Children like adults experience all kinds of emotions from a very young age. However, the way they express it is different. Teaching Emotional Expression is very important for kids today!
For example, a toddler knows only to cry, laugh and throw tantrums because these are the only emotions he/she can express.
An elder kid may experience feelings such as happiness, sadness, deprivation, selfishness, pride, jealousy and many more.
Do children identify these emotions rightly?
Do they express them timely?
However! Keeping emotions to themselves, even if it is happiness, is not healthy.
It is thus the responsibility of the parents to teach kids to handle their emotions. Here are few ways to help your kids to control their emotions.
Keeping Them In A Bubble Shells Their Emotional Expression
As a parent, you may want to protect your kid from all kinds of harm, including emotional ones.
However, too much protection is not good for the kid in the long run. The world is not as sweet as we show him and it will not be so when he needs to face it.
Instead of your kid suddenly having to face the harshness of the outside world, make sure you give him your idea of
How you felt the first time you went to school/boarding
How you felt when you had to travel in a train-alone
Your idea of bullies and how you would behave with such people
These are examples of topics you need to speak to you child when you chat-up over a tea or snack time.
In doing this you will subtly prepare your kid to some situations that in fact would not arise physically, but, when it arise in any other form your kid will know what to do(at least how you did, and might follow the same).
Empathize With Them
When you child is upset, empathize with them by putting yourself in their position.
Say things like, “I know you really want that toy but I am sorry” or “I know how hard you worked for your swimming competition”.
Or “ I know you are feeling upset about not coming first. But it does not matter, you swam really well and I am sure you will come first next time”.
In doing so, you help your child deal with emotions in a controlled manner.
Also, knowing that you understand how they feel creates a special bond and helps them express their emotions to you.
You need to give your child a comfort zone to speak, keeping him always in cloud nine and letting him speak all that he wants is not good.
The same way controlling your child too much and not letting him speak is also a sin, which will hurt him in more as he rows.
Children have to be guided to speak the right things at the right places
Children learn from their parents, you are their first role model. So be consistent with your emotions and in dealing with their emotions.
Let them know that it is ok to cry or be angry and show them how to express them the right way.
Punishing, grounding or time outs – be it any form of discipline, be consistent.
It is important for you to be patient too.
It may sometimes include looking away when they are purposely creating a scene or ignoring their tantrums.
Try to reason them for their behavior – you don’t always need to ask them, you can just observe and learn.
Accept Your Child’s Behavior
Not all children at all times become difficult. Accept your child’s behavior even though it is new.
Your child is exposed to the outside world through school, social interaction and media.
Accept their tantrums and behaviors as you would their happiness.
After an episode of crying or throwing things, sit with them and discuss their feelings.
Teach them that it is not ok to throw things or hit their sibling. Make sure that your child knows you are not okay with such behaviors.
Teach them the technique of counting till 10 or giving themselves timeouts or going out of the room.
Encourage Your Kid
Encourage your kids for their good behavior through words of encouragement, a pat on the back or a star.
The one who collects the most number of stars gets a gift.
Sometimes kids like to be treated like adults, try talking to them about how one should behave in public, when guests come over, at parties etc.
Giving a gift after collecting so many stars motivates them to be conscious of their behavior and continue the same.
Here are some things you seriously should not be doing if you want your child to be emotionally right
Do Not Make Fun of Them
Children are very sensitive, they sometimes do not tend to express them, yet they remember.
You as a parent should never resort to making fun of the kid, it may look light to you, but may scar the child.
Some children tend to become introverts because of being made fun of. They will not try to talk things out, scared that they will be laughed at.
This is the worst scenario you would be setting to your child’s future communication skills.
Do Not Scold Them In Public
Okay, your child has acted funny in a public place and you are feeling really irritated – follow the counting 10 rule.
Tell him to stop the act and leave it at it.
When you return home, take a quiet walk, talk to him telling how bad you felt.
What will happen if you scold your child in public?
He will lose confidence to speak in public
He will reduce the frequency of expressing his feelings
He will start cocooning his feelings
He may fall prey to bad influences as he grows.
Tell us how the steps you take to make your children emotionally expressive…
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