Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

4 Ways To Help Kids Emotionally

04 October 2016 Written by 

It’s hard to see a child unhappy. Whether a child is crying over the death of a pet or the popping of a balloon, our instinct is to make it better, fast. That’s where too many parents get it wrong, says the psychologist Susan David, author of the book “Emotional Agility.” Helping a child feel happy again may offer immediate relief for parent and child, but it doesn’t help a child in the long term. “How children navigate their emotional world is critical to lifelong success,” she said. Research shows that when teachers help preschoolers learn to manage their feelings in the classroom, those children become better problem solvers when faced with an emotional situation, and are better able to engage in learning tasks.

In teenagers, “emotional intelligence,” or the ability to recognize and manage emotions, is associated with an increased ability to cope with stressful situations and greater self-esteem. Some research suggests that a lack of emotional intelligence can be used to predict symptoms of depression and anxiety.

 

Emotional skills, said Dr. David, are the bedrock of qualities like grit and resilience. But instead of allowing a child to fully experience a negative emotion, parents often respond with what Dr. David describes as emotional helicoptering.

 

“We step into the child’s emotional space,” she said, with our platitudes, advice and ideas. Many common parental strategies, like minimizing either the emotion or the underlying problem or rushing to the rescue, fail to help a child learn how to help herself. Dr. David offers four practical steps for helping a child go through, rather than around, a negative emotion and emerge ready to keep going — feel it, show it, label it, watch it go.

Feel It.

While it may seem obvious to feel emotions, many families focus on pushing away negative emotions. “When we’re saying ‘don’t be sad, don’t be angry, don’t be jealous, don’t be selfish,’ we’re not coming to the child in the reality of her emotion,” she said. “Validate and see your child as a sentient person who has her own emotional world.”

Content Originally Published By: KJ Dell'Antonia @ New York Times

Read more: Teaching Your Child Emotional Agility

Read 371 times Last modified on Tuesday, 01 November 2016 13:46
Rate this item
(0 votes)