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Helping our children become emotionally fit !

on Mon May 24 2021

Children don’t have an obvious outlet to process emotions or even a way to actively ignore their feelings like alcohol or talking to friends. They don’t meditate or workout and to top it all off they have had you to as a teacher during lockdown ( lol ). 

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To make you more mindful of your childs emotions here are 5 tips to help you and your child navigate this emotionally confusing time.

1 . Explain to your child what emotions are

From my experience most adults are not mindful of their own emotions so you need to lead by example.  This is not only being a conscious human being but a conscious parent. Emotions are energy in motion, when emotions persist they are trapped and need to be seen not ignored. When a child has an outburst instead of trying to rationalise what they are feeling or telling them to stop. You need to allow them to process what they are feeling. Create a safe space for them to release emotions to feel supported in the process. 

2. Mummy or Daddy one to one time

Take time to sit with your child and have a deep and meaningful. Make sure they have your undivided attention. Really be affectionate and honest about how you are feeling and how these feelings make your body feel. Ask them if they experience anything like this? They might not fully understand right away, be ready to talk but creating the space for them to do this is very important. This space will allow them to feel safe to express themselves.

3.Expression through art

Art is a great way for your child to express themselves especially if they are not able to use their words. Give them freedom to do this without judgement or criticism. Ask them to explain to you what the image represents and allow them to participate in coming up with a solution.

4. Quiet time

Kids are continually being stimulated from tv, games and outdoor activities. They don’t need to be doing things all the time. Teach them to relax at home. The ability to relax is very much a skill. I hear parents often wanting to tire their kids out but this can make them restless, exhausted and emotional. This will be something that they will be able to do as an adult. We don’t always need to keep busy.

5. Breathe

Teaching your child to breath is a great way to oxygenate their body giving them natural energy. Focusing on breathing can quieten the mind with practice and it is a form of meditation. It is also a good way to bring awareness to the body and the physiological responses that are occurring which will allow you to become more relaxed. Simple methods can be used by getting them to follow their own breath or using numbers to inhale for 4, hold for 4 and exhale for 4.

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Ultimately what is important is trying what works for you but focus on your emotional health first so you can understand how to help them. For more on emotional fitness check out the @schoolofchange website.