Raising Emotionally Healthy, Resilient Children: How Brain Science Can Help Us Make More Mindful Choices
Emotional health is something that should be taught to kids at a young age to ensure that they grow up to be healthy and resilient. By learning at an early age, kids will be able to think more reasonably and make more mindful choices in the future. So, how can we raise children to be emotionally healthy?
Encourage Different Feelings
Instead of trying to direct kids away from negative emotions, let them know that it’s okay to experience different feelings. Take time to talk about different emotions with them and let them know that everyone has different feelings at times. That way, if they do get upset or angry, it will be less extreme because they will understand that it is okay to feel that way and it won’t feel like it’s coming out of nowhere for them.
Don’t Try to Automatically Fix Certain Feelings
At first thought, you may want to fix negative feelings with a child, but not all feelings should be fixed right away. Sometimes kids are having a hard time and it can’t necessarily be fixed that easily. Plus, if students don’t express all their emotions, then they can get bottled up inside and make them more miserable. It is important for children to express and understand how they’re feeling before someone tries to fix it for them. Try to encourage students to learn how to adjust their emotions on their own to help them become better at controlling those feelings in the future.
Don’t Tell Them How to Feel
While some people may like to jump to conclusions and assume how someone else is feeling, this is not a good thing to teach children. A huge part of emotions is allowing students to learn from them and discover them on a daily basis. If you tell them how to feel, then they may just listen to what you say instead of learning to deal with their emotions on their own. However, if you help them figure out what’s going on mentally, then this can lead them to be more emotionally healthy in the future and help them to make mindful choices about their emotions.
Respect Their Space
If a child needs some time to themselves to work through a problem, it is a good idea to respect that. No matter how badly you want to talk to them and help them out, at least give them a few minutes to cool off and take a breath before you try to step in. While kids can learn a lot from adults, they also learn a lot through experience. If they take some time to themselves to try to understand their emotions, then they will likely be able to better control their feelings in the future. It is perfectly fine for you to talk to them about it from time to time, but if they ask for some time to themselves, then don’t be afraid to give them that.
Emotions can be a difficult thing to understand, especially for young children. That’s why parents need to be mindful when trying to raise their children to be emotionally healthy and resilient. Kids don’t always need someone looking over their shoulder and telling them how to handle their feelings. Sometimes, you need to give them space and avoid trying to always take control of the situation. By learning about emotions at an early age, kids can learn to make smarter decisions in the future.