Help your child regulate emotions
Pre-school aged kids (1–5 year olds)
Help your child put words to how they’re feeling. For example, for children who are developing language say, “You’re smiling – you must be happy!”
Help your child put words to how others are feeling as well – this will help them develop empathy, and help them understand those feelings in themselves.
Primary school aged kids (6–12 year olds)
Help your child to recognise and regulate their emotions by developing healthy thinking habits*. Help your child respond to, and manage their emotions, such as through positive self-talk, self-compassion, a sense of optimism and a positive attitude. If your child’s self-talk is negative – for example, “I’m going to die of embarrassment speaking in front of my class”, help them reframe their self-talk to something like, “Public speaking isn’t my favourite thing, but I’ll be able to cope”.
* Healthy thinking means looking at life and the world in a balanced way (Canadian Mental Health Association, 2011). Healthy thinking teaches children to know how their thoughts (both helpful and unhelpful) affect problems or feelings in everyday life. With practice, children can learn to use accurate thoughts that encourage them instead of negative thoughts that discourage them.