Dealing with Emotions

We all have and show emotions whether they are positive or negative, from time to time. Some styles are better at expressing their emotions and some tend to hide them. Learning to express and manage your emotions in a healthy way is critical to your mental health. Those tween and teenage years can be especially difficult as children are learning to manage their emotions. Do you remember having those terrible two years with any of your kids? I do!

The tween and teenage years can be hard to deal with for any parent. At this age children experience moods. These are a sign that your child is experiencing more complex, mature emotions and is trying to understand and manage them. It’s an important part of developing as a teenager. And as parents we have an important role to play in helping our children with this part of their journey into becoming adults. I found some great tips from the website Here are a couple I thought were especially helpful to teach your children:  

Identify the Emotion: Learning to notice and identify feelings takes practice. In addition to focusing on these feelings, check in with your body, too. You may feel sensations with certain emotions — perhaps your face gets hot or your muscles tense.

  • Be aware of how you feel. When you have a negative emotion, such as anger, try to name what you’re feeling. This is a lot better than pretending not to have the feeling at all or losing your temper. For example:
    • “That guy Ian in my class makes me so mad!”
    • “I get so jealous when I see that person with my best friend.”
    • “I feel afraid whenever I have to walk past those bullies.”
  • Figure out what caused the feeling. Understanding the source of your feelings will help you to figure out the best ways to handle them. For example:
    • “Whenever we do group projects, Ian finds a way to take all the credit for other people’s work.”
    • “When I see my best friend with people, it reminds me that I have to share the time I spend with them with others.”
    • “Even though the bullies don’t pick on me, I see what they do to other people and it worries me.”
  • Don’t blame someone or something. Being able to recognize and explain your emotions isn’t the same as blaming someone or something for the way you feel. The guy who takes credit for your work might not realize what he’s doing, and your best friend probably isn’t seeing others as a way to get back at you. Your feelings are there to help you make sense of what’s going on.
  • Accept all your emotions as natural and understandable. Don’t judge yourself for the emotions you feel. It’s normal to feel them. Accepting how you feel can help you move on, so don’t be hard on yourself.

Under Stress Certain Personality Types Show Different Emotions

Life can get a little stressful sometimes, and depending on your style will determine how you express your emotions when under stress. Those of us that like to be in control when solving problems, will become rather dictatorial, whereas those styles that like to be with people and are social will become somewhat sarcastic when those stressful times show up.   And some of us don’t like expressing our emotions, and will withdraw or become headstrong.  Whichever style we are, it’s good to develop skills for dealing with our emotions in a healthy way.  The American Psychological Association have some great tips you can apply yourself and for teaching to your children:

  1. All of us can learn and practice calm breathing and meditation
  2. Sleep well. Sleep is essential for physical and emotional well-being.Sleep needs to be a priority to keep stress in check. To protect shut-eye, limit screen use at night and avoid keeping digital devices in the bedroom.
  3. Exercise. Physical activity is an essential stress reliever for people of all ages. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 60 minutes a day of activity for children ages 6 to 17.
  4. Talk it out. Talking about stressful situations with a trusted adult can help kids and teens put things in perspective and find solutions.
  5. Make time for fun—and quiet. Just like adults, kids and teens need time to do what brings them joy, whether that’s unstructured time to play with building bricks or uninterrupted hours to practice music or art. Be mindful about what each of your children like to do to have fun.
  6. Write about it. Research has found that expressing oneself in writing can help reduce mental distress and improve well-being. If you have tweens or teens encourage them to keep a journal, and write down what they are grateful for each day. 
  7. Learn mindfulness. Support your kiddos to become mindful by giving them ways to develop more awareness of their actions, their words and their thoughts. 

At the end of the day it’s all about being able to express our emotions in a healthy and compassionate way – showing kindness towards ourselves and others. Children have a wide range of emotions, and some children are naturally more sensitive than others and tend to get overly emotional about things. As your child gets older, they’ll begin to see a connection between emotional outbursts and negative consequences. So, keep up the good work as a parent, apply some of the tips above and be a role model by expressing your emotions in a healthy way. 

For those parents that would like to join my parenting Facebook group you can go here Parent with Teens, Tween and Anything In between. Please share with others if you have found this post helpful. Together we can create a more kind and joyful world.