6 Ways to Help Children Accept Difficult Emotions

It’s pure to need to shield kids from difficult feelings. Parents and caregivers usually do their finest to diffuse uncomfortable moods or provide distractions. While this may present short-term aid that’s useful moderately, it wants to be balanced by sitting with these emotions and taking time to discover them. Remember, feelings happen for a purpose, and studying to really feel all of them totally is crucial to processing life experiences. With rules drawn from mindfulness and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, these six practices may help kids handle tough feelings and type wholesome relationships with their emotions.

Raise Awareness and Validate Feelings

Feelings can simply change into overwhelming, so it’s necessary that youngsters have the instruments to unpack what they’re experiencing. Emotional consciousness is an particularly necessary talent as a result of it permits kids to determine what they really feel and break multilayered feelings into extra manageable items. For occasion, it will likely be simpler for a kid to discover what’s making them mad in the event that they know that anger is a “secondary emotion” attributable to different emotions (download the “Anger Iceberg” handout). Help your youngster develop emotional consciousness by reflecting again no matter you discover them feeling. You would possibly start by saying, “Your muscles look really tight and I can see that you are disappointed.” Over time this may assist them to label their feelings on their very own.

Children usually have feelings that appear irrational to adults, however that doesn’t make them any much less highly effective.  Instead of dismissing these emotions, it’s extra constructive to provide validation by encouraging children to expertise the sentiments together with the ideas and bodily sensations that accompany them. Even when kids are upset by mandatory limits, you’ll be able to acknowledge the legitimacy of their emotions. For instance, you’ll be able to say, “I can see how frustrated you are, but we still need to use kind words,” or “I know you are angry that playtime is over, but we still need to finish cleaning.” 

Recognize that emotions are there to assist us

Most folks welcome happiness, calm, and contentment into their lives extra readily than disappointment, anger, or concern. Try to keep in mind that every feeling has an equally necessary function. For occasion, concern indicators that we’d like to be cautious whereas grief confirms the worth of relationships. Feelings are loads like highway indicators conveying necessary information for the journey via life. On any journey, you hope to see indicators confirming you might be on the right track. However, ignoring proof that you’re misplaced will solely put you farther off observe. Ultimately, your emotions are there to information you, so it’s necessary to keep away from inserting worth judgments on them. This might be difficult when kids present feelings indicating discontentment, however asking kids to suppress their emotions received’t resolve them. Teaching methods to categorical feelings appropriately will likely be way more useful. Help your children determine their feelings with this handout.

Get comfy with discomfort

Feelings might be painful, however attempting to keep away from them solely makes them extra highly effective. Working via tough feelings once they come up will increase your tolerance for uncomfortable emotions and prepares you for the challenges forward. Spending time with the total vary of feelings permits kids to type considerate and type attitudes towards their emotions. It additionally builds resilience and helps them expertise feelings throughout the spectrum extra totally. New habits take persistence, however studying to settle for powerful emotions somewhat than resist them is crucial for kids to type sturdy emotional foundations. 

With scary and difficult subjects persistently within the information, mother and father and caregivers want methods to clarify present occasions which can be developmentally applicable for teenagers however sincere sufficient to keep their belief. This generally is a delicate steadiness. Being proactive about these tough conversations will stop children from in search of out information elsewhere and permit you to area their questions. Remember to test in together with your youngster about their emotions and mannequin wholesome emotional expression. 


For kids, the significance of play can’t be understated. Play is key to studying, cognitive progress, and social improvement. It’s the first method children course of their environment and talk their emotions. Making playtime a daily a part of your schedule provides you with time to join together with your youngster and in addition present an outlet for them to act out their feelings. They is probably not ready to describe precisely what they’re going via, however play is a pure language for kids and probably the greatest methods to make themselves heard.

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a way for centering one’s give attention to the current second and passively observing the ideas and emotions that come up. It is commonly really useful to relieve nervousness and stress. The world continually pulls our consideration in all instructions. Mindfulness cultivates peace within the right here and now and teaches acceptance with out judgment. A daily mindfulness follow for the entire household can go a great distance. For children particularly, the power to observe emotions from a impartial perspective makes it simpler to examine them with out getting overwhelmed. 

I designed my e-book “Be Mindful of Monsters” to introduce children to the idea of mindfulness. The story follows a gender-neutral nine-year-old named Ezzy, whose emotions of anger, disappointment, and fear develop into monsters. The e-book explores the challenges and advantages of accepting these uncomfortable feelings. Ideal for studying at house, in remedy, or for Social Emotional Learning at college, the e-book pairs with a “Mindful Monsters Therapeutic Workbook” that brings the characters and classes of “Be Mindful of Monsters” to life throughout greater than 100 pages of interventions. Visit free of charge worksheets. Also, you’ll be able to download these meditation tips.

Get Support When Needed

Treating psychological and emotional points early is one of the simplest ways to stop them from escalating. If you suppose your youngster would possibly profit from specialised care, don’t hesitate to seek the advice of with a therapist. is the house of a brand new online service that connects households with certified youngster therapists. It additionally gives psychological well being professionals with a variety of helpful assets, together with follow administration companies, a free telehealth platform, and a library of interactive remedy workout routines.

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