1. Teach your kids the “language of feelings”.
Recognizing what they feel and voicing their feelings in words is one of the most important things you can teach your children. Help your kids develop by teaching different emotions with the many words and using examples when those emotions emerge in themselves and others.
The acts of individuals can be “bad,” but the emotions themselves are never “bad.” One reason kids get stuck and don’t want to talk about emotions, even though you ask them to, is that they might misunderstand how “bad” or “a problem” they feel when the problem is actually the tough thing that happened. Feelings, if we understand them and listen to them, are like significant road signs. They will show us the next place to go and what to look for.
When they are angry, many kids shut down because they believe all emotions but positive ones are negative and shameful. It makes challenging feelings natural and safe when you teach your children the language of several different feelings and encourages them to explore and express them. The consequence is the growth of social skills and emotional smarts. They are able to cope with what they feel and therefore have better friendships. This allows them to have higher self-esteem as well.
2. Learn to put yourself in your child’s shoes.
Before giving advice or getting upset, pause and really listen to your kid. This makes your child trust you and listen to the advice you want to offer more freedom. Be sure to consider their point of view and check that they feel that way when kids are upset, whether or not you agree. Children, along with adults, once their feelings have been accepted and understood, will better consider a different view of a situation. Hearing the perspective of the child will decrease their defensive reaction. This does not mean that there is no consequence of violating laws, but it means that what happened, or what their thinking process was, can be articulated so that they can learn. In the future, kids who grow up with their feelings not accepted will suffer.
3. Be aware of your child’s overall actions and behavior
Children sometimes inform us that, by their actions rather than words, they have a problem. If your child always acts out and gets into trouble, it’s a clue that something needs to be solved or that emotional help is needed to cope and move forward. This is why the language of emotions is so important. When your child can’t tell you what’s going on, it’s not safe.
This is why the language of emotions is so important. When your child can’t tell you what’s going on, it’s not safe. There are causes why kids are acting out, and several things can be done to help. Even if the challenge does not seem particularly severe, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Both kids need guidance about feelings and experiences. You and your children will benefit if you ask for support or learn more about emotions and relationships yourself.
4. Encourage creativity.
To learn about their feelings and relationships, all children need support. As adults, it is our duty to teach them these abilities. Every child is different, so we need to find out what personally touches each child. To help them express themselves, look at what they really enjoy. The great ways to help children learn to cope with challenging feelings and relationships are playing, games, sports, painting, poetry, dance, horticulture, photography, music, and acting or role-playing scenarios.
A natural human way of learning and expressing ourselves is imagination. If your child has learned to avoid feelings, imagination will open them up to emotions.
5. Show kids that having a mix of struggle and strength is normal for everyone.
Teach your child that times of strength and times of hardship will be encountered by every person. In struggling, there is no guilt. Kids are also taught to dwell too much on the problems they have and get “stuck,” believing that they are not good enough. We need to help kids balance the amount of time they spend on what is difficult to learn for them and what their innate strengths and interests are. The key to helping them improve self-esteem is helping them draw on what they naturally enjoy.
Counseling, social skill groups, life coaching and recreational opportunities are perfect ways to help children acquire skills that they will need to be the best they can be. For example, bringing your kids to therapy to learn new coping skills in an environment that is challenging for them can be a significant boost to their growth and development. It does not suggest that there is something wrong with them. It makes them healthier, stronger and more optimistic individuals, in reality.
6. The way kids think is very important.
For many North American people of all ages, negative thinking about themselves is an enormous issue. In infancy, this thinking also begins. Children receive repeated reminders that they might not be sufficiently successful. By hearing negative messages about themselves and then repeating them over and over in their thoughts, many children get “stuck” in thinking this way. Repeated negative thinking about oneself, others, and the environment may contribute to potential mental health problems.
Note the vocabulary and comments of your child about him or herself and others. If your child regularly says negative things, it is an issue. It usually means that they don’t feel good about themselves and need help solving problems and changing that kind of thought. It contributes to lower self-esteem when children practice negative self-talk and may contribute to low mood and concern. It can also leave them more vulnerable to bullying.
When we replay thoughts and behaviors over and over, our brains are built to alter. Picture yourself and your child skiing or tobogganing, for instance. If you go again and again over the same road, it will soon get really slippery and grooved in. For the two of you, slipping down that path becomes easier and faster. Our brains function in a way that’s identical. You may have become really good at something that affects you if you and your kid are rehearsing painful or mean thoughts.
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