I was walking along the beach, feeling like I was on top of the world, when the sand came out from under me... and by ‘sand,’ I mean my heart broke in two and the world went silent. I had just found out that I lost my brother Ricardo, and I was on the other side of the world without the option of properly grieving him.
Young children experience complex emotions just like adults. They get frustrated, sad, worried, excited, and overwhelmed; however, they usually haven’t mastered the ability to use logic and words to manage their feelings in the same way. Instead, young children may communicate their feelings in other ways, often through more physical, challenging, and less controlled methods.
We’ve all been there: Your three-year-old has a meltdown in the middle of the grocery checkout line or you become beyond exasperated when your eldest clobbers your youngest for no apparent reason. Feelings. They push us to our limits. They’re big and at times, seem to come out of nowhere. We realize that we have difficulty managing our own emotions, so it’s easy to understand when our children have the same problem. Here are some strategies to help your children first identify their feelings, and then learn to manage their feelings in acceptable ways.
Have you ever been on the way to the pediatrician’s office when you happened to mention to your kids that it’s time for their annual flu shot? Then all chaos breaks out - they start shaking, screaming, crying, and begging that you turn around and take them home right away. Children may face situations on the go that cause them great anxiety: It may be a trip to the doctor, the first day of school, a challenging test, traveling on an airplane, or going to an unfamiliar place, like a friend’s party or relative’s house. How can you help your kids get through these stressful times, so they can learn to calm themselves down?
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