- 4 mins
Useful Tools to Help Parents Deal with Tricky Moments with Kids
One of the most prominent ways children learn is through watching those around them, so it’s important to model the healthy behaviors you want your children to have. If they see you handling tricky situations effectively, they’ll be more likely to learn how to handle their own emotions.
Here are a couple of tools to add to your own box of resources that can help keep you calm, allowing your kids to find their calm within yours during tricky moments.
Model handling calm moments through the art of your breath when big feelings arise. Breathing tools are a life-long skill that will aid in emotional regulation for our children all the way through adulthood.
Daily practices of mindfulness are a great way to keep in tune with your emotions and feelings towards everyday obstacles. Consider adding the below strategies to your mindfulness toolbox:
- 54321 Grounding Exercise
- Breathing Exercises
- Coloring Activities
- Establishing your own happy place
- Tapping Sequences and Meditations
- Dancing/Music Aids
- Body Scanning
These are also great tools that you can call upon for your child during a tantrum or meltdown.
Tools to remember when your kids are having a strong emotional reaction to a tricky moment:
Wait but be present
Allow your child to feel their feelings and express themselves safely, in the presence of a capable and trusting person who can contain them. This teaches children the importance of self-control and self-regulation.
Offer them connection
Create a safe space for them to talk about how they feel if they wish to. If not, come back to it when they are in a much calmer space and reflect with them. Wonder with them what could have helped in those moments. There may be a space in that conversation to offer them teachable moments.
Humans benefit from physical connection, too. There have been many studies on the physical and psychological benefits of hugging. So, if your child is receptive, give them a little cuddle time.
This tool does not ignore a child’s feelings but instead redirects them away from scaling up to a tantrum or frustration during transitional moments or waiting moments. Distraction offers them an outlet for that energy. This could be by talking with your child about their day, what they enjoyed, what they may do tomorrow, the fun activities you will do at the weekend, or even just the story they’d like to listen to at bedtime.
The Moshi app and YouTube channel are great tools for any caregiver when it comes to tricky moments with their kids. The app has everything for tantrums and meltdowns – from quick breathing exercises to positive affirmations to social-emotional learning tracks.