As a parent, you are one of the biggest influences your children will ever have. They learn a lot from you, including how to manage their emotions. Children feel a wide range of emotions, but they won’t automatically know how to handle them. Their emotions may even catch you off-guard and leave you uncertain about how to respond. However, there are certain phrases that help kids understand and regulate their emotions.
In the long run, the phrases we discuss below will help them to become more self-confident and to perform better in school and social settings.
1. “I’ll Hear Everything You’ve Got to Say.”
Time spent with your kids is one of the best gifts you’ll ever give them. That’s why it’s essential that you are ready to listen to them any time they have something to tell you.
Instead of suggesting that your kids bottle up their emotions, urge them to let them out. To achieve that, bring yourself to their level. Doing this will help you understand how they feel and figure out the words they will use to convey their thoughts.
To show them you are listening, use verbal cues that will reassure them. Saying “I am right here” or “I’m not going anywhere” shows your readiness to help them through any difficult phase.
2. “It’s Okay to Feel That Way.”
Take the time to validate your children’s feelings. Let them know that it is normal to experience a variety of emotions. At the same time, teach them to put those feelings into words and to manage the way the act when they feel angry or sad.
For instance, if they yell at their siblings or strike out in anger, let them know that there are more positive ways to express themselves. Use this as an opportunity to teach them about compassion, self-control and being polite even when someone doesn’t act the way they want or expect. Explain that their actions also have an impact on the other person. Be sure to make eye contact, draw them close to you, and explain all this gently.
3. “Let’s Do It Together.”
This phrase not only helps your kids to manage their emotions, but it also helps in strengthening the bond between the two of you. When your children hit a snag and they find it difficult to solve a problem, help them to find a solution.
Doing things together helps them understand concepts faster and it makes them feel better about themselves. If you partner with them, they are also more likely to listen to what you have to say about what’s happening. This lets them know you’ll find a way to help them work things out.
4. “That Feeling isn’t Going to Last Forever.”
As an adult, you know that feelings are temporary. However, when children feel strong emotions, they don’t realize that those feelings will soon change. Since you know that they may be crying one moment and then playing with their toys just minutes later, remind them that they will soon feel better. Be kind and empathetic as you speak to them and you may find that your reassurance helps to reduce the intensity of their emotions.
5. “You’re Awesome.”
Show appreciation when your kids get things right or they make an effort to do something you taught them. Celebrating small wins and letting them know you’re proud of them will touch them deeply. If they learn a new concept, help you with a task, or share their toys with a sibling, compliment them on their positive actions.
6. “What Lesson Do We Learn Here?”
Behind each of your kid’s experiences is a useful lesson. To assist them in managing their emotions, encourage them to learn from their interactions with their friends or siblings. When you ask them to think about what they learned, they gain the ability to see things from more than one perspective and to draw on the positives. They also learn that there may be hidden opportunities waiting to be discovered.
7. “I Have Absolute Trust in You.”
Acknowledging your kids’ ability, hard work, and intelligence is essential. This tends to bring out the best in them and it helps embolden them. When they have to make a decision, they are more likely to be confident in their ability to make the right choice. This phrase also gives them a sense of responsibility since they know you believe they are capable of doing the smart thing.
Kids have a lot to learn where emotions are concerned, and they need your support. They have to learn how to put their feelings into words, manage their emotions and control their actions. Use your words carefully as you guide them through this aspect of life. Good emotion coaching helps children to become more well-adjusted and it prepares them for the rest of their lives.
Amy Petrou is a content advocate at GenMindful.com, and a mother of two. In her free time you will find her writing on her blog, reading and searching for pottery and paintings to add to her growing collection.