Often, they are overwhelmed by the emotions they feel, and they express this by yelling, running away or crying – as seen in the everyday experiences of parents. These instances are not only tough on the children but also on the people that support them.
Whilst it can be difficult to see your little one struggling to deal with their big feelings, HenderCare Occupational Therapist, Alice, explains how you can help aid their understanding.
“The first thing we can do to help children understand emotions is by giving them the words to label them. Talking children through emotions not only gives a label to them but also allows them to recognise the sensations within their body (like the tightness of muscles or fast breathing) as linked to these emotions”.
Over time, this helps children learn the early signs of an emotion and, as they get older, helps build self-regulation.
Alice also points out that we need to be aware of our own emotions when assisting young children.
“We need to be aware of our own emotions and what is brought up for us when helping them. Sometimes, their anger or sadness might set off something within you. It’s important to reflect and label this, so you are able to better understand your response as a parent or carer”.
Just remember, it’s okay if this doesn’t go right all the time! If an emotion-based conversation doesn’t go the way you hoped, reconnect with your child at a calmer time and discuss this.
If you or a loved one are interested in Occupational Therapy services with HenderCare, please call our team on 1300 764 433.