Controlling Strong Emotions in First Grade
Don’t Get Mad, Get Even Smarter. Top tips for parents to teach first graders to control strong emotions.
What You Need To Know
Managing emotions combines appropriate reaction to emotional circumstances, with the ability to express different feelings. Children who can manage their emotions adjust well to new peers, control their negative feelings, and are considerate of others. By contrast, children who struggle to regulate their emotions may worry, cry often, show signs of depression, and react inappropriately to strong feelings.
How You Can Help
Express the emotion in words. Children don’t always say what they are feeling. This could be because they assume that others already know, because they don’t know the right words, or because they are too emotional. Parents should encourage their children to identifying feelings in words.
Choose acceptable ways of showing emotion. If your child is getting frustrated when a sibling takes their toys, encourage them to use words to explain how they feel and what they need. “Noah, tell Rachel – ‘I don’t like it when you take my toys. I’m not done with the squirt gun yet.’”
Helpful phrases. When your child starts feeling emotional, it’s useful to have a few phrases to hand. Consider these three. “You can use it when I’m finished.” “I want a turn too.” “I want to do it my way this time.”
Conflict resolution. Tantrums can be difficult to deal with, for both children and parents. However, they can provide teachable moments – handling strong emotions is a key part of impulse control. If your child has a meltdown in the frozen food section, stay close and allow them to let out their emotions freely. Your child will appreciate your closeness and listening (even if they don’t exactly show it!). Afterwards, talk about strategies to manage those strong emotions and how they can put that into words.
For more information on managing emotions in First Grade, please see the full article:
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