How To Help Your Child Cope With Their Emotions
Updated: Oct 4
Feeling troubled with the idea of helping your child to cope with their emotions? It is normal for a child to feel sad and upset sometimes, however, it is important how you as a parent, help your child cope with their emotions and ensure that it does not overwhelm them to the point where it gets out of hand. Children will need some support from you, their parents, as they grow and learn to pick up on how to control their emotions.
Teach Your Child About Emotions
Help them recognise how they are feeling
Name emotions such as joy, sadness or anger.
Enable your child to understand that when things feel overwhelming or intense, there is an explanation and a name for the particular way they are feeling. If you notice that your child looks upset, ask your child to describe and name the feeling. Let them pay attention to their feelings and acknowledge their feelings before it escalates and becomes overwhelming.
Name your own emotions such as “I feel sad that we cannot go to the park today”.
Create scenarios to understand how they react to it
Start conversations about feelings by talking about characters in books or shows. Ask questions like “How do you think this character is feeling?”. Gradually, your child will be able to name their emotions.
You can also create scenarios that help to explain the relationship between their emotions and any thoughts and behaviour. In this way, your child will be able to better understand why and how emotions happen and the different ways they can react when they are placed in the situation. Let your child imagine those scenarios and listen to how they would react to them and why they would choose to react in a certain way. This allows your child to share their feelings openly with you as well.
When your child is able to establish a stronger link between their thoughts, emotions and behaviour, they are less likely to struggle when faced with challenging emotions. The thought process engages your child to reflect on their reactions to different situations. Emotional awareness can help children to be mentally strong.
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Acknowledge and validate their feelings
Be empathetic and understanding
Reassure your child that it is okay to feel sadness or fear. Remind your child to identify the cause of their feelings. This will help them to recognise different triggers that cause them to feel what they are feeling in the future and they can figure out solutions to ease their feelings before it intensifies and becomes overwhelming.
It is common for parents to undermine their child’s feelings, treating it as less of a big deal. By minimizing how their child is feeling, they influence their child to think that what they are feeling is wrong.
When your child feels upset, show that you understand how your child feels. For example “I know you are feeling disappointed that we are not going to the mall today. I get upset when I don’t get to do things I want to do too.” By relating to your child’s emotions and acknowledging them in your own way, your child would be able to realise that everyone feels upset sometimes.
Making rational decisions even under the influence of emotions
While it is okay for them to feel sad or angry, it is not okay to behave irrationally under the influence of negative feelings. For example, when you refuse to buy a toy for your child, it is normal and okay for the child to feel upset. However, it is not okay for the child to cry and scream loudly in public, throwing a tantrum. You should acknowledge your child’s feelings and emotions, however, you should discipline your child’s inappropriate behaviour influenced by their emotions.
Place importance on your child’s response to their uncomfortable or overwhelming feelings. Children are capable of deciding on better ways to respond to the situation. After calming your child down, give them a breakdown of the events, listen and talk to them. What went wrong, why did it go wrong, and how they can react better next time. This helps your child to be more thoughtful, reflective, and aware of how their feelings affect their behaviour and how their actions affect those around them.
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Model appropriate behaviour
As a parent, you have the biggest influence on your child’s development. At a young age, your child intently observes your behaviour, speech and actions. An effective way to teach your child how to manage and react to their emotions is to role model it in your own behaviour.
For example, you could be feeling frustrated. “I am feeling frustrated right now because I forgot to purchase eggs that we need for dinner tonight.” By naming your emotion and validating your feelings, you also show a way to manage them. “I shall pop by the store again to get it.” By brainstorming ways to solve the issue making you feel upset, your child will learn to recognise that feelings should not be negatively influencing their actions and behaviour. This encourages healthy ways for your child to express feelings and cope with negative emotions.
Partner with us on your child’s journey - Nurture Infant House
Nurture Infant House (Tampines)
At Nurture Infant House, our passion is to love and care for each infant and to provide a safe and interactive environment for infants to learn and grow in body and in mind independently. If you are looking for infant care in Tampines or in East, do visit Nurture Infant House. We have over 30 years of experience in nurturing thousands of infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers.
If you are looking for a preschool for toddlers and older children in Tampines or in East, do visit Genesis Childcare 1989.
Feel free to book an appointment through WhatsApp. You can visit us at the following venues:
Nurture Infant House (Tampines) (2 to 18 months Infants) Blk 433 Tampines Street 43 #01-61 Singapore 520433
Genesis Childcare 1989 (Tampines)
Blk 433 Tampines Street 43 #01-63/65 Singapore 520433