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Emotional Regulation in Early Childhood: Techniques for Helping Preschoolers Understand and Manage Their Emotions

Babies and toddlers will cry, while toddlers and preschoolers will start throwing fits. Parents expect their kids to be able to handle their feelings without having huge meltdowns at some point. But it’s not easy to learn how to control your feelings. To control your emotions, you need to use many different skills, such as paying attention, language development, and brain development.

Parents and caregivers at a Rockville day care need to understand that not all children will develop these skills at the same time. Their genetics, natural temperament, where they grow up, and outside factors like how tired or hungry they are affect how well they can deal with bad feelings. However, parents and other adults who care for kids are very important in teaching them how to handle their feelings.

Why Understanding Emotions is Important for Preschoolers?

When you’re a parent, you can be sure that your kids will feel many different things, sometimes all at once. They will often have to deal with things they don’t like. To help your child grow emotionally, you should teach them to notice specific emotional responses in themselves and then talk about those feelings in a healthy way.

Getting better at this will help your child get along with others, control their behavior, and handle all kinds of situations. It also strengthens your bond with your child as he learns to talk about his feelings of disappointment or anger instead of acting out.

We can’t prevent our kids from experiencing the good and bad parts of life. However, we can teach them how to deal with those things in a way that strengthens them as people and maintains and improves their relationships.

How Do Preschoolers Manage Their Emotions?

Preschoolers use play to grow in all areas, including social and emotional growth. Whether at home or Rockville daycare, preschoolers can learn how to manage strong feelings like happiness, anger, and frustration through play. Messy play, dress-up, music, drawing, reading, and playing outside are all fun ways for preschoolers to learn about their feelings.

Mother sitting in front of her child and talking to him about his behavior

How Can I Help My Preschooler Regulate Emotions?

Parents can help their preschoolers regulate their emotions by teaching them to calm down and think things through before acting on them. It is important to have patience and get good feedback from the parent. The child will learn to deal with problems on their own over time with help and direction.

How Do You Help a Child Understand and Cope with Their Emotions?

Children begin to learn the social skills they need to recognize, talk about, and control their feelings from the moment they are born. They learn how to do this through their connections with important people in their lives, like parents and caregivers at our Rockville Day Care. As a parent, you have a very important job to help your kids understand how their actions and thoughts mean to others. It’s important to teach kids how to deal with their thoughts in healthy ways.

Pay Attention to Your Child’s Cues

It can be challenging for adults to figure out how they are feeling sometimes, so imagine how difficult it can be for preschoolers. Pay attention to how your child feels by watching their actions, listening to what they say, and reading their body language. If you know what they feel and why, you can help them better recognize, talk about, and deal with their feelings

A feeling motivates every behavior in children; try to comprehend the thoughts and emotions underlying your child’s actions. Once you understand what is causing the behavior, you may assist your child in finding alternative ways to communicate that emotion.

mother and daughter sitting and talking

Talk About Feelings and Emotions

Give your child a name for their feelings to help them understand them. Giving names to feelings is the first thing that can help kids learn to recognize them. It helps your child learn words that describe how they feel so they can talk about them. If they can’t name their emotions, they are never going to be able to understand or manage them.

Whenever possible, help your preschooler identify feelings and emotions in other people. You could ask your kid to think about how someone else might be feeling. Reading cartoons or picture books is a fun way to talk about feelings, and they also help kids learn how to read other people’s feelings from how they look.

When your child talks about their feelings or can express them in a healthy way, praise them. These actions show that feelings are normal and it’s okay to talk about them and make them more likely to happen again.

Read Books

The best way to teach kids ideas that aren’t scary or hard to grasp is through books. Many books for preschoolers teach them how to recognize their feelings and deal with them in good ways. Find books that show emotions from the point of view of a major character, such as grief, anger, sadness, happiness, and fear.

Teach By Example

Your child will learn how to handle bad feelings by watching how you handle them. Children learn from how we act, what we do, and how we react. If you get mad at your child’s coach, your child will remember how you yelled at the coach. When you talk to their teacher, keep calm. Your child will pick that up, too. How you deal with things now will shape how your child acts in the future. Don’t worry if you mess up; use it as a chance to learn how to handle your feelings better.

happy family reading a book together

Listen to Your Child

When your child talks about their feelings or does so in a healthy way, praise them. These actions show that feelings are normal and it’s okay to talk about them and make them more likely to happen again.

Final Thoughts

Caregivers from our Rockville Daycare share that while preschoolers are older than toddlers, parents shouldn’t be fooled by their large vocabulary and growing freedom. They can still have strong feelings that make them feel overwhelmed. Kids’ brains develop quickly and can’t always keep up, so it’s important to teach your preschooler’s good ways to deal with their feelings when they get too much.

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