Screaming. Crying. Hitting. Turning red. Throwing toys. We all know the signs of a tantrum brewing! Spotting a tantrum is easy, but knowing how to help kids regulate their emotions is a bit more tricky. The good news is that tantrums are a normal part of a child’s development and there are many ways that you can support your child.
We often look out for children’s physical health, from regular doctor’s appointments and healthy eating to a few well-placed band-aids. It’s also fairly straightforward to recognize when something is wrong—a scrape, a runny nose, an upset tummy.
Understanding Children’s Mental Health
Mental health, on the other hand, can be more complex. But it’s no less important. Being mentally healthy during childhood means that a child:
- Reaches developmental and emotional milestones
- Learns healthy social skills
- Knows how to cope when there are problems
Children of all ages may struggle with understanding and regulating their emotions. Think about the COVID-19 crisis, for example. Most children are not at high risk of severe physical illness due to COVID-19, but it’s had a huge impact on their mental health.
Children have had to deal with new challenges such as social distancing, changes to their routines, and a lost sense of security. This may cause feelings of vulnerability, stress, anxiety, or depression.
These feelings can build up into an overwhelming “emotion volcano,” exploding into undesirable behaviors and difficult situations. If you notice a change in the way your child typically learns, behaves, or handles their emotions, try some of these tips to help them stay calm and understand the situation before it gets out of control.
5 Tips to Help Children Regulate their Emotions
1. Create a Trusting Space 🏡
Make your home an atmosphere where your child can open up to you. Take what they say seriously and listen without judgment.
Listening to your little one will make them feel valued and important. This way, they will be more receptive to your help as you guide them through processing their emotions in a more constructive way.
2. Support Difficult Emotions 🎭
Try to stay calm with your little one reacts with frustration. This will not always be easy if your child’s emotional distress is accompanied by challenging behavior, but you are an adult with more experience. Help them understand what they’re feeling and why.
A great way to do this is to show them an emotions chart and have them point to an image that portrays how they’re feeling. Together, you can talk about what brought on those emotions and how you manage them.
3. Stay Involved in Their Life ⚽
Encourage the things that are important to them. Whether it’s sports, art, music, or extracurricular school activities, having fun distractions help all of us connect with others and feel more at ease.
4. Build Positive Routines 🥗
Set up clear structures and healthy habits, like nutritious meals and regular exercise. A good night’s sleep is also really important!
Create a family calendar together and go through your child’s schedule each day. This adds predictability and security in their daily lives, which in turn helps prevent tantrums.
5. Emotional Intelligence with the Lingokids App 💙
Lingokids has lots of activities to help kids learn about recognizing and managing all types of emotions. Check out our games, audiobooks, songs, and yoga activities, and try them as a family!