Feelings are good to have. But why do we expect our children and teens to “Control” thier emotions?

By control do you mean?

Just be happy. Don’t let things affect you. It’s not that big of a deal.

How would you feel if someone told you? “It’s not a big deal.” “Why are you worried about that?” “You’re so sensitive, you need to relax.”

Doesn’t feel good does it? It may bring up other feelings as well, such as shame, embarrassment, helplessness, hopelessness, inadequacy, frustration and anger.

Children and teens are the same. Those feeling cause them to act out a certain way. Usually an unhelpful way.

So how do you help?

1. Be a good role model. Start with your own self-care. Children learn what they live.

2. Talk about feelings, good and bad ones.

3. Respect their struggle. Validate their emotion. Growing up is hard. Do you remember being a kid?

4. Teach them new ways to keep calm, and relax. Make it part of a daily routine.

Pressures build up for children and teens as they grow and develop. They become more aware of the stressors around them. They can look things up on the internet. They have more expectations put on them.

Time management, friends, family, social skills and school are real concerns. Things you can’t take away, but you can teach them to deal with their stress and emotion in a helpful way.

Sit down with your kids and ask them what will help. It will take time, but eventually you will help them to turn to helpful coping when they start to feel strong emotion.

If you need a some help, I have created some helpful worksheets that can be found at the link below.