TIP 7. Help children develop self-control and manage feelings effectively.
Often the ability to care for others is overwhelmed by anger, shame, envy, or other negative feelings.
We can teach children that all feelings are ok, but some ways of dealing with them are not useful. Children need our help learning to cope with feelings in productive ways.
Identifying feelings. Name for children their difficult feelings such as frustration, sadness, and anger and encourage them to talk to you about why they’re feeling that way.
3 steps to self-control. A simple way to help children to manage their feelings is to practice three easy steps together: stop, take a deep breath through the nose and exhale through the mouth, and count to five. Try it when your child is calm. Then, when you see her getting upset, remind her about the steps and do them together.
Resolving conflicts. Practice with your child how to resolve conflicts. Consider a conflict you or your child witnessed or experienced that turned out badly, and role-play different ways of responding. Try to achieve mutual understanding—listening to and paraphrasing each other’s feelings until both people feel understood. If your child observes you experiencing a difficult feeling and is concerned, talk to your child about how you are handling it.
Clear limits. Use authority wisely to set clear boundaries. Explain how your limits are based on a reasonable and loving concern for your child’s welfare.
Raising a caring, respectful, ethical child is and always has been hard work. But it’s something all of us can do. And no work is more important or ultimately more rewarding.