Updated: Apr 12, 2021
We may hear parents say “stop crying” to a child who is upset, the child may continue to cry and they may take a lot of time to “become calm”. Tears are important and crying helps to calm us down, being present (hugging) with a child while they are crying and asking some of the questions below can help a child recognise and regulate their emotions.
How are you feeling? (Is this sadness, anger or frustration?)
Asking this question, helps a child to label the emotion they are feeling. They may say angry or sad. Naming the emotion, tames the emotion.
Where do you feel this (emotion) in your body?
This will help a child bring their attention to their body and notice where they may be feeling this in their body. Ask how does this feel? And then, can we “soften” this feeling by just a little bit. This can help a child to learn that we can “let go” of the emotion or some of the emotion that they are feeling.
Will we try breathing to see what happens?
Will we use one of our senses to see what happens? (Let’s have a look to see what we can see right now or what can you hear right now)
We can practice mindfulness by bringing our attention to our breathe and then ask what 3 things can I see right now, what 2 things can I hear right now or what one thing can I feel (touch) right now.
This will train our children to remember that they can go to their breath or one of their senses at any time when they are feeling different emotions.