How To Teach Your Child To Regulate Their Emotions
Regulating an emotion means that your child is able to acknowledge the feeling they are experiencing know how to regulate it in a healthy way.
As a child counselor, I notice that kids at times have a hard time fully understanding and recognizing the emotion that they are experiencing. A child may display a tantrum or engage in behavior such as slamming a door without fully being aware of why they are doing what they are doing. During a situation like this, the parent may ask the child.
How are you feeling?
Only to find that the child says, “I don’t know” or “I’m angry”.
One strategy that you can try to implement to support your child with regulating emotions is the following:
Start with having your child write or draw how they are feeling. At this point, your child may be able to show you why they are feeling the way that they are feeling. As a child counselor, I have seen kids draw events that took place. Such as something that happened at school.
At that point, I ask the child if I can guess what the drawing means.
Once you complete the above step, try to support your child in recognizing the type of thoughts they are having that relate to the situation that took place. In addition, you can support your child with recognizing how their body reacted to the situation.
Kids at times may say that their stomach hurt or they felt pain in their head.
So far what is taking place is that your child is building recognition of their experience. This directly supports the process of regulating emotions.
The last step is to support your child with a list of self-care options.
Below are self-care practices that you can start practicing today:
- Deep breathing.
- Going for a nature walk.
- Joining a supportive group.
- Going to therapy.
- Trying group therapy.
- Writing in a journal.
- Drawing in a journal.
- Listening to fun music.
- Taking a break from schoolwork.
- Taking a break from social media or video games.
Are you ready to start counseling?
For more supportive reads follow the links below:
20 Ways To Manage Stress And How Counseling Can Help