Help, my child is angry! Here's how to teach children to deal with negative emotions

negatieve emoties bij kinderen

Learning to cope with frustration and anger is of great importance for children. It is a skill they need to function well later in life and to build and maintain relationships. If children do not learn to deal with these emotions, it can cause problems later in life. In this blog post, you'll learn how you as a parent can help your child process anger and frustration.

The importance of learning to cope with frustration and anger

By teaching children how to deal with negative emotions such as frustration and anger in a healthy way, you are providing them with the skills they need throughout their lives. You enable your little one to resolve conflicts, cope with stress, and calm themselves when overwhelmed by emotions. In short, you make your little one much more resilient, which is good for their self-esteem and confidence. But to achieve this, it's important to understand where these emotions might come from.

Causes of frustration and anger in children

Frustration and anger in children can arise for various reasons. Sometimes children feel frustrated or angry when they cannot do something or get what they want. Other times, it may be due to tiredness, hunger, illness, or overstimulation. Changes in the environment, such as moving or divorce, can also cause feelings of frustration and anger in children. Additionally, your little one may feel misunderstood or unheard. Often, they have difficulty expressing their emotions or important needs are overlooked. As a parent, it's important to remember that your little one is still developing. Emotion regulation is part of that.

5 Tips for learning to cope with frustration and anger

Dealing with frustration and anger can be a challenge for both children and parents. As a parent, you can help your little one by listening, showing understanding, and teaching healthy ways to handle emotions. Here are some playful tips to help you:

  1. Acknowledge your child's feelings: Let your child know that you understand they are frustrated or angry and that it's okay to have those feelings. Allow space for them to express their feelings and listen attentively.
  2. Talk about what happened: Talk to your little one about what happened and why they became so frustrated or angry. Discuss together how it could be handled differently in the future. Let your little one come up with a solution, which teaches them to set boundaries and think problematically.
  3. Breathing exercises: Nothing is as annoying as a child having a tantrum. Luckily, breathing exercises can help calm them down. A good exercise, for example, is to blow gently on a soft balloon and then slowly let the air out while breathing deeply. Inhale, exhale.
  4. Creative expression: Express your emotions through creative expression! Draw, paint, sculpt, or write together. This helps to release and process pent-up emotions.
  5. Play together: Play together or engage in an activity that requires cooperation to learn to control frustration and reduce anger. For example, a game of memory or a building game.

The earlier your little one learns to cope with negative emotions, the better. What is your emotional outlet?

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