As a parent, you have your hands full, between keeping up with housework, keeping your family fed and clothed, but also teaching your child to grow up to be a decent human being. After all, that's the ultimate goal of parenting, isn't it?
One of the struggles of parenting is teaching your child how to handle emotions. How your child handles their emotions can affect every aspect of their life from friendships, to future job prospects. It's a fine line between allowing kids to express their emotions and disciplining them for their natural response.
With so much stress and pressure being thrown at our kids every day, those emotions can be tough to handle. That's why it's so important that we teach them ways to cope and work through what they're feeling.
Here are a few great ways to help your child handle emotions and deal with them in a productive way.
How to Help Your Child Handle Emotions
Set an Example
Children are like sponges. They are constantly watching, even when you think they are not. They learn from what they see and hear. So, one way to help your child handle their emotions well is by setting a good example for them.
When your child does something that upsets you, be careful of your initial response. Any yelling will instantly make them think it is okay to do the same.
Instead, react how you would hope they would react in an upsetting situation. It's harder than it sounds, I know, but well worth the effort!
It is important to be empathetic towards your child’s feelings, when something arises. If your child is upset, even at the most inconvenient of times, it is important to recognize this, and show your support.
Talk with your child about why things are panning out the way that they are and hope for a different outcome next time.
By being empathetic toward the situation, not only will your child be able to deal with their emotions a little better, but it can also help you connect on a deeper level with your child.
Allow Your Child to Express Their Emotions
A child cannot express their emotions, if you instantly tell them to suck it up, and move on. It is important to allow your child the opportunity to express how they are feeling.
If they are extremely happy about something, allow them to express their joy and celebrate with them. If they are upset about something or throwing a tantrum, be sure to let them breathe through it and comfort them.
It’s a Process
If you think helping your child handle their emotions is a one time thing, think again. It’s a process and will probably last your child’s entire childhood.
In fact, I would even dare to say that many adults work through learning how to cope with emotions too. That's okay.
This is where patience comes in and the understanding that emotional maturity and coping mechanisms don't develop overnight.
Respect the process. Give your child (and yourself!) some grace.
Use the tips above to continuously help your child handle their emotions. Lead by example, show empathy, let them express emotions in a productive way. Help them become adults who can handle their emotions. When you become frustrated, just remember that these are skills they're learning.
How are you helping your child handle emotions? I’d love to hear your tips! Leave a comment below!