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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.


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


I love you Mum/Dad!

I love you

Emma and I had a tough start to our mother/daughter relationship as I suffered sever Postnatal Depression.  Up to the age of 2, I did not feel we had a lot of connection and I was extremely worried that we would not have much of a relationship.

The first sign that our bond was starting to grow was when she used to press her forehead really hard against my head.  She did not do this to anyone but me.  But I saw this as a sign of a building relationship.

I am very big on telling the girls that I love them.  It was not something that was said regularly as a child but if I felt the need to tell them I would.

For individuals with Autism is can be a challenge to get them to say I love you.  But I didn’t mind as no matter what I wanted them to know how much I love them.  Emma now comes up to me all the time and says Mum/Dad, I love you.  She can tell me 50 times and I still would feel the warmth and glow that I feel within my heart when I hear those words.  She is also giving me kisses which is an extra bonus.

Telling your child that you love them can be challenging if you grew up in a family who did not express their love for ach other.  Nevertheless, this is something you can change in your own family.  Your child may not express to you often that they love you but if you make the effort to keep telling them that you love them you may never know, one day they will come to you out of the blue and say Mum/Dad I love you.

For those children who are non verbal, you will need to look at other ways your child is telling you that they love you.  It could be through cuddles, a smile, a look or even getting you to be interested in what they are doing.


Successful Parenting With Emotions

Emotion Coaching