Everyone experiences strong emotions and wants to let other people know of their discontent or that they are unhappy. Children are no exception, they want to express their feelings too. However, they may not have access to the right words to express their unhappiness and are likely to get overwhelmed and throw a tantrum instead. Well, this situation can be easily avoided with a simple strategy.
In this article, we will cover:
Children often resort to throwing a tantrum or any other form of misbehaviour when they cannot find the correct words to express what they feel. Parents can teach their children that there is an effective way of expressing discontent or unhappiness. In the book, A Volcano in My Tummy; Helping Children to Handle Anger, Eliane Whitehouse and Warwick Pudney provide a framework that helps children express themselves. It is basic and can be used by elementary school children in various situations.
It could look like — I feel angry when you give my toy to someone else because it is my favourite toy. I would like you to stop giving my toys to other children.
Reinforcing the structure every time a child expresses discontent or unhappiness will help children express themselves effectively and reduce the chances of misbehaviour eventually. Parents can also download the printable poster below and stick it in the child’s room where it can be easily accessed.
To reduce the chances of misbehaviour as a result of the child’s inability to communicate, parents need to be calm and consistent. The book, Positive Discipline A-Z: 1001 Solutions to Everyday Parenting Problems, lists a few strategies that can reduce the chances of future misbehaviour.
Children rarely misbehave with the intention to make your life difficult. They act out when they feel overwhelmed as a result of not being able to verbally express their feelings. Parents can teach children that it is normal to feel angry, sad, unhappy, or frustrated, and that there are constructive ways to deal with such feelings.
Have you used these frameworks before? Do you follow any different frameworks that can help out other parents? Did they work for you? Are you excited to try these out? Drop a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below.
“Me-kha-la!” That happens at least once when she introduces herself to new people. She wholeheartedly believes in the quote by Arthur Rubinstein that says – “if you love life, life will love you back”. She is an organizational psychologist and psychometrician. She was a class teacher of 36 adorable girls for two years, grades 2 & 3, as a part of the Teach For India Fellowship. These little girls have a special place in her heart, and when she writes for children, she writes for them!
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