Friday, September 24, 2010

Childhood Emotions and How to Cope

Children frequently have a hard to putting their emotions into words or into acceptable actions. If they become angry they will frequently turn to hitting or kicking instead of words. This is not because they are violent; it is because they do not have the social skills yet to voice their anger or frustration.

Listening is an important life skill and one of the most difficult to teach. Many adults are not good listeners but we must make the effort to listen to our kids. When your child speaks to you, show her that her opinion and her life are important. Hang up the phone, stop what you are doing and give her your undivided attention. Ask questions about her day and her stories.

Teach your child empathy for other’s point of view. Ask your child how he would feel if Tommy took the truck away from him. It is important for kids to realize that other people get their feelings hurt also.

If you see your child being kind or considerate to someone else, let them know you saw it. Being nice should be praised as much as a new skill. You do not have to stop the action to praise them but later, let them know you saw the way they were being nice to their friend.

Taking turns is usually very hard for kids. Role play with them; let them play with a toy and then you ask to play with it. This will not only teach them to share but will also show them an appropriate way to ask to play with something.

Explain to your child that all of his emotions are okay but all of his actions are not. It is never appropriate to hit, kick or bite someone and it is dangerous to run away from you when they are upset.

Sometimes children become frustrated that things are hard for them to do. This is when you explain that something else that they can do easily now, used to be hard for them to do. They just have to practice to make it easier.

Children need to develop reasoning skills. Use everyday activities to encourage that. When you wake up in the morning, tell him that it is raining outside, what should you wear today? If your child asks you why all of the time, turn the question back on him by saying, “I am not sure, why do you think it is that way?” Then discuss his thoughts with him.

These can all help us through the tough times of dealing with emotional children. Just take a deep breath and try to explain to them. This is not the time for you to act irrationally. If you become upset or frustrated, how can you expect your kids to know how to act appropriately? Take a deep breath and then smile and help your child. These are reactions that you want your child to learn and children always learn at home first.

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