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How to successfully guide your children when they are experiencing intense emotions

April 29, 2016

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Here’s a great idea…
In his book, The Whole Child, Seamus Carey says, “The emotions and feelings that children experience are often far more complex than their ability to articulate them. They often get frustrated trying to express their emotions and feelings, because words often fail to convey the depth of emotional experience. Parents effectively guide children beyond their frustration by listening for at least one idea that can help the child to articulate clearly.” (p. 72)

In other words…
Children sometimes have difficulty dealing with their emotions, especially when they feel that they are not being heard or understood by those around them. As parents, we can help our children the most by inviting them to share and talk openly with us about their feelings. We can help them build an emotional vocabulary and be better equipped to deal with their feelings.

Here’s how you can use this idea to have a better life…
The next time your child is trying to express an emotion take time to listen to what they have to say. Help them elaborate on their feelings and teach them new words to describe what they feel. The more you talk with your child about what they are feeling, the more understood they will feel and the more comfortable they will be sharing their emotions with you in the future.

To find out more…
about parenting, check out The Parenting Journey or See the World Through My Eyes programs at uaex.edu/families, follow us at facebook.com/navigatinglife or contact your local county Extension agent. You can also read Carey’s The Whole Child.

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