Being able to freely express your feelings is a skill that does not just apply to adults - kids should develop it, too. Children should be able to identify, understand and express their feelings. This will help prepare them in dealing with the challenges that they are bound to encounter as they grow old. They should be able to do these in healthy ways and this is where adults can be of great help. Perhaps the number one thing that you need to remember as a parent is that you should spend time with your kids. The more that you are aware of what is happening in their daily lives, the more that you will be able to help them sort through their feelings.
Top 6 Tips on How to Help Kids Manage their Feelings
No matter what age your kids are, there are a few ways that you can do to help them manage their feelings including the following:
1. Discuss with them your own feelings.
Express your feelings as you experience them. Talk out loud about it to model a healthy emotional self-expression. You can discuss your frustration when traffic is heavy, but never use curse words in front of them. Share with them even your simple experiences and how you felt about it.
2. Help them label their feelings.
Pay close attention to help them identify and label their feelings. Discuss their excitement about attending an important occasion by saying "You looked pretty excited about your friend's birthday party." Such act will allow them to be more open in sharing their feelings with you.
3. Avoid scolding them for their feelings.
Instead of scolding, teach them the correct ways of expressing feelings. Rather than saying something about your kid being mad and being angry in turn about it, tell them" I see that you are mad, but you need to clean your room now." Scolding them will not help. It conveys a message that showing ones' feelings is bad and should be hidden. This will lead them from hiding their feeling from you instead of expressing them.
4. Show reinforcement when they are able to handle their feelings constructively.
Words such as "I like it when you think before you respond or I was proud when you told them that they hurt your feelings!" are good forms of reinforcement. This affirms that they manage their feelings well and such practice can be repeated.
5. Model feelings management by regulating your own responses to situations.
Avoid yelling. Calm down before reacting to any situation. Let them know that everybody needs a quick break before reacting in order not to have any regrets after the reaction was given. Suggest ways on how they can calm down. They can read a book, take a bath, go outside or even run up and down the stairs. Show them how pleased you are whenever they make a good choice.
6. Explain how to set things right when reaction is chosen over response.
Say sorry. Tell them you wished you would have handled the situation differently. Show them that you also make mistakes when managing your feelings but offer an alternative way of dealing with the situation if it happens once more. Explain to them that such reaction is never a good option and must be avoided.
Increasing your child's ability to know, understand and manage their own feelings can be more easily done if you can encourage them to talk about their own feelings or even discuss with you the feelings of others. Let them speak out and be heard.