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Helping Your Little Manage Emotions

By April 1, 2022Resources

Helping your Little identify, understand, and learn how to better manage their emotions can be an important part of your relationship, especially if they are getting in trouble for emotional outbursts at home or in school.

Experiencing anger is a normal part of everyday life.  It plays a positive role in identifying where there may be a problem or a need that is not being met, yet students must learn how to deal with anger appropriately.  Many students suffer daily emotional stress and frustrations, especially if they are experiencing family issues, which can boil over at school and cause them to get in trouble and struggle
socially and academically. Failing to deal effectively with strong emotions can lead to problems not just now, but also later in life, including a host of health problems.

You can help your Little learn to manage his or her emotions constructively by providing a safe space to discuss their feelings and by acting as a positive role model. You may be the one person they can talk to without feeling judged, and it is important to try to see things from their perspective and validate their experience, regardless of how you may initially perceive it. As you likely know, it can be very hard to think rationally when in the grip of strong emotions, so first give your Little a chance to simply express what they feel and practice your reflective listening.  Reflective listening is a communication strategy involving two key steps: seeking to understand your Little’s idea, then stating the idea back to your Little to confirm the idea has been understood correctly.

Once they feel understood and more relaxed you can help them name the emotion, try to identify the cause of the emotion, explore what the emotion felt like physically, and then problem-solve the best ways to respond to that emotion when they experience it again. This will help them gain a better understanding of why they experience these emotions in the first place, recognize what the emotions feel like so they can identify them in the future before they boil over, and have several appropriate responses prepared so they handle emotional situations correctly and avoid getting in trouble.

Just by being an outlet for them to talk about their emotions you are probably already well on your way to influencing your Little for the better.



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