Heart Parenting Strategy: Teach Kids to Communicate Emotions Wisely
- Provide the opportunity for much physical exercise. I have noticed that if Ben doesn’t have a good release of physical energy, he struggles more with emotional energy. All of that crazy energy he has needs to be released, and physical exercise is a great way to do just that.
- Limit television and video games, and closely supervise what they are exposed to (please don’t let your kids play violent games or watch violent television/movies). This is especially true of ADHD kids. It is so easy for them to become over-stimulated by TV and gaming. That stimulation will come out in emotional outbursts, trust me. I know.
- Help your child understand what his triggers are. Ben is easily triggered by situations where rules are not followed precisely. Helping him see that and also to understand that sometimes it’s ok to tweak the rules in a game has helped. I’ve also talked to him about just walking away when he is feeling his emotions rise. Generally, if he will just come to me to discuss whatever is bothering him, he can get through it with erupting like Mt. Vesuvius.
- Intervene, if possible, before things get out of hand. Ben and I have a physical cue that we use if I am present and can see that things are about to get out of hand. I simply gently shake my head no. No one else would even notice it, but he understands that if I do that, he needs to walk over to me right away for a whisper conference. I can then point out to him that I see his emotions are getting the best of him, identify what emotion I see, and help him understand what is happening at that very moment. Kids don’t always recognize they are getting angry until they’re already in the midst of a verbal attack or physical response.
- Give them a break to calm down. I’m going to be talking more about this strategy on Friday. Be sure to come back and find out the difference between a break and a time-out.
Rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips.” (Colossians 3:8)
A gentle answer turns away wrath. (Proverbs 15:1)
10 Days of Heart Parenting is a series God laid on my heart after I read the book, The Christian Parenting Handbook by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, R.N. Be sure to click over to read the other installments of this biblical parenting series.