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Do Not Join Your Child’s Emotional Chaos

emotional chaosAs your child’s parent it is extremely important not to join your child’s emotional chaos.  Your child instead needs you to remain calm and guide them through these challenging emotions.

Have you ever watched your child’s eyes glass over when you yell at them?  Have you been in a classroom where the teacher is yelling and getting very little reaction from the teacher?  Do you have a teacher who is well known for constant yelling?

As a teacher in Outside School Hours Care, it was challenging with such a range in ages and battling the end of day tiredness that they students simply did not listen.  No matter how much I yelled it did nothing.  I soon figured out that the best way to get your child’s attention is to simply whisper.  All of a sudden you will find that children go quiet as they think they are missing out on something.

181_volcanoWhen your child is emotionally erupting, they need our guidance in how to regulate their emotions and learn how to calm themselves down.  By yelling back at our children when they are yelling, you are only reinforcing they yelling behaviour.

So how do you not join in your child’s emotional chaos?

  • Before responding take a deep breathe
  • Remind yourself that you are not going to yell back
  • Look at the situation from your child’s point of view so that you can show understanding and empathy
  • Remind your child that it is ok and you are there to help them
  • Label the emotion so that they start to understand their feelings
  • Direct them to appropriate activities to help let out their emotions
  • Make up a chart and together come up with strategies that they can do when they are feeling…….

Helping your child through their emotions is extremely challenging if you dismiss emotions.  I encourage parent’s to sign up for my Emotion Coaching program so that you can help your child emotionally regulate.  It is important that you do not join in your child’s emotional chaos.


How To Teach Emotion Regulation With Your Child

How to Teach ChildrenIs the chair, corner, bedroom, laundry etc going to teach emotion regulation to your child?  The answer is no it is not.  But how do you teach emotion regulation with your child?

Building your child’s emotional intelligence means helping your child understand their emotions by recognising what they are feeling and why.

What does sending the child to the corner teach them?  That the behaviour is unacceptable and if you do it you will go to the corner.  It does not actually teach the child how to recognise what they are feeling and different strategies on how to deal with those emotions.  By not actively helping our children to understand their emotions, you will only continue to experience explosive behaviour situations.


How To Teach Emotion Regulation With Your Child 

  1.  Believe it or not that most important step is parent’s looking within and see how you deal with your emotions.  How can we possibly teach children emotion regulation if we dismiss or hide our emotions?
  2. Before you react to their behaviour find the reason for their behaviour as there is always a trigger.
  3. Show empathy to your child and label your emotions “I can see that you are sad, frustrated etc with…….”
  4. Help them to find more appropriate ways to deal with their emotions rather than hitting etc.

A great way I have done this in my house is by usingEmotion thermometer the following picture chart and the girls have learnt to recognise where their emotions are on the chart.

I also made up a poster and used the characters and we went through different activities they can do when they feel like this.

By doing this you are teaching your child to manage their feelings in positive ways so that they can in the long term regulate their own emotions.

When you look at addictions, social problems in society a lot of it comes down to people do not know how to regulate their own emotions and we find ways to hide and not deal with emotions.

I remember going through severe postnatal depression and depression, one of the major parts of my recovery is actually learning about my emotions and learning how to deal with them appropriately rather through self harm.  When I am struggling, I visualise a river and visualise the emotions that I am struggling with flowing down the river as all emotions come and go.  How many emotions do you go through each day?

If you really want to give your child the best start to their emotions, I really encourage you to do the emotion coaching program which you can find under the services section. It is one of my favourite programs as the transformations that people have are amazing.



Do You Dismiss Emotions?

Do you dismiss emotions by saying the following:

  • Only girl’s cry…………..
  • You will be alright………….
  • Cheer up…………..
  • You should never be angry…………

These types of comments have been past down from generation to generation as a lot of our parenting is based on our past experiences.  I remember with my family we were encouraged not to show our emotions and just deal with it.  When my dad passed away I remember my mum saying “I don’t want you crying at the funeral as you will embarrass me.”  This was how she was parented and it was all that she knew.

Many parents frequently use this approach with their kids, not realizing that there is a better way to manage.  This type of parenting is called Emotion Dismissing or Emotion Disapproving Parents.  If you think that you are doing this, don’t fret because I have to admit that I did that until I learnt that there is a better way to manage emotions.  We can learn better ways so that you do not dismiss emotions anymore.

Emotion dismissing parents are usually not cruel or mean spirited people.  They are often loving, warm and concerned, but are uncomfortable with intense emotions.  They prefer the neutral state and like others to be calm and reasonable.  They dislike anger, rage, sadness, despair.  They are also uncomfortable with intense positive emotions.   It means that you have the best intentions, but are missing opportunities for guidance and connection with your children.

Characteristics of Emotion Dismissing Parents:

  1. They don’t notice lower intensity emotions in themselves or their kids.
  2. They see negative emotions as toxic and want to protect their children from them.
  3. They want kids to be able to change emotions quickly.
  4. They may punish a child or put them in a time out just for being angry, even if there is no misbehaviour.
  5. They prefer cheerful children and want their kids to focus on the positive.  They distract or try to cheer up their kids when they have negative emotions.
  6. They don’t have a detailed vocabulary for emotions.
  7. They want reason to control emotion, therefore are uncomfortable with strong emotions.

I learnt to face my emotions when I was recovering from severe postnatal depression.  I also void that I wouldn’t ignore my child’s emotions.  When they are having a meltdown I am usually silent for a while.  I would encourage you to just sit there for a while whilst your child is upset and just be present.  When they start to calm down I label the emotions that they are feeling and find a good 90% of the time just labelling the emotion helps them to calm down.

When my girls hurt themselves I acknowledge that it would hurt and I would have cried.  I acknowledge when they are angry and help them to express their anger in more appropriate means if they are hurting others.

By making a conscious effort to change the way I manage my own emotions and help through their emotions, I am building a stronger relationship with my girls and sending the message that no matter what happens in life, I am there for them.

If you want to receive help in emotion coaching head over to my Challenging Behaviour Program.  If you want to just do an Emotion Coaching program that can easily be arranged to suit your needs.  Simply drop me an email at


Successful Parenting With Emotions

Emotion Coaching