Greystone House Montessori Schools Houston, Texas. Child care Montessori provider in Champions, The Woodlands, Spring Texas Greystone House Montessori Schools Houston
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HELPING KIDS COPE
Of all the strategies we might use when our children are really venting emotions, the most effective is to help them understand what they’re feeling and then to encourage them to find a more productive way of dealing with the emotion. When adults help youngsters think about and learn to manage their feelings instead of disapproving or ignoring them, the child is validated as a person. Here are five principles to guide you in helping your child manage emotions.

• Be an active listener. - Let’s say you hear your daughter pitching a fit in the next room. Naturally, you want to know what the problem is. Instead of simply yelling, “What’s wrong?”, stop what you’re doing, go, and give your child your full attention. Children notice and appreciate a parent’s undivided attention. It gives them a sense of connection to their parent, which builds trust and makes kids more likely to share their concerns. Parents benefit, too. It’s easier to understand what your child is feeling if you’re not distracted and can truly hear what she’s telling you.

• Identify the emotion. – Once your child has finished expressing herself, put a label on your child’s anguished cries or angry stomps. Once you label it, kids can use words to express what they’re feeling instead of screaming or hitting. The emotion seems normal and manageable. When identifying emotions, aim for precision so your child can understand the distinctions between anger and frustration, sadness and disappointment, confusion and fear. The ability to recognize many different feelings is a key step toward self-awareness. This doesn’t mean that you should tell your child how she should feel. The idea is to get to the root emotion and label it.

• Validate the feeling and empathize. - This makes you an ally to your child. One of the things that makes life bearable is knowing there’s someone who can hear us and understand what we’re going through. Almost any problem can be endured and overcome when you know you’re not alone. This step is often the hardest to pull off, however, because it requires confronting strong or unpleasant feelings and events head-on. Parents are sometimes afraid they’ll escalate their child’s feeling by acknowledging it. When you talk it through, kids feel better for having been understood. If you find your-self dismissing or downplaying your child’s feelings, it’s like telling him, “Your experience has no validity. Deny who you are. Don’t trust your feelings.”

• Limit actions. – Children need to realize that even though you accept intense emotions, some behaviors will not be tolerated. Children should know that although they can’t control how they feel, they can control how they behave.

• Help devise alternate ways of behaving. – To make the process of self-management really work, it’s important to help your youngster figure out which ways of behaving are acceptable. There are as many alternatives as there are situations and people. You can also anticipate situations and plan ahead how to handle high-emotions times. Also, by seeing and hearing adults in their lives making choices about handling emotions, the child is encouraged that it may not always be easy, but it is always possible.

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