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Teach Your Child to Deal with Big Feelings with Emotional Intelligence


a young child screams with hands on their head to deal with emotions

Tantrums, shouting, crying over small issues. If your child is sharing their emotions in unsuitable ways, you’re probably frustrated. Everyone has big feelings sometimes, but how we share them says a lot about us. Kids with good emotional control have fewer behavioral issues and are more likely to be seen as mature and capable because they know how to deal with emotions.


Help Them Communicate Their Feelings


Can your child tell you how they feel? Help them identify what they’re feeling and then discuss different phrases they can use to explain those feelings without resorting to a tantrum. If they’re too upset to use their words, a feelings wheel can be a helpful tool. With a feelings wheel, all they have to do is point to the emotion they’re struggling with, instead of saying it out loud. 


Simply identifying the emotion can help them calm down and get a better handle on what they’re feeling. It also gives you a starting point to talk about what they’re going through.


Encourage Them to Ask for a Time Out


Take the pressure off. Forcing your child to address the issue or answer your question right away can increase anxiety and escalate emotions. Set the expectation that they can ask you for time to think. Give them phrases to use like: 


  • Can I have a minute to think about that?

  • Excuse me, I need to collect my thoughts

  • I need a timeout.


This gives them some space to think, do some deep breathing and get themselves under control. It also reframes the traditional timeout as something positive — an opportunity, not a punishment.


Model Self Control When You Deal With Emotions

mother and son sit side-by-side in lotus pose, the mother models calming techniques for her son to help him deal with emotions

Do you often yell when you’re upset or become easily frustrated? Kids learn by watching you. If they hear you shout or display your emotions in big ways, they’ll learn to act that way too. When you’re dealing with big emotions, narrate what’s happening. Making the process of self control clear and simple can help them follow the same steps when they’re upset. 


For example, when you’re frustrated don’t yell at them. Stop and say, “I’m feeling frustrated. I’m going to step away for a few moments and do some deep breathing and then we’ll talk.” Then come back to the situation calmer and with a better attitude. 


LeadYouth Can Help You Fix the Real Issue


Big emotional displays usually happen because your child is anxious, scared, or angry about something. Help them find and label those emotions. Remember, a tantrum is a symptom of a deeper emotion. Like a pot of water boiling over, tantrums and big emotional displays occur when the child is too overstimulated and can no longer contain themselves. 


LeadYouth’s emotional intelligence course doesn’t just help our learners understand the emotions of others. It’s also designed to help your child better understand themselves. We believe that being passionate can be positive, but only if you know how to share those feelings with others in a meaningful way. Our coaching and courses help your child develop emotional control by teaching them to identify their feelings, take another person’s perspective, and communicate their thoughts clearly. 


Give your child the foundational skills they need to be effective communicators and confident leaders for life. Sign up for a LeadYouth Membership today.


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