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5 Steps to Teach Your Kids about Managing Emotions

It’s quite often parents find themselves engaged in a variety of emotions when it comes to disciplining their children. Irritated, aggravated and upset are often at the top of the list. When kids aren’t minding or their screaming and whining or you’re flurrying everyone out the door, emotions can run amok unconsciously. As parents, it’s important that we manage our emotions for our kids, but it’s also important to teach our kids how to manage their own emotions. Below are five steps, compiled by Childhood 101.

1. Remind myself that it is never okay to hurt others.

It is important to set clear guidelines about what is acceptable and what is not. In most homes, it’s not acceptable to hurt others or be destructive to others or their property. That includes hurting others with words.

2. Take three deep breaths or count slowly to ten.

When children get angry, their bodies can get tense, teeth get clinched and their hearts begin racing. When making a plan, talk with your child about how their body feels when they are angry or frustrated and then introduce the idea of taking a few breaths to compose themselves and to form a better course of action then striking out at another person. You can also teach them to count to ten to give them time to recompose themselves.

3. Use words to say how I feel and what I wish would happen.

When children acknowledge the big feels, this helps them recognize that the feelings they possess are legitimate and important. If they say what they wish would happen, that can turn into a problem-solving conversation. Keep in mind, that what they wish would happen isn’t always the right solution. They often will need support to work out a more peaceful solution, especially when they are used to striking out when they feel big emotions.

4. Ask for help to solve the problem.

Let your child know that it’s okay to seek support to solve problems and find solutions in social situations. If they can’t solve the problem on their own, they should keep the important channels of communication open and ask for assistance. Let them know they can come to you if they feel frustrated.

5. Take the time I need to calm down.

It’s important for your child to know that sometimes they just need to calm down and let the situation pass instead of reacting. If none of the above steps work, it’s better to walk away or find another safe way to diffuse those feelings.

The folks at Childhood 101 have created a printable poster for you to display at home.

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