07 Sep 16
Children experience ups and downs when they are trying to deal with their emotions. Helping children find ways to manage their emotions is referred to as self-regulation. Self-regulation assists children to develop other skills such as concentration, sharing, social interactions and engaging in group experiences.
Sometimes as a parent you may feel frustrated or sad. Over time we have developed our own ways of managing our own behaviour. When it comes to children we need to remember to not deny their feelings of anger, sadness or frustration. If you were feeling angry or sad and someone told you not to feel that way, most likely you wouldn’t like their response.
We need to remind children on how to manage their behaviour and guide them on expressing their emotions in a more positive way. Behaviour guidance strategies vary across different ages. Below are a few tips;
• Role model how to manage our own emotions in front of children
• Verbalise how we are feeling and what we are going to do to manage our feelings e.g. “Mummy is feeling cranky, I might go have a lay down. That will make me feel better”.
• Label feelings, this helps children realise the different types of emotions they are feeling
• Breaking down complicated tasks into more manageable tasks support self-regulation
• Observe child closely to see what triggers particular behaviour and think of ways to improve the situation. Perhaps discuss this if the child is old enough
• Routines, boundaries and limits (rules) also guide behaviour. Children respond well behaviourally when they have a predictable routine.