What are Kids Learning about Feelings?

Sunday April 7, 2013

By Amy Morin

When I work with kids who have anger management issues, one of the biggest hurdles seems to be teaching them that feeling angry isn't bad. It's what they do with those angry feelings that can determine whether or not they make a good choice.

Sadness is another emotion that often makes people seem uncomfortable. If a child is sad, many parents try to cheer him up. They give the message that it's not okay to feel sad.

And how many times have you heard a sentence start with, "You shouldn't get so upset just because..." Often, parents tell kids things like, "Stop getting so upset over nothing." These types of messages tell kids that their feelings are wrong. This can be quite confusing to kids.

I really like the idea of emotion coaching because it validates kids' feelings. Just because they are young doesn't mean their feelings are small. They have real emotions just like the rest of us.

Check out the five steps to emotion coaching and see if it is something you want to incorporate into your discipline practices. It can be used easily along side many other complimentary parenting techniques.


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