Emotions…we all have lots of them! Everything we do and everything we learn is affected by the way we feel. Feelings are a natural part of who we are. The reality is all emotions are necessary for healthy development. But how do children learn about emotions? How do children learn to understand their sadness or joy?
As parents, we want ways to enhance and open lines of communication, empower relationships and make life a whole lot more peaceful with our children. We want conversations with our children to be bond-building opportunities for communication. We want our children to know that emotions are a normal part of life and we want them to know how to process their emotions in a healthy way.
There are ways to help your child process their emotions.
Research shows that children who understand and learn to process their emotions are able to:
· Form stronger and healthier friendships and relationships with other children.
· Calm themselves down more quickly when they get upset.
· Do better in school and increase academic achievement, focus and self-discipline.
Problem solve more quickly and effectively.
· Handle their moods better and have fewer negative emotions.
· Act with resilience
· Confidently demonstrate empathy
When parents teach their children how our emotions affect us and how to respond to feelings in healthy ways, the outcome is a more resilient child who will have stronger and healthier communication and relationships and be better prepared for the challenges life can bring.
Understanding and Processing Emotions
Here are 6 things you can do to help your child process their emotions:
1. Tune in to your child’s feelings and even your own. This increases self- awareness.
2. Discuss previous challenging emotional moments during a peaceful time. This will prepare your child for fewer emotional meltdowns.
3. Use emotional moments to connect with and show empathy towards your child. This goes a long ways in helping children process and regulate their emotions and sets them up to do the same for others.
4. Respect your child’s feelings and needs by listening to them and responding appropriately rather than dismissing or ignoring them by moving onto the next thing.
5. Help your child identify and label their emotions. We want to go beyond happy, sad and angry. When we use the right emotion at the right time we are bridging our emotions and intelligence, helping us use our full brain.
6. Problem solve for good solutions together. Writing it down can be an effective way to help your child problem solve with you.
When our children are able to understand and process their emotions we are rewarded with enriched communication and connection with our child. We have successfully elevated our children’s emotional resilience. This not only affects them emotionally but academically, socially and physically as well!
If you would like more information about helping your child understand and process their emotions and to learn about our new, fun EQConnect game that helps families label their emotions you can contact Accelerated Potential Academy at firstname.lastname@example.org