Children may not really understand the importance of managing emotions. But, unless they are taught early on to control their feelings, their emotions will get the better of them in all situations. This will have a negative impact on their interactions, be it at school or at home.
Here’s what you can do to help your child manage his emotions.
1. Identify the triggers
Take some time off every day to talk to your child about issues that concern her. You may talk about difficult situations she faced at school or elsewhere and how she handled them. Over a period of time, you will find a pattern of recurring situations and the emotional response of your child. When you understand this, you will also be able to find ways to help your child control her impulses and act reasonably. Explain to your child the importance of controlling her emotions in social situations.
2. Don’t judge negative emotions
Be non-judgemental when you listen to your child narrate his feelings. Don’t make him feel guilty about having negative emotions. This will make him repress his emotions, which is not a long-term solution. Remember, the aim is not to make your child suppress his feelings, but to help him learn not to get carried away by them. Instead of telling him not to feel the way he does, tell him that it is normal for any human being to feel that way. Teach him to face the emotions, reflect on what causes them and understand how they can hinder his growth as a human being. Finally, discuss how he can get over them.
3. Build your child’s self-esteem
Controlling emotions is easier for individuals with high self-esteem. To help your child build a healthy sense of self-esteem, stress on values such as assertiveness and objectivity. Pay special attention to developing your child’s communication and reasoning skills. Encourage her to develop the habit of positive self-talk and to look at the funny side of all situations. More importantly, set a good example with your own behaviour. Your child will pick up cues by watching how you manage your own emotions. So, emotional outbursts in front of her is a big no-no.
4. Focus on other activities
Engaging in creative work such as painting and writing is an effective and positive way to channelise emotions. This will help your child focus on the world outside and prevent him from remaining mired in the same thoughts and emotions. Also, inculcate in your child the habit of doing regular meditation and deep breathing exercises. Doing these will relax his mind, and over time, he will be able to manage his emotions better.
Emotional regulation has both immediate and long-term benefits for your child. In the short-term, it will help her focus better on both academic and extra-curricular activities. And in the long run, it will help her create and maintain good personal and professional relationships and find inner peace and happiness. So, use these tips and help your child build strong mechanisms to regulate her emotions.