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Validating Feelings to Emotional Literacy: 5 ways to support your child in handling big emotions

It's no secret that kids experience emotions intensely. From meltdowns in the grocery store to tears over a broken toy, big feelings can be overwhelming for both child and caregiver. But fear not! By equipping your child with the right tools and fostering a supportive environment, you can help them.

Written By: Rahul Pratyush New Delhi Published on: April 20, 2024 9:45 IST
Children with big emotions
Image Source : GOOGLE 5 ways to support your child in handling big emotions

Children experience a wide range of emotions as they navigate the complexities of growing up. From excitement and joy to frustration and anger, these emotions can sometimes feel overwhelming for both children and parents alike. As caregivers, it's essential to provide support and guidance to help children learn how to manage their emotions in healthy ways. Here are five effective strategies to support your child in handling big emotions.

Be a calm anchor:  

Before you can help your child regulate their emotions, you need to regulate your own. Take a deep breath, centre yourself, and approach the situation with patience and understanding. When you stay calm, you provide a safe space for your child to express themselves without feeling judged.

Validate their feelings:

It's tempting to minimise a child's feelings with phrases like "don't worry" or "it's not a big deal."  Instead, acknowledge their emotions. Say things like "I see you're feeling frustrated" or "It's okay to feel sad."  This validates their experience and lets them know their feelings are heard.

Teach emotional literacy:

Help your child identify and label their emotions. Use simple language to describe different feelings and help them understand the physical sensations that accompany each emotion. By increasing their emotional vocabulary, children can better articulate how they're feeling and seek appropriate support when needed.

Encourage problem-solving skills:

Guide your child in developing problem-solving skills to address the underlying causes of their emotions. Help them identify the triggers that lead to big emotions and brainstorm potential solutions together. Encourage critical thinking and perspective-taking to explore different ways of approaching challenging situations. By empowering children to solve problems independently, you're helping them build resilience and self-confidence.

Create a safe space:

Encourage your child to express their emotions openly and without judgment. Let them know that it's okay to feel angry, sad, or frustrated, and assure them that you are there to listen and support them. Create a safe space where they feel comfortable sharing their feelings, whether it's through conversation, art, or play.

ALSO READ: Establishing Routine to Practising Mindfulness: 7 tips to boost attention span of your child


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