benefit them in the long run.
- Accept and Collaborate
Give children the space they need to make their own mistakes and develop their own personalities. Instead of ‘solving’ the clash between your and your child’s perspective, focus on creating collaborative strategies that can help you co-exist peacefully. This will also put a lesser strain on your relationship as a parent and allow the child to feel a sense of independence.
At the end of the day, every child is unique and different. There are a number of things a parent can do to help their children regulate their own emotions. However, it is important to bring such coping, regulating, and reasoning skills to their world from an early age, as it helps them with their long term development.