Helping Your Child Manage their Emotions

This is a collaborative post

When children have emotional outbursts at certain situations, it is usually a direct result of how they feel about themselves and what the ramifications might be. For instance, if they are losing at a board game and start to get upset or frustrated, it might be because they don’t feel good enough and are worried you will be disappointed in them. If they spill a drink, they might cry out of embarrassment or fear that they will be in trouble. Fortunately, there are lots of things parents can do to help their children overcome these emotional setbacks, as explored below by a nursery in London.

Be Positive

As parents, it’s important to be supportive of your child no matter what, to help them with their confidence and ability to move on from certain setbacks without an emotional outburst. So, in instances like losing a board game or spilling a drink, your instant reaction should be to reassure your child that you don’t love them any less for it. Mistakes are a normal part of life, and they can’t win every time. Point out some of their positive attributes, rather than dwelling on what they’ve done wrong and remind them that these missteps will only make them stronger because they will learn what not to do next time. 

When your child reacts to a problem situation in a positive way, be sure to praise them and let them know that you are happy they didn’t throw a temper tantrum. This should encourage them to remain composed next time, because they will know it will make you proud. Positive reinforcement is usually a good way to help a child learn a particular lesson. 

Label Emotions

Many children have temper tantrums because they are frustrated at their inability to explain how they feel. With that said, it will help them if you start to label their emotions so that they can learn to spot them and verbalise them before they bubble over. For instance, they will be able to say, “I’m angry at my friend because she hurt my feelings”, rather than crying about it.  

Labelling emotions should also help your child figure out some coping strategies. In other words, they will be able to recognise that they are getting frustrated or upset and perhaps take a breather in another room for a few minutes to calm down. 

Pre-Empt Emotional Outbursts

If you think your child is likely to have a strop over an upcoming situation, try and prepare them first. For example, you can say “Last time we played this game, you got very angry and had a tantrum. Can you promise me that you will stay calm this time?” You should also remind them that playing games is all about taking part and having fun, not winning or losing. 

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