Accepting your own feelings can be tough at any age, and kids are no exception. Whether at an outdoor birthday party or an indoor playground at Uptown Jungle in Henderson, stressful situations are bound to happen.
However, it should be a part of our own self-care. It’s therefore important for parents to teach their children to talk about their feelings early on.
First and foremost, as a parent, you need to accept negative emotions as normal. It’s okay to cry, express frustration, or be sad, or angry – there are so many ways you can help your child channel their emotions and learn to get along with other kids. Here we shall explore some ways how you can help your kid cope and manage stressful situations.
If there was a significant change in the family dynamic, this can reflect in the mood of your child. For example, a new baby has arrived, a new school year started, parents separated or divorced, or the family moved to a new city or neighborhood. In all such scenarios, it’s expected to see some signs of distress in children.
However, not all kids cope with changes in the same way. Some can become crankier, some show lapses in attention, some have trouble sleeping, and some have nightmares, etc.
You shouldn’t panic, of course, but check with a professional to know how to recognize signs of anxiety in children.
Kids can sometimes throw unprovoked temper tantrums. Yes, this can be quite embarrassing for you as a parent, but you shouldn’t lose your wit. Remember, you’re responsible for your actions and you should approach situations patiently and with a sense of clarity.
While you don’t want to take away the freedom of expression from your kid, you need to find ways to teach him to communicate in a clear and non-aggressive way.
You can propose a couple of ground rules, preventing abusive behavior, for example:
- No hitting, pushing, or other aggressive acts
- Count to 10 before you react
- Talk about how you feel with your guardian
- Take a break if you feel overwhelmed or angry
While you can simply talk with your children about how they feel, it’s even more important that you’re ready to listen. Lead by example and teach them to listen to you as well and pay attention. Be sincere and try to identify issues and situations when your child feels stressed.
Be consistent and build a warm environment where your kids will feel free to express themselves.
Sure, encouraging your child to express feelings creatively has proven to be quite useful. This is especially true for families undergoing significant changes. For instance, if you’re relocating, you can offer an opportunity to draw, paint, make a photo album, write a diary, and more. There are various studies that support this approach and show that artistic expression can help children in handling emotions.
Give your kids more opportunities for physical activity: take them to a local pool, beach, ride a bike, or build a small gym for your kid in your backyard. Your kids will eventually find the type of physical activity they enjoy the most, be it dancing, running, scavenger hunting, dodgeball, swimming, diving etc.
Kids love to be engaged in different activities, especially when they are stimulated in various ways. This doesn’t serve just as a distraction from negative emotions, it can be a channel where they can transform that energy into something positive.
Jumping on trampolines, crossing tricky obstacle courses, climbing walls, and leaping into ball arenas is all quite entertaining. It can also serve as a relief after a stressful day at school, or after a arduous relocation.