It’s normal for kids to shout and scream because of big emotions. It can be really stressful for families leading to siblings fighting and parents feeling stressed and overwhelmed.
How can we deal with big emotions to restore calm to yourself, your kids and your family?
Today Natasha Tiwari, an award winning psychologist is chatting on the podcast to help us help our kids with their big emotions.
These days kids are exposed to far more stimulus than we were when we were kids. (For example media, social media, life style.)
We grew up in a time when we were expected to emotionally regulate. Many children are very good at allowing all their emotions out! This is better than bottling them all up but thanks to mirror neurones, can leave parents feeling exhausted.
There is a theory of “dandelions and orchids”. Some children (20%) are compared to “orchids”. They are highly sensitive. They need to be nourished and nurtured in a certain way to feel emotionally safe. These children tend to be intellectually bright and high achieving. They are often more easily triggered.
The majority of children are compared to dandelions. They can usually thrive without too much fuss.
In the heat of the moment it’s important to remember that the big emotions haven’t come from nowhere. The heat of the moment isn’t the time to “teach”. Their brains are turned off and they aren’t taking in the “learning points”.
Talk to your kids in calm moments when they aren’t in the throws of big emotions.
Remember not to get drawn into their big emotions. (This is much easier said than done!) We need to demonstrate how to handle our emotions.
Allow all the emotions to calm down before you start teaching them. This means really calm down. Which might be more than 5 minutes.
Give them lots of love! Underneath it all big emotions are a cry for reassurance and needing to feel loved and safe. It isn’t a matter of “whether you love your kids”. (Of course you do.) It’s a matter of whether they feel loved or not. Small “connections” during the day can help them to feel loved and valued. For example, take a moment to look into their eyes and smile, say a kind word, encourage them. Let them know that they’re seen.
Self care is a huge piece of the puzzle. It’s impossible to handle your kids big emotions when you’re tired and stressed.
Remember that kids are acting as they are because they’re kids and they don’t have the emotional intelligence to behave differently.
Media often portrays kids as “perfectly behaved” which gives us the expectation that our kids will behave like emotionally stable adults. This isn’t the case! It’s totally normal for kids to have big emotions about seemingly mundane things.
Remember how difficult it cam be for us adults to regulate our emotions when we feel triggered. It’s even more difficult for kids. Not only do they not have the skills yet, they also lack “perspective”.
Regulate yourself before you try to regulate your kids.
Be kind to yourself!
Natasha's website is the "Veda Group".
Check out her video bundle for how to deal with your kids' big emotions. You can sign up here: Child's Big Emotions Video.