Teaching your children how to regulate their emotions is an important part of being a parent, though this can be tough sometimes.
Parenting doesn’t come with a guide or handbook, and it’s inevitable many parents will need advice, help or guidance at some point, especially if their child is having difficulties managing their emotions.
If you think your child might benefit from seeing a counsellor in Newcastle or if you are looking to learn specific parenting skills this blog might be of use to you.
Here are some ways you can help your child learn to manage their emotions:
Help Your Child to Name Their Emotions
Feelings can be overwhelming to young children as many of the situations and feelings they experience will be new to them.
To help navigate through this, you can maybe teach them to identify and name their emotions with the right label so they can learn to say, ‘I am feeling upset’ or ‘I feel angry’ instead of responding with frustration or difficult behaviour.
It’s also important to teach them that while some emotions feel better than others, there is no right or wrong way to feel, though feeling bad doesn’t mean that certain behaviours (such as violence) are appropriate.
Teach them to Find Out Why They Feel That Way
Once your child knows how they are feeling, you can help them work on identifying what triggered them to feel bad.
It’s important to remember that children aren’t necessarily able to apply rational thought yet so you might have to help them work it out through what they are experiencing and saying.
As they grow older, these discussions can become more focused and deeper as they gain a deeper level of understanding about who they are and what makes them feel the way they do.
Provide Empathy and Validation
It can be tempting to ignore your child’s distress so as to not encourage it in future, particularly if you find yourself feeling frustrated or overwhelmed.
Parenting is hard – that’s natural. Phrase such as ‘Stop crying!’ are often trying to stop the distress, but they can be invalidating to a child who needs support and compassion in expressing their emotions.
Practice using phrases that sympathise with your child’s emotions rather than accidentally invalidating them. Physical touch can also be important.
By using phrases that show you understand their distress, and soothing them with hugs (if appropriate), you help them to learn that their feelings do matter, and that they will be listened to.
Contact Us to See a Child Counsellor in Newcastle (or Online)
If you would like to talk more about whether you or your child might benefit from seeing a counsellor in Newcastle (or through online child counselling) to help them manage their emotions better,, fill in the box below or call us on 07966645198 to speak to a member of the team today.
Dr Stuart Sadler
Lead Clinical Psychologist