Most parents have experienced intense emotions at some point and have a fair understanding of how difficult it can be to manage these emotions. Most issues that we as adults think are minor such as losing a pencil box or a broken toy are a big deal to children.
When parents see children experience intense emotions over seemingly minor issues, the urge to soothe them takes over ever and parents end up saying something like — “It is not a big deal, don’t worry,” which may cause them to be more upset. While some children take it in their stride, others could find it extremely difficult to deal with this.
In this article, we will cover:
The book Emotion Regulation in Children and Adolescents A Practitioner’s Guide by Michael A. Southam-Gerow, an Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychology and Paediatrics at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), encourages parents to teach these four concepts about emotions to children to help them build a foundation that will enable them to learn more emotions.
The emphasis is on the fact that we need to know something about the person to understand what they might be feeling in a given situation.
We have established that emotions are dynamic, and we need a bit of information about the person to understand how they might feel or react in a situation. The best bet would be to explore their emotions and reactions with them. The same is true for children.
The book by Pat Harvey and Jeanine Penzo, Parenting a Child Who Has Intense Emotions, has listed an activity called A Story Of Emotion that can help everyone understand where their emotions and reactions are stemming from. This activity sets the foundation for changing or managing these emotions and reactions.
Answering these questions will help parents understand the emotions of their children and where they are stemming from. The best time to ask these questions is shortly after the event when the child has calmed down and ready to reason with you. Doing this consistently for a while will surely help both the child and the parents to gain an upper hand over their emotions and reactions.
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