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Parenting on Purpose - Helping Children to Navigate Big Emotions

For this month's Parenting on Purpose, we asked Toni for some tips on helping children to navigate their big emotions....

1. Acknowledge the emotion, provide support, then deal with the behaviour.

2. Ask them how the big emotion feels in their body (e.g. hot) so they can learn to identify emotions and choose appropriate responses.

3. After an emotional outburst, ask them to draw their feelings on a blank figure of a person - use coloured pencils such as yellow, orange or red and colour on the figure where the feeling was strongest, then discuss it with them.

4. Teach them about inappropriate responses and help them to choose more appropriate responses in a calm discussion before any outbursts.

5. Ask questions to help them identify emotional triggers. This might sound like "then what happened?" and "what was going on before that?"

6. After you've acknowledged their feelings, follow up by asking what it is they need. This might sound like "do you need a hug?" or "do you need some time alone?"

We hope these tips help you to support your children through their big feelings.

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