Today's Mommy Moment: Emotional Children

I call her my emotional unicorn..and sometimes I have trouble understanding her feelings,but children have a right to feel. As parents we should never invalidate our children's feelings instead teach them how to understand them and that feeling is OK.

Teach Your Child Emotion Regulation Skills

  • Practice deep breathing:Teach your child how to breathe in slowly and quietly through his nose and then out through his mouth. Repeat a few more times, until he has a grasp on his tears.
  • Count to calm down:Teach your child to distract himself from upsetting thoughts by counting. Counting ceiling tiles, counting to 10, or counting down from 100 are just a few mental tasks that might reduce his distress.
  • Take a break:Allow your child to give herself a brief time-out or ask a teacher if she can have a minute to collect herself, whether it’s going to get a drink or water or stepping into another room for a minute. Make it clear to your child that she can place herself in time-out before she gets sent there for misbehavior. Then, she’ll be in control of deciding when he’s ready to come out.
  • Create a calm-down kit:Fill a box with items that help your child calm down (or cheer up). Coloring books and crayons, lotion that smells good, pictures that your child enjoys, or soothing music are just a few things that can engage her senses and help her manage her emotions.
  • Problem-solve with your child:If your child’s emotions are causing problems for him—such as no one wants to play with him because he cries all the time or he’s unable to participate in physical education because he cries if he loses—work together to address the problem. Ask for his input into what strategies might help him. He may develop some creative solutions with your support.
  • Identify mood boosters: Talk to your child about the things she likes to do when she feels happy, like playing outside, reading a joke book, or singing her favorite songs. Write those things down and tell her those are her mood boosters. When she's feeling bad, encourage her to do one of her mood boosters to help her cope with her feelings.

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