As adults, most of us know our emotional triggers and what we need to do to calm ourselves down and or relieve our frustrations. As a child this can be a difficult journey and cause disruption and upset for the whole family as well as cause a lack of self-confidence in the child, damage relationships and development.
First your child needs to identify their emotions. Get creative with your child and create emotion faces. You could use paper and colours, paper plates or wooden spoons. Get messy and share your own facial expressions with the child to motivate their artistic streak, thoughts and conversation. Keep these faces available for view and discussion. Your child may even find it a release to point to the faces they identify with when feeling emotional.
When your child is aware and can identify their negative feelings, offer your child a way to release it with play dough to squeeze, pull and pound. There are many stress balls available to buy that can help too. You can even have fun making your own.
Emotion Pocket /Box/ Bag
Create a feelings box. The faces created could be kept here. Cut pictures from magazines of different faces showing emotion, a mirror, note paper and writing tools to write down their thoughts, a zipped pencil case to pop the written feeling or worry away in, textured materials and cushions, and story books about feelings and emotions.
Look at activities together and note the activities that your child can do when they are feeling upset, sad or angry. Reading, listening to audio books, a mindfulness CD, bath, walk and exercise are great examples as well as the above.
Make sure that all of the above are written down for your child and yourself to remind you. This will make it easier to actively take time out to cool down and then the issue can be addressed once the mood has lightened.