Alyce Galea, Psychologist

It is essential that our young people learn how to manage the intensity of their emotions, and work through their emotions in a healthy and helpful way. 

It is not something that that we are inherently born knowing how to do, so it is important that parents and/or caregivers help facilitate a safe space for children to learn emotion regulation.

Here are 5 important tips to help you help your children:

1. Be warm, accepting and responsive to your child’s emotional needs

  • It’s important that you allow space for your child to experience their emotions in a safe, empathetic and non-judgemental space. Being emotionally available for your child is the first step.

2. Talk about emotions and be a role model

  • Talking about your emotional experiences with your child and modeling healthy ways of managing your emotions is vital. Kids won’t often do what you say, but they will likely follow your lead and take cues from how you react to your emotions and stressors. 

3. Accept, support and show empathy to validate their feelings

  • Normalise your child’s emotional experience to teach them they all emotions are safe and valid, and create an environment in which they feel safe to express those emotions. 

4. Be patient

  • Being patient and calm when your child expresses their emotions helps you remain connected. They will sense if you are becoming distressed or agitated, which will likely lead them to become more heightened. 

5. Try not to ignore, dismiss, discourage, punish or react negatively to emotions, especially negative emotion

  • Your goal is to teach your child to not suppress their emotions, whilst also not letting them become overwhelmed by their emotions. 

By being in touch with your own emotions and being mindful of how you manage them, you can be a role model for your children and help them feel safe to express their own emotions in a healthy and helpful way.

For more parenting support or for support for your child, please contact the clinic to book an appointment.

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