When things don’t go their way, does your child have temper tantrums, hit his siblings, throw toys across the room, or get frustrated? Kids frequently don’t know how to express strong emotions like anger, frustration, or disappointment, which causes them to act out. The good news is that parents can teach children to understand their feelings, healthily express themselves, and even learn to cope with their emotions. This behavior is entirely normal.
Teach the use of emotional vocabulary.
Toddlers’ most significant problem with expressing their emotions is their lack of words to describe what’s happening. Your child gets frustrated when she works hard to construct a tower out of blocks, only to watch it fall repeatedly. Your child’s feelings are acknowledged and given words to name them in the future by simply saying,
“You’re frustrated with your blocks, aren’t you? Can I help?”. If your child starts to cry because a sibling took one of his toys, acknowledge his sadness and brainstorm a solution with him. In the future, let your child talk about how he feels and listen to him.
This enables young children to express their emotions in words instead of physical actions (like hitting or tantrums). Ask an older child how she feels when speaking to her, and then listen to her response without judging it. Suggest a few that might work if she has trouble expressing her feelings in words. Talk it together and see if your child can develop a better solution.
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Talk frequently about your feelings.
Both living your child the language to express his own emotions and teaching him to recognize and name the feelings of others are crucial. Explain that the dog is happy to see you when it waves its tail to welcome you home. If your child sees someone crying, explain why they are sad and how it makes them feel. If your child misbehaves in front of another person, try to explain your feelings.
“You told your sister you no longer liked her because you were upset with her. She now feels depressed because that made her feel bad. “Assist your child in recognizing others’ cues and body language so they can determine their emotions. The game of making faces at each other is another option. Make a happy face first, then a mad face and a sad face. Try to infer the characters’ emotions as you read books. Parents can also find books and films about feelings at their nearby library.
Exemplify appropriate expression.
Children must understand that their parents experience joy, excitement, frustration, and rage just like them. We parents can provide an excellent example of how to handle our emotions during these difficult times.
When a parent is enraged, she has the option of yelling or acting violently, or she can calmly excuse herself and say that she needs to go for a walk until she can calm down. Children should be informed of our frustration and decision to take a break or seek assistance when we struggle with a task.
Sadness is a common emotion, and we can teach kids that it’s okay to experience sadness occasionally. Three excellent ways to improve mood are spending time with loved ones, exercising, and engaging in enjoyable activities.
Teach appropriate coping mechanisms for emotions.
We can assist children in thinking of appropriate ways to express their feelings once they can do so verbally. For some children, simply discussing feelings may be the solution. Some people might require more cuddles or hugs.
Another child will benefit from having some alone time to process his thoughts and feelings or to calm down so that he can talk about them later. She finds it comforting to retreat to her room, close the door, and crank up the music when my daughter is angry. She frequently sings while playing, reading, or even cleaning.
She is happier, more at ease, and can communicate and calmly interact with others when she rejoins us. In times of distress, my son prefers to go for a walk. He can calm down because of the exercise and the fresh air. The child, the emotion experienced, and the circumstance will all impact how the child copes.
Give kids encouraging feedback as they learn to verbalize their emotions and use effective coping mechanisms. Your encouraging words will motivate them to keep expressing themselves as they mature.
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When kids overreact to life’s little setbacks, they can become frustrating, draining, and downright annoying. It’s just how kids are. They schedule their dramatic performances for the least convenient time for their audience. These “small” events matter to them despite being small.
Never attempt to convince a child to bury her emotions. Give a child space and time to express themselves when they are upset. Sit back and look into their eyes. Don’t let your anger, judgment, or logic come out in your reaction. None of these will be received by your child because she is not in a receptive state of mind.
Your comments should tell the child to hold back her emotions and reflect your adult assessment of the situation. Children subjected to feeling stuffers learn that you do not value their feelings, which makes them withdraw. This is a lose-lose scenario. As a result of you becoming an unaccepting parent, the child loses her ability to communicate with you and learns to keep her distance from you. Parents and children grow apart over time.