1) Validate instead of correct!
Many parents will “correct” their children/teens when they are having big yucky emotions such as anger or sadness. They can said things like: “stop being mad, this isn’t a big deal”.”There is not reason to get so upset.”You are being dramatic over nothing.” The list goes on & on.
Instead become what I call “A Professional Validator” You can say things like: “I can see why that upset you so much”. “You have a right to feel _________”. “I would be sad if that happened to me” etc.
2)Empower them with a “big feelings” vocabulary
So many children & teens know mad, glad & sad (and happy). Feeling disappointed is different than feeling sad. Frustrated is different then mad, etc. When we have the ability to express our emotions efficiently, it feels better to our bodies & our minds. If they don’t have the words to express their emotions, this can be very frustrating to them! We need to NAME IT in order to TAME IT!
As parents we can name our emotions that we are having in our daily lives. With younger children we can show them feeling charts-which show different faces having different feelings. As they get older we can use items such as a “feelings wheel”. Feel free to reach out to me at [email protected] for examples of these items.
3)Empower them with ways to work through their big emotions:
I am one “tool” to help people tap into their inner peace. I teach children, teens & adults on how to calm themselves down after they “flip their lid” Which can quickly calm down the nervous system so they can utilize the thinking part of their brain. One tip is to practice havening while deep breathing:
At the end of face self-havening-drag you hand behind your ear.
Have them do “square breath work”
Start with a picture of a square…most children are very visual. Have them place their finger at the bottom corner of the square. Encourage them to sit up tall & inhale through their nose as they trace the first side of the square up. Exhale as they trace across the top of the square (exhale through their mouth & let them know they can make a noise as they exhale…like ahhhhhh or ohhhh or whatever feels right to them) Then breath in as they trace do down the other side of the square. Then out as they move across the next part of square. Repeat three times. For older children/teens that can draw a square on their leg or in the air.